WORK: Started practice as a family medicine physician in Sheldon, Iowa, for Sanford Health System in August 2014.
Medical school: University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine (May 2011)
Residency: UNMC, Family Medicine, Omaha (June 2014)
Becker is a physician and private pilot who enjoys golf, traveling and working on his family’s farm. He is a Captain/Flight Surgeon in the 155th Air Refueling Wing in the Nebraska Air National Guard; Resident Director on the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians’ Board of Directors; and UNMC Department of Family Medicine Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Committee Resident Member. He and his wife, Rachael, have a son, Eli.
What’s your advice for residents beginning their physician job search?
Start looking and learning early during your residency. There are pros and cons to starting early. A pro is that you will have ample time to find the right community and practice with plenty of time to negotiate contracts. A con is that you will be inundated with opportunities and offers from all over the country for a while as you’re searching.
What surprised you about your post-residency job search?
Searching for a job to begin after residency was more of a paradigm shift than a surprise. Throughout my life, the tables were turned. Did I get accepted into my ideal college, medical school, residency program? I was more so ‘told’ where to go to further my medical training. Now the ball is in my court. My family and I get to seek out and choose our next location to essentially begin our lives.
What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?
An exposure to the business of medicine is always needed more in medical school. There is a reason why doctors struggle with business. We are so focused on medicine; we don’t have a lot of spare time to become businessmen and businesswomen. If possible, getting a Masters in Business Administration would be helpful.
Anything particularly unique about your physician job search?
When approached by a potential employer or recruiter, I would initially Google the location and determine if my family could see ourselves living in that particular area. Then I would email the recruiter, CEO, etc. a question document to basically screen the opportunity.
If the answers to the questions looked appropriate, then I would establish a more serious discussion about visiting the location and interviewing. This way of searching allowed me to trim down the list of opportunities for various reasons. I felt this was a good way to efficiently make use of my time and theirs.
Any other advice?
Remain in control of your job search. Ultimately, you are in control. We are good people looking for good jobs. You are looking for a place that satisfies your own needs as a physician but also your family’s needs. If your family will be comfortable and enjoys your next community setting, everyone is happy!