The physician job search can be an overwhelming process for new physician job seekers. As a physician, you have more than likely been told the basics of searching for an opportunity, apply, and then interview for the opportunity.‌ Unfortunately, it is often not that simple. Most physician contracts last 2-3 years for your first opportunity after training. This means, that whichever opportunity you decide on will dictate not only your professional life but your personal life for the next few years. Before searching for opportunities, you need to take some time to determine your job preferences.

Answer these questions:

  1. What are my career goals for the next 5 years?
  2. What type of practice do I want to join?
  3. What type of patient population do I want to work with?
  4. Geographically, what makes the most sense for me?
  5. What type of benefits (loan repayment, visa sponsorship, 401k match, etc.) am I looking for?

By answering these questions, you can develop a better idea of which opportunities will be best for you. If you are seeking a smaller patient population, moving to a busy metro area would not make much sense. If you haven't given much thought to your desired practice type or career goals, start deciding prior to applying to (and possibly accepting) a position that isn't going to meet your career goals.

As you are running your search, utilize physician job-specific career boards. This will help avoid coming across opportunities that are no longer available or non-physician specific. Sites like PracticeMatch even help to narrow down the search to your specialty and sub-specialty interests. You can also search on a specific hospital website to see what opportunities are available.

If you decided to not answer the above questions and just go blindly into a search, it can yield a lot of results that are leave you digging for a needle in a haystack. Having a basic understanding of your career goals will help you to avoid taking a position that will keep you stagnant, or have you searching for a new job before your contract is even up. Physician recruitment can take months for certain organizations, so you do not want to have to restart the process immediately after starting.

Not only should you choose an opportunity that matches your professional goals, but you should also make sure that the organization is one that you want to work for. If you are unfamiliar with the organization, run a quick search to find out more about the organization. Read through articles, social media posts, or reviews that come up in the search. If a lot of negative press comes up for that organization, but the opportunity sounds amazing, there is probably a reason. Some opportunities you come across are going to try to create the facade that the opportunity is amazing by offering a salary above the average, better hours, or other types of incentives. Make sure to keep an eye on these things so you do not get tricked into choosing a bad opportunity.

Looking for more job search tips? Check out our articles and Career Resources.

Hayley Woszczynski

Hayley Woszczynski - Physician & Program Relations Manager. You can stay connected with me on LinkedIn for all of the latest PracticeMatch articles and upcoming events.