How is a doctor to find a job?

This is the time of year when residents in their final year of training begin to search out that perfect job. You should have taken the time to figure out what that perfect job looks like and where it will be and now the search begins. What follows are several ideas that you may find helpful as you negotiate your way into your future.

In my situation, I had a geographic area in mind so I cold-called practices in the regions I had determined I wanted to live. This is probably the best method if you seek a fixed geographical location. Many doctors who are looking for a new partner don’t advertise. They use word of mouth and contacts with other doctors.

Call or write the medical staff offices of hospitals in the areas you identify, and ask if they know of anyone looking for a new doctor in your specialty. Usually the people working in the medical staff office are very personable. If you ask them about the medical community, they are a wealth of knowledge. If your specialty doesn’t work with the hospital, such as dentists or chiropractors, call or write the practices you find on an Internet search in your chosen location.

Where I practiced, we had surgical residents spend their fourth year of training with us. We got to know the residents and they got to know us and the town. There are now three surgeons in town who were residents with us first. This is a good way to land a job. If you have selected someplace you would like to work, take an elective rotation with that practice so you can get to know them. Anything you do to lengthen the courtship period will be beneficial.

Ask your mentors if they know of anyone looking for a new partner. Many of them know of openings and can make an introduction for you. When I was interviewing, one of my future partners trained at the same residency I did. His main research during my interview was to call the chief of surgery at the residency, whom he trusted, and ask him about my abilities. Who you know can play a big role in your future.

If you haven’t identified a geographical location, you can search the ads in the back of journals in your specialty for available jobs. Physician recruiting organizations or locum tenens companies also have lists of people and hospitals looking for new doctors. You can find them with a quick Internet search. Their fees are usually paid by the organization you will be joining. Just remember their goal is to connect you with any job, not necessarily the right job.

Go to local and national meetings and introduce yourself to people you might like to work with, or who live in an area you might like to live. Name tags often reveal where they live. Use your contacts on social media for introductions. There are numerous places to find the perfect job, once you know what you want.

After you find a place, you will need to negotiate a contract. Use the chapter in my book “The Doctors Guide to Starting Your Practice Right” or you can sign up for my blog and get a free copy of “Negotiating Your Contract Like a Pro.” Do you have any other ways you would like to share for finding a job? Comment below.

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