6 Things Graduating Physicians Need to Do When Starting Their Job Search

If you’re a graduating physician entering your final years of training, the time is here for you to switch into physician job search mode. In order to get the best position available, many graduating physicians start their job search a year before completing training and will make a decision before the end of their final year. But between training, studying for board exams, and conducting a thorough job search, these final years of residency or fellowship can be overwhelming, causing some candidates to forget to do some of the things that will make their job search easier.

Below are six things graduating physicians should do when starting their job search – and why they’re so necessary.

1. Get Your CV in Order

If you’re getting ready to start applying to positions, it’s time to get your CV in order. Make sure you use a clean, standard format (making sure that your CV is in month/year format is key) and maintain consistency throughout your CV. Include all pertinent educational, practice experience, and research to give prospective employers the full picture when evaluating your candidacy.

2. Head Off Objections

Once you apply, most employers will scan your CV for red flags. Some of these include gaps in your CV, program changes, and specialty changes. Make sure to explain any gaps longer than 30 days on your CV, as well as reasons for any program changes during your training. This helps you head off any objections prospective employers may have about your candidacy early on in the process and will keep you from being ruled out before you even have an interview.

3. Obtain & Digitize Your Credentials

Once you are offered and accept a position, you’re going to need to begin the credentialing process. In order to expedite the credentialing process, make sure to request all of your Certificates of Insurance from anywhere you’ve worked, education certificates, medical licenses, and DEA licenses – then digitize them. Having them all at your fingertips will help speed up the credentialing process and remove any delays caused by not having all of your documentation in order.

4. Get Your Practice Priorities in Order

Many graduating physicians enter their final year of training without a firm idea of what they’re looking for once they begin practicing. While you might think your flexibility when it comes to practice specifics will work in your favor during your job search, knowing what you do and don’t want in your first position will save both you and hiring practices plenty of time. Take a minute to figure out what kind of practice you want to join, how much work-life balance you need, and whether or not employed practice is right for you.

5. Research Compensation Norms

Knowledge is power – especially when it comes to compensation negotiations. While every organization will have different compensation structures or benefit packages, you should be able to get an idea of what the standard compensation is for their specialty in any given location. Knowing what the average is (and most importantly, what the competition is offering) can help you negotiate your salary and ultimately decide if a position is right for you.

6. Notify Your References

Checking candidate references is par for the course for nearly every position. Prospective employers will want to speak with your colleagues, program directors, and mentoring physicians in order to get an idea of your past performance and how well you work as part of a team. In order to make the process as easy as possible, be sure to notify those that you’ve chosen as your references that you’ve done so and let them know who will be contacting them – as well as when.

Key Take Aways:

  • Get all of your documents in order – it will make the credentialing process a breeze.
  • Make sure your CV is accurate, consistent, well-formatted, and comprehensive, showcasing why a prospective employer should hire you – and heading off any possible objections to your candidacy.
  • Do your research! Figure out what kind of practice you want to join and what your ideal compensation package would look like.
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