6 Things to Know About Medical School Loan Repayment and Your Physician Job Search

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According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the average medical student graduates with nearly $200,000 of student loan debt. This is the median figure, meaning half graduate with even more. For many residents, typically earning less than $60k per year, this figure weighs on them. They may struggle to meet minimum payments as they dream of a day when they can pay off their loans with one big signing bonus… but how often does this dream come true? And what do residents need to know right now to increase their chances of paying off medical school debt quickly?

Every year, the recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search talks to thousands of residents in every specialty, and for 95% of them, paying off medical school loans is a concern. As a physician recruitment firm focused on finding the best fit between employers and physicians, we encourage our employers to offer competitive signing bonuses that may be used for loan repayment and, when possible, participate in programs that qualify their physicians to receive federal or state loan support. We know this will help our clients attract physicians and help physicians achieve their goals of paying off debt quickly. 

While a good physician recruiter can certainly help you prioritize loan repayment in your job search, there are several things to consider well before you begin an active physician job search (and the earlier, the better!): 

1. The Complete Compensation Package

While you may be scanning physician job boards for ads with “loan repayment support” or “signing bonus” in the headline, it’s important to remember that the complete physician compensation package is what will ultimately allow you to repay your loans. Signing incentives are helpful, but assuming you maintain reasonable living expenses, part of your base salary and production-based bonuses can also be put toward your loans. Don’t let an impressive signing bonus distract you from a less than competitive salary or limited earning potential.

2. Signing Bonuses

Many organizations offer recruitment bonuses to attract candidates. Most of the time, these bonuses, funded by the hospital or practice, can be used as the candidate sees fit–for housing assistance, loan repayment, investment, or simply to squirrel away under the mattress. The money may be paid upfront and then forgiven incrementally over a period of three to five years of employment, or paid in installments over the first several years of work. 

3. Loan Repayment Incentives

Like signing bonuses, loan repayment incentives are funded by the hospital or practice. In this scenario, the bonus is designated for loan repayment only. The organization may request your loan documents and make payments for you or reimburse you for payments made. This does not prevent you from making additional payments toward the total. 

4. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

The options mentioned above are all funded by the employer, but there are also government programs to consider. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program requires applicants to maintain employment with a government or other non-profit organization for ten years while making 120 income-driven monthly payments toward paying down the loan. After ten years of service, the rest of the loan will be forgiven. 

Since most healthcare organizations are classified as not-for-profit, this can be an attractive option for new residents who will spend three to seven years in training, earning a relatively low income on which their loan payments will be based. Once training is complete, they must find employment with a non-profit until the 10-year obligation is fulfilled.   

5. National Health Service Corps (NHSC)

The National Health Service Corps provides another government-funded loan forgiveness option for physicians working in primary care, dental, and mental or behavioral health. This program, which has three different options, requires the applicant to work at an NHSC-active site for two or three years, depending on the specific program, and offers $50,000-$100,000 in loan forgiveness. 

NHSC-active employers may be located in urban, rural, or tribal communities with limited access to care. These facilities may include Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), Rural Health Clinics (RHC), Indian Health Services Clinics and Hospitals, as well as private clinics and other community health centers. Not all employers that meet these requirements have submitted the paperwork to gain NHSC-active status, so if considering an offer and planning to utilize this program, make sure you know if the employer has or is willing to apply for the status.   

6. State Loan Forgiveness Programs

Most states also offer loan forgiveness programs to incentivize physicians to work in areas of high need, whether rural or urban. Investigate available programs in the regions you are considering to identify programs that meet your needs. The state program may not be available in tandem with the federal one, but you may be able to move from one to the other once your original service commitment is complete. 

Medical school debt is often heavy on the minds of residents and early-career physicians. However, multiple government-funded programs and employer-paid incentives are available to help pay off loans quickly. If loan repayment is a high priority for you, make sure to start your search early and identify the programs that best meet your needs. Applications have strict deadlines, and once accepted, you may be required to document your employment and income status regularly. So start your physician job search early, stay organized, and let your physician recruiter know that loan repayment is a priority. You will soon have your medical school debt behind you and a lucrative physician career ahead.

If you are starting a physician job search, the recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search is ready to answer any questions you have about the process, including potential loan repayment incentives. Contact a recruiter today or download the Physician Job Search Playbook to get started.  

