Over the years, PracticeLink has had the privilege of hearing from countless physicians about their training, job search and careers.
Their paths to becoming a physician differ. Many have found unique ways to apply their skills. But all their journeys provide insights into the world of medical practice and how to find the best fit.
One topic that is often covered in these conversations is, “What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?” Below are a few aspects physicians considered most important to keep in mind:
Radhames Ramos De Oleo, MD, MPH, MBA
“This is an important part of the rest of your life. Think deeply about what you want to do and learn to be flexible; you might find a pleasant surprise.”
“Figure out exactly what you will and will not accept … It is best to craft a solid résumé or curriculum vitae (CV). Be honest about what you want with an employer. Speak to those who have finished training before you, and solicit their opinion about your plan.”
Nitasa Sahu, MD
Olusegun Oyewole, MD, MPH
“Don’t wait till the 11th hour before you start your search! Some time between the later part of the penultimate year to the early part of the final year, you should begin your search. That will allow you enough time to carefully weigh all your options before committing to a job.”
Jasmin M. Baleva, MD
“Things are different now than when I came out of residency in the late 90s because of all the significant health care changes. Hospital medicine was just beginning then and only one or two co-residents I knew went into that field. At that time my program director recommended looking for a traditional practice with a partnership track but I think that trend is passé now.
“My first job was a combined internal medicine and pediatrics inpatient and outpatient practice. Unfortunately, after a few years I realized that the independent physician practice model isn’t necessarily sustainable. Today the solo practice model is in jeopardy due to rising overhead and many physicians are switching to employed settings. I think today’s residents should consider employment opportunities with larger physician practice groups and hospitalist companies due to better financial sustainability.”
Scott C. Lindsay, DO
“Go where you want to go. Whether you’re going to be an employed physician or taking the entrepreneur route and opening a practice, the practice will grow no matter where you are. You have to be happy in your surroundings, and your family has to be happy. I grew up in a tiny town in a rural area, and it was important to finally get back to that setting.”
Obinna Egbo, MD
“Before beginning a job search, take the time to assess the type of medical practice that will suit you. Think about the potential long-term consequences of your choice, and decide if you will thrive as a hospitalist, outpatient clinician or in a traditional practice that combines both. Regardless of what type of practice that you choose, a basic understanding of the business aspect of medicine will be invaluable – so, make sure that you have it.
“Start looking early. And, once an offer is received, take the time to really understand the job description. Don’t make a hasty decision about the practice or location until you have thoroughly vetted the opportunity.”
Sadia Ali, MD
“Always stay true to your dreams and ask for what you really want. The worst possible outcome is getting no as a response, and the best case scenario is creating an opportunity to practice medicine the way you would like to.”
“Depending on if they are a U.S. citizen or foreign medical graduate, their medical license status, etc., some people may need to start the process earlier than others. Be proactive, always keep your options open, and search for the type of work that would truly make you the most happy.”
Shaun Jester, DO
“Don’t settle! There are literally hundreds and hundreds of job opportunities. My wife and I settled on my first job, rather than waiting for one we were both really excited about and felt God’s call. Not surprisingly, the job turned out to only last 10 months, as it was a bad fit.”
“Start the job search early. Don’t wait when you are at the end of the final year of your residency to look for a job. You will have less time than you think to explore other opportunities. Keep your options open, and don’t focus on only one location because sometimes you will be pleased to find a better offer or quality of life somewhere else. Lastly, involve your family and choose the offer that will be best for you and your family.”
“Pick the state you would like to live in. Think about where you want to be. What does that state have that makes you want to be there? If you’re someone who likes the city, then you’ll want a state that has a big city. If you like the country, you’re not going to pick New York City. Figuring out what it is you like and finding a place that offers those things to you is a good place to start.”
Jonathan Lee, MD
“Prioritize your search criteria and be thorough. If location is your highest priority, for example, look for ads in that locale, but also pull the names of doctors and practices in those areas that aren’t advertising and send them letters of inquiry and a CV. Talk to faculty and alumni of your residency program to find positions they have heard about through the grapevine.”