Forgot My Password
If you're a resident, a fellow, or even an experienced physician looking for a fresh start, you have to decide where to work. Sure, you've already given some thought to the type of setting in which you might like to practice—but there are so many options in so many places, how can you be sure which is right for you?
Should you go into private group practice? Specialty practice? Hospital-based practice? A large academic medical center? Small community hospital? VA hospital? Research or pharmaceutical lab? Public health or public policy? A governmental or professional association? Perhaps a practice that combines medicine with business or the law?
The choices are almost endless.
"The value of an 'MD' is that it can open a lot of doors for you—perhaps a daunting number of doors," says George Richard, PhD, Director of the Careers in Medicine program at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), in Washington, DC.
Before you sign an employment contract and commit yourself to a certain practice setting, take the time to investigate a little further, do your homework, and ask some questions–of yourself. That is, look inside yourself before you look around for a place to practice, Dr. Richard says.
Ask yourself some important questions, such as:
Once you can answer such questions about yourself, you'll have a much easier time finding the perfect place to practice. You'll know that if you're interested in sharing your knowledge, for example, then you might consider a career in an academic teaching hospital. If you're more interested in direct patient care and working as a team, then take a closer look at private group practice or hospital–based group practice.
But again, before you can find your practice, you must find yourself, Dr. Richard advises. In other words, listen to your heart before you jump in with both feet.
AAMC's Careers in Medicine site offers career advice and self–assessments for medical students and others to help them identify their practice setting, residency, specialty, and values