For Millennial doctors who are fresh out of residency or fellowship, the physician job search can be a daunting yet exhilarating process. As digital natives, proficient in technology and engaged on social media, Millennial docs might be expected to conduct their physician job searches mostly online. However, Millennials are using both innovative and traditional methods to find their ideal jobs. If you’re a Millennial resident or fellow, here’s a look at some methods, tips, and motivators you and your peers can use to find your ideal match as an attending physician.
Methods for Millennials – Physician Job Search
- Networking and referrals – Put the word out that you are starting your search. Consider your friends, colleagues, and fellow graduates. Reach out to your current and past medical directors, department chairs, and supervisors.
- Post-fellowship job – If you want to stay at the facility where you’ve been a resident or fellow, find out as early as possible whether you can continue there as an attending physician. Although most fellowships will let you know before your fellowship begins if there will be a full-time opportunity upon completion, some do not. Be sure to confirm potential opportunities 3-6 months before your fellowship ends to provide ample time to begin your job search. If you find yourself in a position to job search, consider locums tenens as a bridge to your full-time employment.
- Locum tenens assignment – Why not “try before you buy?” If you take on a locum tenens assignment, you can have access to several different facilities over a short period of time. You can try out rural or urban settings or discover your passion before you settle in. You can practice with a purpose by taking on a locum tenens assignment caring for veterans at the VA or helping patients with the Department of Defense or Indian Health Services.
- Hospital and practice websites – Research the healthcare facilities in your desired areas of clinical interest and geographic location. Larger facilities often post openings and smaller practices will have contact information.
- Online job boards – Check out online medical job boards like DocCafe.com, HealtheCareers.com, and PracticeLink.com or visit boards run by journals and professional organizations like the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
- Print journals – Peruse print journals for job listings. According to NEJM, 50 percent of doctors look at classified recruitment sources in print to find positions.
- Career fairs – Visit career fairs when possible. Hospitals hold them, and there are even virtual career fairs online.
- Annual meetings, conferences, and expos – Facilities and recruiters are always looking for physicians at these events. Even if you don’t find the perfect match there, networking opportunities abound.
- Email – Sign up for email lists to receive notification of positions available in your areas of interest. Also consider emailing directors of facilities or private practices to inquire about openings.
- Snail mail – Send off a cover letter and resume the old-fashioned way. You may just find a facility that appreciates your adherence to tradition.
- Cold call – Pick up the phone. Call around. Even if your search turns up empty, you’ll be building your network.
- Social media – Turn to social media. See what you can learn on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. Join groups in your specialty, location, or area of interest.
- Online search – Spend time doing a general search online. Look for hospitals, practices, organizations, meetings, and events for leads.
- College career center – Contact your alma mater for help. While they typically focus on current students, they may be open to sharing ideas and connections for networking.
- Physician sites – Use physician-specific websites like Sermo, Doximity, or Medscape’s Physician Connect.
- Recruiters – Connect with a recruiter to alleviate much of the stress around finding the right match, researching licensing requirements, and pursuing employers.
Preparing for Your Physician Job Search
Here are tips to help you get in gear for your physician job search:
- Begin your physician job search at least 12 months in advance
- Generate a list of your wants, needs, and goals for yourself and your family
- Decide what type of practice or facility you would prefer
- Research cost of living, culture, schools, practices, and facilities within cities of interest
- Find out what the licensing process is for your states of interest
- Think creatively, use a combination of methods to find the perfect job
- Keep an open mind, but don’t settle
- Consider having an attorney review documents before you sign
- Be sure the job is a good fit before accepting
So, what do Millennials docs value most in a physician job? New physicians have many similar motivators:
Work-life balance. Decent hours, a reasonable call schedule, and time for family, hobbies, travel, and exercise.
Environment. Ideal size of practice, collaborative colleagues, level of autonomy, type of facility, manageable stress.
Location. Rich culture, restaurants, activities, religious institutions, schools, and affordable cost of living.
Compensation and benefits. Insurance, signing bonus, relocation expense, loan repayment, malpractice coverage, retirement funding, and vacation time.
Technology and innovation. Electronic records system, efficient charting process, balanced patient time versus administrative task time, and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
Consider Locum Tenens
If you’re a Millennial doc who is motivated by flexibility and freedom, think about taking a locum tenens assignment and read our MDA post: Are You in Your Residency or Fellowship? Consider Locum Tenens. You can also check out our physician job search online or call 1.800.780.3500 to be connected with a Medical Doctor Associates recruiter.