As you launch into your final push to become a board certified provider and find that perfect job match, so many decisions have to be made. What type of practice do you see yourself in? Where? For how much? Gathering the answers to these questions takes time and effort, but are critical to making your decision easier in the long run.
The physician job search, especially for your first position as a board certified physician, can be daunting. Here are a few tips for residents evaluating practice opportunities:
1. Don’t Delay – Start Your Job Search Early
Residents often wait until the end of their residency to explore opportunities then experience frustration when they must wait to begin practicing. Many practices begin their hiring process one to two years before an expected opening. Be proactive and keep an eye on opportunities that interest you. If you find something that grabs your attention, reach out and gather more details.
Important Tip: Don’t forget that licensing & credentialing can be a lengthy process, so set yourself up to have everything in place to start practicing once you’re ready.
2. Get to Know Your Recruiter (And Let Your Recruiter Get to Know You!)
Recruiters are the conduit to finding the right position for you. They know the organization inside and out and are going to match up providers with the type of environment that best fits their needs. Whether you are interested in practicing with a specific group or hospital, building a relationship with a recruiter is critical to finding the ideal job for you. Connect with recruiters and let them know your preferred practice settings. When the perfect option arises, you will be top-of-mind for them.
Important Tip: Ask to be added to any event calendars or email blasts from your recruiter to stay in the loop on.
3. Attend Residency Dinners
It can be extremely difficult to learn the culture of a practice based simply upon online research. Many groups hold events to introduce residents to their practices. These dinners/events offer the chance to see first-hand the culture of the practice and offer you the option to ask specific questions. Often, there is an opportunity for one-on-one conversations that can also help determine if the practice is the right fit for you.
Important Tip: Do you attend specialty conferences? If so, stop by to speak with the recruiters in attendance to get a feel for the team. One-on-one conversations provide a wealth of information about the practice, as well as visibility for you as a potential candidate.
4. Decide What Matters Most to You
For some physicians, compensation is the top factor to consider and for others, location is all that matters. There are so many factors to consider and you need to prioritize your practice “wish list” to assess opportunities that arise.
There are many factors to consider – some include
- Geographic Location
- Practice Setting – Single specialty group, multispecialty group, hospital/clinic
- Employment Model – W-2 vs 1099
- Schedule / Flexibility
- Opportunities for Career Growth
- Personal Development Opportunities
- CME Provisions
- Hospital Size
- Sub-specialty Support
- Documentation System
- Malpractice Insurance – is it provided?
Important Tip: If you aren’t 100 percent sure on what factors are important to you, consider becoming part of a travel team to explore different practice settings. This will allow you to narrow down what you want in your career, as well as what you do not.