Exploring All Options: Recruiter Helps Physician With Second Thoughts Find a Better Fit

When an orthopedic surgeon began to doubt his current job offer, physician recruiter Dan Morton counselled him to explore an alternative and make an informed decision. It turned out to be great advice…

How Physicians Can Evaluate Workplace Culture During Their Interview

As a candidate, it can be difficult to discern if the way your interviewer describes the culture is a true representation of how other physicians experience it. Find out how to evaluate an employer’s culture during the physician interview…

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How Physicians Can Evaluate Workplace Culture During Their Interview

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With physician turnover potentially on the rise and a concerning number of physicians reporting burnout, there is increasing attention on the impact of workplace culture on physician retention. The good news is, employers are aware of the importance of a positive organizational culture. However, as a candidate, it can be difficult to discern if the way your interviewer describes the culture is a true representation of how other physicians experience it. 

Workplace culture is often a reflection of the organization’s values, or at least how well those values are embodied by its staff. This is one of many reasons most recruiters stress the importance of finding an employer whose values align with yours. They know what happens when a physician who wants autonomy accepts an offer from an employer known for micromanaging. When values are misaligned, no one involved in the relationship will be happy. 

The physician interview is your best opportunity to investigate an employer’s values and culture. Keep reading to find out how to evaluate an employer’s culture during the physician interview. 

Conduct Pre-Interview Research

Before you agree to an on-site physician interview, research the employer online and try to determine if it is a place you would like to work. Review the mission statement and values professed on the website. Look for news stories about the organization to see how it is viewed in the community. Follow the employer’s social channels to learn more. What kind of stories are shared about patients, staff, and leadership? Do you see photos of team-building activities or employer-sponsored service projects? What charitable causes does the organization champion? 

Keep in mind, an online presence is carefully curated, so it may not tell the whole story. Look for clues about what the organization values. It will be up to you to discern if those values are acted out in the organization’s culture. Your chance to do this is during the on-site physician interview.

Ask Questions to Reveal Culture 

In preparation for the on-site interview, think about what questions you should ask each of your interviewers. You know you want to learn about culture, however, asking your interviewer to tell you about the organizational culture will likely get you a regurgitation of what is posted on the website. Instead, ask questions designed to reveal specific aspects of the culture that matter most to you. If physician autonomy is especially important, ask leaders to provide examples of ways physicians are included in decision-making. Ask potential physician peers if they are free to order tests and procedures as they see fit. Request they share other examples of their clinical autonomy.  

If work-life balance and mental health are a priority, ask leaders about programs in place to prevent physician burnout. Ask about the average physician tenure, and if it seems low, find out why. When talking with physicians, ask if they feel they have adequate support and share examples of such. Does the department or clinic have enough nurses on staff? Is there a scribe on staff? How is the call schedule determined? Is management approachable when additional support is needed? When provided with answers, listen not just to the speaker’s words, but also notice how comfortable he or she seems when talking about the topic. 

Observe Workplace Culture

Of course, words are one thing, but actions tell a more complete story. Use your time on site to observe as much as you can about the culture. Do people seem generally positive and at ease? How do physicians interact with leadership and each other? How do they treat support staff? When discussing the patient community, is everyone respectful? 

Spend as much time as you can with people working at all levels of the organization and trust your instincts. If you see any red flags, keep digging until you get to the truth. 

Trust Your Recruiter

No one knows more about an organization’s reputation than a recruiter. They know from the candidates they’ve placed whether or not the organization follows through on the promises they make during the interview process. While it’s true that your recruiter is paid by the healthcare organization, it is in everyone’s best interests to find a candidate who is both a clinical and cultural fit for the client as both are strong predictors of long-term physician retention.

Leverage Multiple Channels to Learn About Culture 

Evaluating a potential employer’s workplace culture is a critical part of the physician job search process. Be sure to use every channel available to you to learn as much as you can. Conduct online research prior to attending the interview. Prepare thoughtful questions designed to reveal the aspects of culture that are most important to you. Tailor each question to the specific person you are meeting with, depending on their position within the organization. Observe the behavior of those you meet, as well as the surrounding staff and even the patients. If you pick up on any tension, do your best to find out more. After you have seen and heard as much as possible, ask your recruiter to share what he or she knows about the culture of the organization. The recruiter will want to ensure alignment between you and the client, so he or she should be honest and transparent. Use this information, along with your observations and instincts, and you are sure to make the right decision.

If you are searching for a physician job, it is extremely helpful to work with a recruiter who can offer insight into the cultures of organizations that interest you. At Jackson Physician Search, we have offices in four different regions, and our regional recruitment teams would be more than happy to share what they know about the employers in the area. Contact us today or download the Physician Job Search Playbook for everything you need to know to get started.

