By Andrea Peet, TeamHealth Senior Physician Recruiter
Residency is almost over – It’s time to make that light at the end of the tunnel a reality.
Are you nearing the end of your residency? Is it time to put a curriculum vitae (CV) together and look for that first attending job? Hopefully, these tips will help guide you through that scary world out there. You have been focusing on your academics for the last 11 plus years. You finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s time to find the perfect attending position for you. When do you start? Where do you start? What is important in your search?
It is important to start your search 12-24 months out of your residency completion. This will allow you time to identify the items that will be important in your job search. The best place to start is by identifying the markets in which you want to live and work. Research the hospitals in that area and see if they align with the type of practice you want to work in, whether it’s in an academic setting, community setting or rural area, make sure you’re searching for facilities that fit your wants and needs. When looking at areas based on states, keep in mind the licensure process for each state can be different and may take up to nine months to secure your license.
This is also the time start crafting your resume (CV) and cover letter. You’ll likely end up drafting one focused more towards academics and one focused towards community health. This would also be a good time to identify who you will use as references. Make sure to reach out to let them know you are looking at positions and that they will be contacted by recruiters and hospitals – a heads up is always a polite courtesy. Networking with these individuals to see who they know in your market of interest is also a great idea. Review your alumni list with your program and see if there are any of your predecessors in the markets you are targeting. Attend residency sponsored events and learn about different companies in the market. If you are attending ACEP or ACOEP scientific assemblies, attend the resident job fairs.
Now would be a good time to reach out to the recruiter in that area. Send them an email with your cover letter, CV and the best times to speak. Once you have scheduled your phone interview, make sure you research the companies and come prepared with questions. If at this point you find the hospital a desirable location, set up an on-site visit. This will allow you to meet with the medical director of that department and tour the hospital. Do you like the way it was set up? Did the individuals working there seem to be happy? Did you connect by phone with any recent new hires of the practice?
Once you have completed all your interviews, make a list of your pros and cons. Decide what is best for you, your family and your happiness. Once an offer is made, review the contract and ask questions if needed. Are you getting assistance with relocation and/or a sign on bonus? If yes, how will these be paid? Is the position an independent contractor position or an employee position? What benefits are included? Who pays for your malpractice coverage? Keep in mind most desirable markets don’t come with big paychecks or sign-on bonuses. However, these areas could potentially lead to further career growth, so you’ll want to take that into consideration as well.
Congratulations on all your accomplishments! We know you’re ready to get out and do great things in the world. As a quick reference, below are the top 10 things you’ll want to remember when transitioning from your residency. Good luck!
- Know what you want – Is it location, academic vs. community, acuity/trauma, money, independent contractor vs. employee. Prioritize these items in order of preference.
- Curriculum vitae (CV) –This will take the place of a resume. It will include information such as education, academic training, research, awards, publications hobbies outside of work and other achievements. Make sure to download our CV checklist!
- Cover Letter – This will give you the opportunity to express your interest in the position and why you think this is a good match, just make sure you change it for each job application.
- References – It’s a good idea to have three to five references. Program director, facility medical director, peer and/or nurse manager of department.
- Network – Who do you know in the area? Visit your alumni page, peers from medical school or residency. Attend local sponsored residency events to get to know the company and people.
- Research – look up the area you are considering, what type of positions are open at what type of hospitals, who does the hiring for that department, are the schools systems good for families, process for obtaining a license in desired state, housing market, and other hobbies or activities. What does your spouse think? Will they be happy?
- Contact- Identify who the recruiter/hiring leaders is at the locations/regions you are interested in.
- Interview – Look polished, clean pressed suit or acceptable attire, if you are coming straight from a shift and they know that, scrubs are okay but really, professional attire should be worn.
- Follow up/Thank you – Send the recruiter and hiring leaders an email or note in the mai, thanking them for their time.
- Contract Time – This is where you will accept the offer and review your contract. ASK QUESTIONS, it’s okay. This should be typically signed no later than six months out from completing residency.
If you’re interested in learning more about great opportunities at TeamHealth, click here for more information and to view current job listings, or contact one of our helpful recruiters for further inquiries. We hope to hear from you soon!