When considering new opportunities, I can’t stress it enough: You have to be able to live in the community in which you’re hoping to work.
This is a difficult thing to discover in even the best of times. A day or two in the community you and your family could potentially be living in for the next several years will give you some idea of what the place is like, but there are often things you only find out after being there for an extended period of time.
But sometimes events happen that make it impossible to travel to a location to even get a minimal feel for it. For example: a global pandemic that makes traveling both inadvisable and, in many cases, counter to state and federal guidelines. So how do you get a feel for a neighborhood when you can’t even go there in person, or are limited in how you can interact with the community?
Fortunately, there are many tools that can help you, including many from PracticeLink.
One of the best resources for finding out about a community is the very same recruiter you’ve been working with throughout your interview process. In-house recruiters are almost always very well acquainted with the communities their opportunities are in. Through PracticeLink, you can send messages directly to that recruiter with any questions you have not only about the opportunity, but also about the community in which it’s located. They will also often be able to put you in contact with other physicians and employees who work and live in the community and who can give you perspectives on various neighborhoods.
If you haven’t contacted a recruiter yet, a good place to do that is through a PracticeLink Live! Career Fair. Recruiters at these events are more than happy to speak with candidates and answer questions about their communities. These virtual events are easy to attend and a valuable way to spend your time.
PracticeLink’s recently added Chat tool allows you to message with a recruiter in real time on PracticeLink.com. If the recruiter isn’t online at the time, you can still send them a chat message to which they can reply later. So if it’s 1 a.m. and you’re wondering what the trout fishing is like near the town where the opportunity is located, log into PracticeLink and send that message.
PracticeLink offers in-depth profiles not only about jobs, but also about each facility and organization that use the system to recruit physicians and advanced practice providers. Look for detailed descriptions of the communities, as well as community links that will help you get a better feel for each area. Even if this is just a high-level description, it can be very useful in helping you decide what other questions you need to ask.
Remember, the internet is your friend when you are trying to find out information about a place that you may have never been. Go to Street View on Google Maps and virtually drive around the community. See what businesses and amenities there are and what people have to say about them. Remember that these apps show traffic data too, as well as public transit data, so you can easily determine travel time between where you will be working and where you are considering living. Don’t forget to do this for your significant other’s workplace and children’s schools, if that applies. Look online for everything from walkability scores to crime statistics.
Like many things, the data you can gather virtually is not a substitute for being there and seeing it in person. However, until that time arrives, keep these tips in mind when scouting out the places where your next opportunity will be located.
Chris Scites is PracticeLink’s physician relations director. Reach his team for free job-search help at (800) 776-8383.