Physician Job Search Tips

female virtually interviewing for a physician job

From the first application through signing a contract, communicating with potential medical employers can be a delicate process. We’ve surveyed our experienced consultants for tips and tricks that will help you stand out from the crowd throughout the physician job search process and increase your chances of landing your dream job. If you are looking for advice and guidance on how to find a job as a physician, here is our detailed list of search tips for when you are applying for physician jobs.

Job Search Preparation

  • Review physician job search timelines a year or two in advance to gain a realistic understanding of the job search process and certifications you will have to obtain.
  • Carefully draft your CV and have multiple peers and mentors provide feedback.
  • Narrow down what medical practice types are the best fit for you.
  • Consider utilizing a physician recruiter who can get you in the door to high-demand physician jobs or even keep you apprised of upcoming vacancies.
  • Throughout the entire process of medical school and beyond, you should be thinking about building your professional network and how you can market yourself in the medical industry and your subspecialty niche in particular.
  • Keep in mind:
    • Physician job options in any given geographic location will likely be limited and there are many other well-trained physicians vying for them.
    • Throughout the process, employers are evaluating you on your interpersonal and clinical skills- even via preliminary phone calls and emails.
    • We like to say, “there’s always two degrees from you and someone else,” meaning if you say or do something that could be perceived negatively, potential employers could hear about it.
    • Kind treatment of everyone does not go unnoticed. Thank anyone and everyone who has helped along the way- these are people you may be working with soon!

Best Practices During the Physician Interview Process

  • Do your research! Study the employer and prepare answers to potential interview questions.
  • Prepare your own set of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer.
  • Respond promptly when you receive an email or phone call from an employer; include your name, best times for you to talk, and the best phone number at which to reach you.
  • The physicians and administrators you are communicating with are very busy so if you don’t hear from a group right away, don’t take it personally.
  • If you are working with a recruiter or HR representative, keep them informed of how the process is going. They can help keep the ball rolling and maintain lines of communication.
  • A lot of information is going to be exchanged between you and the employer during your interview so taking notes is a helpful practice. Include any personal information that the interviewer(s) mentioned so you can thoughtfully refer to it in your thank you note.
  • Attend conferences within your specialty that offer career fair components or opportunities to connect with medical employers in person.

Post Physician Job Interview Action Items

  • At the very least, send a follow-up thank you email. If you want to go above and beyond, send a hand-written note.
  •  If four-five business days pass without any communication (including your thank you follow-up), call your interviewer to follow up. Persistence shows interest and is appreciated.
  • Having a difficult time narrowing down physician job opportunities? Review the notes you took during your interviews to help guide you through the pros and cons for each opportunity.
  • When you’re finally offered the physician job, do not be afraid to negotiate. If there is not room to increase salary, ask about schedule perks or other benefits that might be able to make up the difference.

Physician Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

  • Be 100% present during your visit with a practice. Under no circumstances should you text or answer a call during an interview.
  • Always respond with a positive attitude and avoid anything that could be perceived as negative.
  • Don’t reject a practice on the spot- always take time to process the interview experience.
  • If after consideration you are 100% certain a practice is not for you, let them know it’s not a fit and thank them for their time and interest. Do not ghost them.
  • Do not be the first to bring up salary- allow the medical employer to share the range and you can negotiate if an offer is made.
  • Many forget to factor in the housing market availability and the overall cost of living in their search.
  • Negotiate and have an external party look over your contract before you sign.
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Unlike residency and fellowship, you are now interviewing with them as much as they are interviewing you. Do not accept the first offer that comes around unless it is truly what you’re looking for.

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