 

3 Things You Need to Start Your Physician Job Search

When “physician job search” is on your to-do list, it can be hard to know where to begin. So, in an effort to make it more manageable, we’re assigning three tasks to get you started…

rural physician

 

7 Reasons You Might Be Happier in a Rural Physician Job

For those seeking a better work-life balance, more time with patients, lower cost of living, and potentially higher compensation, one option is increasingly attractive–rural physician jobs…

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3 Reasons To Expand Your Physician Job Search

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As Dr. L enters his final year of training as a sports medicine fellow, he is excited to begin his physician job search in Chicago. He plans to move back to the neighborhood where he grew up, and he already has his eye on a physician-owned practice that works with a few of the area’s sports teams. Of course, he will consider other opportunities in Chicago, but he keeps reading about the physician shortage, so he assumes he will have multiple offers from which to choose. 

Are Dr. L’s physician job search expectations realistic? He is certainly right about the physician shortage. The latest data from AAMC projects the nation will experience a shortage of up to 48,000 primary care physicians and an additional 77,100 non-primary care specialists by the year 2034. So, in light of this news, physicians should feel confident in their ability to find a job…as long as they keep an open mind about how and where they practice. 

The demand for physicians varies greatly by specialty and location. For Dr. L, the need for physicians trained in sports medicine in Chicago will not be as high as the need for primary care physicians–and the need in Chicago may not be as great as the need in the upper Midwest. Does this mean he should give up on his dream of working with athletes and building a sports medicine practice in the Windy City? Not necessarily–but there are some worthwhile reasons he should remain open to other locations and types of physician jobs. 

If you are like Dr. L and have a very specific idea of how and where your physician career should progress, we propose the following three reasons to consider broadening your physician job search parameters.

1. Higher Physician Compensation 

With the cost of living generally higher in major metros, one might assume physician compensation would also be higher. However, healthcare organizations in urban areas have far more physician applicants than those in less populated regions. So, employers in bigger cities may not offer as many incentives to attract quality physicians. Even the salary guarantee may be on the lower end. In an article for the NEJM Career Center, JPS President Tony Stadjahar reports an average pay difference of 5%-10% more at rural organizations. However, considering the lower cost of living in rural areas, the impact may be far more than the percentage indicates.   

Okay, so physicians seeking jobs in urban areas may not see as many incentives as those searching in rural areas, but when building a practice, the earning potential is likely much bigger in a more populated area, right? Not necessarily. The higher population does not equate to a higher volume of patients due to the saturation of the market.

“For most physicians, location is the biggest driver of their job search,” says Tara Osseck, VIce President of Recruiting for Jackson Physician Search’s Midwest Division. “They are so focused on a specific city, but they’ll often find the market is saturated, so their earning potential is not what they hoped.”

Bigger cities have a higher volume of physicians of every specialty, so patients have more options. For this reason, it may actually be harder to build a solid patient base and earn a competitive income in an urban area.  

Takeaway: If compensation is a top priority, consider expanding your search outside of major metro areas.  

2. Less Competition 

The physician shortage is a well-documented threat to our nation’s healthcare infrastructure, and yet, it may not feel like there is a shortage when competing for jobs in a major metro area. Many physicians focus their job search on one city and find themselves competing with other physicians who have their minds made up about the same location. These physicians will find significantly less competition if they broaden their geographical search parameters. 

But location isn’t the only area to expand. Physicians who are set on a certain scope or type of practice will run into more competition than those who are flexible about the types of patients they see. For example, Dr. L is completing a fellowship in sports medicine, so of course he wants to limit his scope of practice to this field. But the demand for sports medicine physicians is far less than the need for physicians who are willing to see a wider variety of patients. 

“The biggest need right now is for physicians who can be flexible and provide a wide scope of practice,” says Director of Recruiting, Katie Moeller. “Of course it’s okay to share your preferences for the types of patients you hope to see, but a willingness to take cases outside of your sub-specialization will make you a more attractive candidate.” 

If Dr. L plans to only pursue sports medicine jobs, the opportunities will be few and the competition will be high. On the other hand, if he agrees to treat cases that were aligned with his residency training too, he will find more physician job openings and far less competition.

Takeaway: If your physician job search is stalling, it may be due to high competition for the jobs to which you are applying. Consider broadening your job search parameters to include more opportunities that may be less competitive. 

3. More Rewarding

While physician compensation is extremely important, most physicians also enjoy the personal rewards that come with improving the lives of patients. The feeling of goodwill that comes with acts of service may be compounded in physicians working in medically underserved areas. While these could be urban or rural, it’s worth considering the benefits of practicing rural medicine when you think about expanding your physician job search outside of urban areas. 

