Ask, ask, and ask again

Your potential longevity with an organization is at stake, so it’s essential that you’re bold in your questions. The list may be long and varied, but they center around two main questions: Can you work here? Can you live here? Here are some other questions for starters:

√ What’s a typical workday like?  It’s important to know when your day will begin, when it will end and what’s expected of you during the in-between hours. How many patients must you see, and what kind of time can you spend with them? What’s the mix in terms of demographics and payers? Also, if you talk to or shadow other young doctors, find out how the medical director or department head solicits opinions and listens to others.

√ What’s the call schedule?
Make sure you understand both the frequency and intensity of coverage. If it’s just you and two partners, for instance, you may be covering more often, but seeing fewer patients than if you’re part of a larger call group. A larger group could mean call is less frequent but involves many patients, many hospitals and many more hours. Make sure you get a complete picture of how it works.

√ What’s the community like?  You’ll likely have many questions about the area’s amenities. But also ask about the demographics and economy. Is there a sufficient industrial base to attract new citizens? Because an area’s stability or growth can affect your potential patient pool, it’s important to identify its viability, not just its ambiance.

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