Medical Recruiting Insights

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5 Most Impactful Physician Employment Choices

Adaptive Medical Partners | Physician Recruiting

Physicians have many choices to make when seeking employment, whether they are starting out in the medical field, or looking for a change after long-term employment. Decisions – both large and small – add up to a life-altering course of action.

Some of these decisions, however, are more impactful than others. They are a good starting point for any physician considering employment.

1. Where to Practice

The geographical location of an employment opportunity is incredibly important. It may not be a factor that physicians consider strongly enough.

New doctors may focus their job search too tightly in terms of a geographical area, choosing location over quality, and that this can lead to less than optimal results.

This focus on geography often relates to a desire for a major metropolitan experience versus a rural practice. Larger metros are highly competitive regions, often leading physicians to make snap decisions and take any job that comes up.

Physicians may also focus on a specific geographical area because they have roots or family connections in the region. However, all aspects of a job — the location, the compensation, and what it will bring to one’s experience and skills — should be considered as a whole.

2. When to Start Looking for Employment

Physicians may be waiting too long to start the job hunt, particularly new graduates.

Waiting too long to look for a job comes with hazards. You may miss out on something spectacular, because you simply weren’t looking. You could find yourself in a pinch for time and money and take the first job that seems somewhat appealing, ultimately leading to dissatisfaction.

Waiting can hamper opportunities. If you find a great job in a different state, for example, you could lose out on it because you have yet to obtain a medical license for that state, and this process can take a lot of time.

3. Where to Look for Job Openings

There are many ways and places to look for job openings. Physicians have several options, including medical journal ads, websites, social media, directly contacting desired hospitals and other medical facilities, networking, and working with a recruiter.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of job hunting style. For a physician desiring a specific type of job – whether he or she is most focused on the location, the skills needed or to be learned, the company culture, or the benefits and compensation – it can be helpful to work with a recruitment firm who can vet listings. A recruitment firm works quickly and efficiently to find the perfect role.

4. What Type of Practice Setting

Physicians may already have an idea of how and where they want to work, but for those struggling to make the decision, it can be overwhelming. There are many decisions to make. Do you want to work with a hospital, a group practice, a different type of employer, or set out as a solo practitioner?

This is an individual decision. Physicians can discover what practice setting would suit them best by considering what hours they want to work, what types of procedures they would like to perform, their specialty, and their willingness and ability to work with others. If one is determined to find a job in a specific geographical area, choices may be limited by the existing infrastructure, too.

5. What Compensation to Accept

Job seeking involves exploring and determining what compensation is ideal. For new physicians, clearing out debt can be a big motivator. Others are inspired by perks like the cost of living in a community, vacation and leave benefits, and professional or educational opportunities. It is up to each physician to determine what compensation to accept, in terms of salary, benefits, and less tangible perks.

Some roles offer loan forgiveness in exchange for a commitment to a community. This can clear out student debt in what may feel like no time at all. Rural and remote communities may be less appealing to some, in terms of geography, but can offer higher pay and less competition. Urban communities are perhaps more competitive and may pay less, but the quality of life is worth considering, too.

All of these decisions are important in determining what roles to seek and what contract to sign. With help from a recruiter, you can make a decision that you’ll feel good about, and that is most likely to work in the long-term.