Congrats! You have finally completed all of the required classes and training to complete your medical degree. You’ve also completed your residency hours and are officially seeking your first position. You may have already narrowed down your preferred specialties in internship and residency, but how do you choose the right work environment? We have compiled a list of tips for choosing a medical provider employer that fits your career goals and work style.
Imagine Your Dream Job
If you put in all the hard work that goes into completing a medical degree, you’ve likely already dreamed of your ideal job. Try to narrow down your dreams, including the environment, size of staff, and number of patients you work with daily. Think about what’s most important to you when choosing a career. Do you want to work in a busy hospital? Would you prefer a slower-paced clinic?
This is also a good time to evaluate both your short and long-term goals. For example, if you plan to return to school for additional specialization training, you might choose a position that best supports that.
Consider your preferred working hours too. While some jobs may require flexibility, others may allow for more freedom. Physicians who work in a hospital setting may be required to be on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Urgent care doctors may have to work some evenings and weekends, but the hours rarely extend into the middle of the night. Healthcare clinics typically operate traditional office hours, which may be preferred if you don’t want to work nights or weekends.
Evaluating reviews of any healthcare clinics you’re considering, including from staff and patients, can help you get a better idea of what to expect. Pay close attention to how clients rate the healthcare facility to understand your work environment. For example, complaints of slow office staff could also affect your ability to help your patients. Consider other physician reviews of the healthcare facility, including things like work-life balance, compensation, and overall job satisfaction.
Check What’s Available
It can also be helpful to know what jobs are currently available. Certain physician specialties will be more in demand in certain states and cities. It may be useful to get an idea of what job types are available in your area. Otherwise, you may need to relocate.
You can find physician jobs in a number of places, including online job boards, professional society listings, and even cold calls to clinics in your local area. Narrow down your search to find even more relevant positions. If you’re seeking a career as a primary care provider, narrow down your search to look for internal medicine jobs.
Know Your Value
Before sending your resume to local healthcare clinics, make sure you know your value. Do some research to find out what healthcare providers with similar experience are making in your area. Ask former classmates to find out what their compensation packages include and form an idea of what’s considered a good salary ahead of time. Having a desired amount can also help with negotiations. Set a desired minimum you’re willing to take, and get ready to negotiate.
But remember, you should have research and data to back up any negotiations you make. In addition to compiling information for your resume, including your experience and degrees, list any unique skills you possess. This may include skills like research or surgery. Use this information to assist in negotiations.
Consider Your Willingness to Relocate
You may have to relocate to find your dream job. Decide ahead of time whether or not you’re willing to relocate and to which areas. This can help prevent making a relocation decision that you may regret later. It may also be helpful to have a salary expectation that you’re willing to move for, plus a few areas you might consider.
Visit the Healthcare Facility
Once you narrow down your options, it’s worth making an in-person visit. This allows you to interact personally with other healthcare providers, the office staff, and administrators. It also helps you better understand company policies, including how check-ins and medical procedures are handled in that specific office. Company morale is crucial for job satisfaction. An in-person visit is one of the best ways to determine how well an office’s culture fits with your personality.
Medical school is the first step toward becoming a physician. Even after you graduate and complete all licensing requirements, it’s time to decide in which environment to apply your skills. Medical professionals have many career options, and narrowing them down ensures a good culture fit and a high likeliness of job satisfaction.