I’m both an adviser who has helped hundreds of physicians with their job searches and the spouse of a physician who has gone through the same process.
As such, I’ve seen firsthand how physicians struggle to manage all aspects of their search while simultaneously juggling the heavy demands of their current position or training program responsibilities.
Because of this, one of my biggest pieces of advice for physician job-seekers is to lean on all the resources available to help you maximize your efficiency and minimize your stress. One of those resources? Your spouse or significant other - someone who is equally invested in making sure this is a smooth and successful transition.
There are some key areas where your spouse can help ensure you are fully prepared for your job search.
At the onset of your search, you should be gathering and updating all of your application materials, such as your CV, cover letter, reference list, etc.
Don’t underestimate the importance of these materials. They not only help you get a foot in the door, but when all else is equal among candidates, it’s often the seemingly minor details that can make a difference in the end.
Pay attention to those details. Have your spouse proofread all your documents to ensure there are no formatting or grammatical errors. This is also the time to take a step back and, with your spouse, define your job-search parameters. Which geographic locations or regions are the best fits for your family? Your spouse can also help you reflect as you determine which practice types or settings are most conducive to both your personality and your career aspirations.
As you begin applying to opportunities and receiving invitations to interview, it’s time to conduct further research into each location to determine the potential fit for your family. Your spouse can help you with this research.
Similar to evaluating a practice to determine if it matches your clinical skillset, you’ll need to closely evaluate a community’s amenities, recreational opportunities, schools and other organizations to determine if it can support your family’s interests and aspirations.
Two great resources for learning more about a community include the local convention and visitors bureau and local realtors. Realtors "sell" the community for a living and will be able to highlight its major perks and opportunities.
Once you have selected a position and accepted an offer, there is much more research your spouse can do to ensure a smooth relocation process.
If you have children, you have likely already given some preliminary considerations to the educational opportunities that exist in the area. Now it’s time to explore further and begin making the decision on where to enroll. Does the area offer a great public school system? What private or parochial options should you consider?
It’s also time to start looking further into interviewing realtors and exploring housing options, selecting banks, exploring churches, and getting plugged into recreational options for your kids. All of this research takes time - and present great opportunities for your spouse to help.
Jeff Hinds, MHA, is president of Premier Physician Agency, LLC, a national consulting firm specializing in personalized physician job search and contract assistance.