In a joint study from LocumTenens.com and Jackson Physician Search on Rural Physician Recruitment and Staffing, rural physicians reported the most common reason for choosing to practice in a rural area was improved work-life balance, followed closely by higher compensation, and a more affordable cost of living. So in addition to the satisfaction of treating the underserved, a healthy work-life balance and a reduced chance of burnout are rewards that few physicians in urban areas can claim. 

The Takeaway: Keep an open mind about the various directions your physician career could take. You may find greater happiness in unexpected places. 

While it’s normal to have a vision of the type of practice you want to build and where you want to live, it’s important to keep an open mind and investigate opportunities outside of your current vision. Work with a trusted physician recruiter who will take the time to get to know you and understand what it is you want most in a job. If this recruiter presents you with an opportunity they think will be a good fit, trust their instincts and give it the consideration it deserves.

If you are a physician preparing for a job search, talk to the healthcare industry professionals at Jackson Physician Search. Our recruiters have the experience and nationwide network to help you find the opportunity that best fits your personal and professional needs. Contact us today or download the Physician Job Search Playbook for everything you need to know to get started.

 

5 physician job search mistakes

[Infographic Guide] 5  Physician Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

Physicians make several common mistakes in the job search that can keep them from getting the job they want, or more likely, cause them to take jobs that aren’t a good fit. This infographic shows you how to avoid these common physician job search mistakes…

3 Things You Need to Start Your Physician Job Search

Whether you are working crazy resident hours or just trying to keep up with your current physician job, it can be hard to find time to make your job search a priority. In an effort to make it more manageable, we’re assigning three tasks to get you started.

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3 Things You Need to Start Your Physician Job Search

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Whether you are working crazy resident hours or just scrambling to keep up with your current physician job, chances are you simply don’t have enough hours in your day to focus on your physician job search. Your perception isn’t wrong–you are likely busier than most people you know! And yet, somehow you must make time to search for your first (or next) physician job. 

When “job search” is on your to-do list, it can be hard to know where to begin. So, in an effort to make it more manageable, we’re assigning three tasks to get you started. Don’t waste any more time scrolling physician job boards until you have the following three things completed, polished, and ready to submit as needed. 

1. An Impressive Physician CV

The task of writing a CV may sound daunting, but again, if you break it into sections, it shouldn’t be difficult. Start with a blank page in Word or Google docs and beneath your name and contact information (address, phone, and email), list the following headings followed by the relevant details: 

EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS
Start with the most recent institution (provide the full name and location) and work backward. Include the years of study, degree earned, areas of focus, special qualifications, and distinctions. 

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
Again, start with the most recent and work backward listing places of employment, locations, and dates. Use bullets to briefly describe your accomplishments in the role, noting procedure and patient volumes, administrative duties, leadership roles, or committee memberships. Offer a concise explanation for any gaps in employment.  

CERTIFICATIONS & LICENSURE
Note states where you are currently licensed and the status of any applications. Also include board certification or status.

HONORS & AFFILIATIONS
If applicable, list any awards, honors, or professional affiliations. 

PUBLICATIONS
If applicable, list publications and presentations.

Your CV is your first chance to impress a recruiter, so it should accurately (and concisely) reflect your professional accomplishments. It should also include personal details relevant to your job search, such as citizenship and/or visa requirements. Proofread your CV for typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors. Some recruiters may assume that sloppiness on the CV could mean sloppiness on the job. 

2. A Targeted Cover Letter

When applying for jobs online, a cover letter may not seem necessary, but avoid the temptation to skip this important step. The cover letter is your chance to provide context for your CV and show the recruiter who you are and why you are interested in the job. 

“Broaden your thinking about what a ‘cover letter’ should be,” says JPS Director of Recruiting Katie Moeller. “It could be an email, a few sentences at the top of your CV, or a short paragraph copied into an online ATS. Don’t worry about the format, but focus on its purpose–to introduce your CV, outline what you are looking for, or explain why you are a good fit for a particular job.”

A good cover letter is crafted in response to a specific job opening and notes the reasons for your interest in that particular job. However, in preparation for your physician job search, you should craft a cover letter template that can be adapted for the individual opportunities to which you are applying. 

While each cover letter must be specific to the opportunity, there are a few standards to apply in every scenario: 

  • Express enthusiasm for the opportunity and note why it is appealing to you
  • Highlight any skills or experiences that are especially relevant to the job for which you are applying
  • If necessary, request confidentiality
  • Be concise
  • Follow business etiquette, but do not be overly formal
  • Proofread for typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors

3. A List of Professional References 

Of course, you have people who can vouch for you, so you may think there is no need to spend time preparing a list of references. And while you don’t need it when first submitting an application, it is worth taking the time now to think through who should be on your list and contact them and ask if they are willing to take calls from prospective employers. If you compile this list before it is needed, you will keep the application process moving forward without delay–something that benefits both you and your potential employer.

