PracticeLink Magazine

Summer 2017

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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the INTERVIEW issue PracticeLink.com S u MM e R 2017 49 and taking phone calls as they came, the physician called the town's main hospital and spoke with the in-house recruiter. He said, essentially, "I know you're not advertising an open position at the moment, but would you be interested in discussing future openings?" Given the low supply of available candidates in the specialty, the hospital was only too happy to begin a conversation. That call resulted in subsequent phone calls and, later, an invitation for a site visit, followed by negotiations for a new role created just for him. Sharma looked at almost 10 places over the course of two years, narrowing that list to three based on geography: one in Wisconsin, where he was in residency; one in Chicago; and one in Arizona, which he ultimately took. All three jobs were appealing, so to break the tie, Sharma ranked each position based on three main factors: geography, the job itself, and intangibles about the opportunity. Then he weighted each factor, with geography counting for 30 percent of the decision, the job, 50 percent, and the intangibles, 20 percent. With that formula, it became clear that Arizona was going to be the best fit for him. Park interviewed at 12 places during the first round, focusing most on where he could become part of the community and be closer to family. He then whittled the list to three practices where he was confident he could be happy. After the interviews, he sent thank you notes to all the programs for taking the time to meet him; he was completely honest about whether he wanted to consider pursuing employment there. "Some recruiters were surprised by my forthrightness," he says, but he didn't feel comfortable keeping hospitals hanging after he had determined they were not the right choice. He advises physicians to be completely honest about where they are in their decision- making processes. Doing so enables you to uphold your professional reputation and avoid burning bridges you may need later in your career, especially since most physicians eventually move on from their first jobs. That said, it's also important to let a potential employer know when you just need more time. It's o K to tell a recruiter you want time to check out more options. "No one goes on one interview and decides that's it," says Park. He says the typical number of subsequent interviews is two or three. "Tel l i ng other practices that you're considering other options doesn't make you less appealing," he says. "It actually makes you more appealing." It means you're a desirable candidate. Simon Gordon, director of search operations and physician recruitment at Healthsearch Group, based in Westchester, New York, advises physicians to explore their options — but not to go overboard. "You can have too many [options]," he says. If you want to have initial discussions with several organizations, that's fine, but once you have enough information to determine you're not seriously interested in a position, don't What to learn when you're on the ground A site visit — an on-location interview — is your time to get a feel for both the organization and the environment. Take time while there to determine: • Where do other physicians live? • What are the schools like? • What's the cost of living like compared to where you currently live? • What kinds of growth plans are in place for new physicians? • How is the weather different from what you're accustomed? • What goals does the practice have for a physician in this role? • What suppor t network is in place to help physicians meet their objectives? • What skills and qualities would the ideal candidate possess?

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