Questions to Ask at Your First Interview

Remember, the second purpose of an interview is to allow you the opportunity to determine if the position is right for you. The more questions you ask, the better able you are to make that determination. Most employers welcome your questions as an indication of your genuine interest in their organization and the position for which you are interviewing. The following is a list of questions doctors have told us are particularly helpful in gaining insight into the workings and philosophy of potential employers. Obviously, there may not be time to ask all of these questions, so be prepared to ask the ones that are of greatest importance to you.

  1. What is the history of the group? What is their philosophy?
  2. What are the short- and long-range goals of the group?
  3. In what seminars or medical staff committees is the group involved?
  4. Does the group encourage attendance at annual specialty conferences?
  5. Does the group encourage CME, teaching, hospital staff, and medical society activities?
  6. Do other physicians in the area refer patients to the group? How many? What specialties?
  7. How many physicians are in the group and what is the age range of the physicians? Is anyone retiring?
  8. How will new patient referrals be handled?
  9. How will the group help a new physician build a patient base?
  10. What is the turnover rate for physicians in the group?
  11. Is there partnership potential? Generally speaking, after how many years?
  12. What's the approximate buy-in? How is the buy-in structured?
  13. What assets does the practice own?
  14. What type of corporation or partnership is formed?
  15. Has anyone been turned down as a partner?
  16. Does the group plan to add additional physicians beyond this position?
  17. Are members of the group active in the community? Does the group encourage and support this?
  18. Is moonlighting permitted? Are there any restrictions on moonlighting?
  19. What is the political environment of the medical community?
  20. What roles, if any, do physicians' spouses have in the group? Are there expectations with respect to the role spouses/significant others play in the group?
  21. What will the hours be? Call schedule?
  22. What are the daily responsibilities of the position? Will there be additional administrative or managerial duties?
  23. What salary range may be expected? What type of general benefits package is being offered?
  24. How is the day-to-day management of the practice accomplished?
  25. Are regular staff meetings held? Do all the doctors attend?
  26. What are the group's financial policies?
  27. How is a patient informed about financial policies? Ask for a copy of the patient information brochure.
  28. Ask to see their fee schedule. How is it determined? Is it reasonable? How often are increases made?
  29. What is the group's payer mix? Is it predominantly Medicare?
  30. How will the new Resource Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) affect the group?
  31. Does the practice use an automated or manual system for scheduling, billing, and/or insurance filing? Ask to see a copy of the group's super bill or routing slip.
  32. How are outstanding patient debts collected? Is a collection agency used?
  33. What system is used for filing charts? Ask to see some sample medical records.
  34. How is informed consent handled? What are the moral and ethical views of the group concerning informed consent?
  35. What type of patient education is conducted?
  36. What type of marketing does the group conduct?

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