PracticeLink Magazine


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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44 winter 2015 2 0 1 5 AN N UAL Quality of Life issue Big city choice: Be open to new experiences John Martin, Jr., M.D., grew up in a small town in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and attended Williams College—also in a small community— for undergrad. Med school at Harvard kept him in New England but intro- duced him to the pace and atmosphere of a larger city. He loved it. After four years in Boston, Martin headed to Philadelphia for residency and then applied for a very competitive fellowship in oculoplastic surgery. Only about 20 programs were available at the time, and Miami and Los Angeles were Martin's top picks. He accepted the position in Miami and headed south for a 15-month fellowship—but he didn't expect to stay. At the time, his attitude was, "I can do a year anywhere," and Miami sounded pretty nice for a short assign- ment. "The availability of outdoor activities anytime was particularly appealing," he says. Though he enjoyed Miami, he considered a number of opportunities for oculoplastic surgery positions after completing his fellowship. He landed back in New England in Westport, Connecticut, a suburb of New York City. He was close to home and close to a major city, which he thought would yield plenty of plastic surgery patients. In fact, being so close to New York actually hampered the growth of his practice. "People went in to New York City for surgeries; more plastic surgeries were done there," he found, than in Connecticut, which made attracting clients more challenging. After two years, an opportunity surfaced to return to Miami and Martin accepted. "Westport wasn't urban living, and I decided I wanted that," he says. Having experiences in different types of working environments helped Martin recognize the type of place that would make him happy. He needed a larger city where plastic surgery was accepted, even expected, and where he could also enjoy outdoor activities year-round. Miami turned out to be the perfect locale. Suburban happiness: Start with your career goals Marcela Dominguez, M.D., would have been comfortable in a big city How to know if a small-town practice is right for you Though many residents seek opportunities in larger metro and surrounding areas, small-town life has many advantages. Think you'd like to explore what working in a smaller community would be like? Here are some questions to ask during initial interviews to determine if you're a good ft for what the hospital or practice is looking for. Compare the responses you hear to your own list of what an ideal lifestyle looks like. • What type of patients do you see, and what is their average age? • What type of services does the practice provide? • How big is the staf, and how many locations are there? • How many patients do you see a day, and is there a minimum number each physician is expected to see? • How easy is it to refer patients to specialists—and what types of specialists are available locally? • How much time is alloted for each type of patient: follow up, physical, new patient and urgent care? • Where do most doctors live? How far is the commute? • What is the benefts package like? How much vacation and CME time is ofered? • Is relocation assistance available and (for primary care positions) is loan repayment available through NHSC? • Are there opportunities within the practice or organization to do research or administrative work? • What are your physician turnover and satisfaction rates? • What do physicians in the area do when they're not working? • What do the other physicians like best about living and working in their town? A sense of place Continued from page 42 Continued on page 46

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