Physician Job Search Tips
As a member of the PracticeMatch team, I travel to multiple physician conferences and career fairs throughout the year. One common trend I've noticed is that many residents I speak with feel very unsure of when they should start looking for opportunities after training. I have touched on this topic in the past in previous webinars but let's look at a few key reasons to start your search sooner than later:
- The opportunity may not be what you are looking for. An opportunity may have seemed great based off the description on the website, but upon further inspection, the opportunity is not at all what you are looking for. If you start the job search process late and want to start right after training, your options may be limited. Start earlier so you can make sure that the opportunities that you are interviewing for fit your preferences and are right for you.
- The interview process may take longer than expected. As a physician applying to opportunities, you will have to go on job interviews. The interview process can take months, depending on scheduling and your location. You must keep in mind, especially if out of state, that site visits are a common part of the interviewing process. This allows you to visit the organization and tour the campus and community, as well as interview in person with the organization. You want to make sure that if you are expecting to start practicing right after you complete training, you are not delayed because you are still in the interview process.
- Issues with negotiating your contract. Contract negotiation can seem like a scary task, especially if it's your first contract. You'll want to make sure that you are getting your needs met in the contract, but this isn't always the case. Sometimes an item that you are wanting to be negotiable is non-negotiable. If you are having issues with negotiating the contract and you or the organization decide it's best to part ways, this can be an issue for your desired start date.
- Licensure and credentials can take time. This is one issue that many physicians do not consider when looking at new opportunities. If you do not currently hold a license in the state that you are going to practice in, you will have to apply and receive your license for that state prior to your start date. Make sure that you know the state's timetable for applying and receiving your license. This may be a process you need to start more than just a couple of months before your desired start date.
I suggest that you begin looking for opportunities about 18 months prior to your desired start date. Whether you are in residency or fellowship, this gives you plenty of time to figure out the type of opportunity you want to apply for, as well as decide which geographic location is best for you. Remember, it is better to apply for opportunities that meet your needs and desires than to try to cast a wide net by just applying to any opportunity that matches your specialty. Looking for more career advice? Check out our other Physician Articles!
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