Research your options

Consider each opportunity’s practice type, compensation package and community

Before you take a job offer, you will need to answer only two questions: Can you work there? Can you live there? Don’t wait to get to an on-site interview before you start investigating those questions. And don’t think that answering "yes" to one of the questions makes the position a match.

Many former residents can attest to the fact that just because you have found a place where you could work doesn’t mean it’s a location where you and your family could live. The recruiter or someone else at the facility can provide you with community information including the area’s educational opportunities, housing suggestions, activities for you and your family, an overview of the local economy, etc.

As you research your options, know that it’s common to view job postings that do not mention salary packages or compensation ranges. Employers can be hesitant to list this information publicly, though they often know the salary range and are happy to discuss it with you at the appropriate time. When comparing opportunities, take into account differences in reimbursements and cost of living. Try to get a feel for the entire compensation package, including bonuses, relocation assistance, loan assistance and benefits. But don’t make money your first topic.

Ask colleagues who have finished their training in the previous year or two about their experiences, too. It’s important to use every resource available.

Questions to ask

  • What are the main reasons you are recruiting another physician at this time?
  • How large is the group, including physicians and staff?
  • How does the call system work?
  • How many hospitals would I be responsible for covering?
  • If there was a reduction in medical staff, why?
  • Would I have the opportunity to speak with anyone who has left the practice?
  • What type of turnover has this group experienced, both with physicians and other staff?
  • What is the salary range?
  • What is the earning potential three-plus years down the road?
  • Is there loan assistance available?
  • How is the group regarded by the community?
  • What community activities are offered that would be of interest to me and my family?
  • What’s the overall economic stability and housing market like in this area?

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