Katie Moeller agrees. “Candidates shouldn’t include references on the CV,” she says, ‘However, it’s helpful when they have already prepared a list of references who are ready and willing to be contacted by potential employers. Those references should be prepared to take calls from unknown numbers and respond to email requests.”  

So first things first, who should you ask to be a reference? You want to provide a variety of sources. You will need to include a recent supervisor or manager as well as a physician peer or even an advanced practice provider who you have worked well with.  Other impressive references would be administrators or the chair or chief of medicine at your training program.

Reach out to each potential reference and ask their permission to share their contact information with potential employers who may reach out to them. Confirm that they are willing to respond to these inquiries. You may also want to tell them a little about your job search–why you are looking and the type of employment you are seeking. If you know you will be working to overcome objections–job hopping or gaps in employment–you may want to share your explanation for those issues so they can reinforce your messaging.

Once you have these three things polished and ready to submit, you are ready to set up job alerts, scroll physician job boards, and reach out to a physician recruiter. Of course, if you need further guidance with any of these steps, a recruiter at Jackson Physician Search would be happy to help. Contact us today or download the Physician Job Search Playbook for everything you need to know to get started.

 

5 physician job search mistakes

[Infographic Guide] 5  Physician Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

Physicians make several common mistakes in the job search that can keep them from getting the job they want, or more likely, cause them to take jobs that aren’t a good fit. This infographic shows you how to avoid these common physician job search mistakes…

5 Things to Know About Telemedicine Jobs

Patients are thrilled with telemedicine, in many cases, they prefer it to the experience of seeing a provider in person! So, how do physicians feel about telehealth? And what do you need to know if you plan to practice telemedicine?

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[Infographic Guide] 5 Physician Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

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After applying to medical school, residencies, and fellowships, most physician candidates are well-versed at the submission and interview process. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t prone to make mistakes. They know better than to make the typical job search mistakes–typos on a CV, social media blunders, showing up late to an interview–but rather, it’s the less obvious mistakes that can derail them from getting the job they want, or more likely, cause them to take a job that isn’t a good fit. Keep reading to learn how to avoid these common physician job search mistakes.

 

5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Physician Job Search

These common job search mistakes can keep physicians from getting the job they want, or more likely, cause them to take jobs that aren’t a good fit. Keep reading to find out how to avoid these 5 physician job search mistakes.  

Physician Job Search Mistake #1: Starting Too Late

Physicians who start their job search early will have more options than those who wait until the last minute. JPS Vice President of Recruiting Tara Osseck advises residents: 

“Allow at least one year for a physician job search.”

Allow more than one year if: 

  • You require J-1 visa support
  • A specific location is top priority
  • Your specialty is highly-recruited

 

Physician Job Search Mistake #2: Limiting Your Search

Physicians who insist on a narrow scope of practice or a specific city will limit their options and miss the chance to consider other, possibly better-suited, opportunities. Prioritize what’s most important to you but also identify areas of flexibility–and the more the better. 

Broaden what’s acceptable in terms of: 

  • Location 
  • Practice setting
  • Scope of practice
  • Type of organization

Physician Job Search Mistake #3: Ignoring Red Flags

Most physicians who regret their job choice admit, when looking back, there were a number of red flags. Not every red flag is a dealbreaker, but they do require further investigation.

Red flags to watch out for:

  • High turnover
  • Negativity
  • Productivity imbalances
  • Insufficient technology
  • Unclear terms
  • Vague answers

Physician Job Search Mistake #4: Discounting the Importance of Culture

A big paycheck is nice, but if your values don’t align with the people around you, your job satisfaction will suffer. Use the on-site interview to learn about the organization’s culture. 

In the Rural Physician Recruitment and Staffing Survey from JPS and LocumTenens.com, physicians ranked the following as the top 3 attributes in an employer’s culture:

  • 40% Physician autonomy 
  • 35% Teamwork 
  • 31% Patient-focused

Physician Job Search Mistake #5: Not Leveraging Available Resources 

The recruiters at Jackson Physician Search have valuable expertise to share about the job search process. Not only can they help you with the logistics of what to do and when, but JPS recruiters know their markets inside and out and can share insight about individual organizations. 

Leverage physician recruiters for advice on:

  • Job search timing
  • CV review
  • Compensation expectations
  • Organizational culture

Don’t make the mistake of going it alone. Reach out to the Jackson Physician Search Recruitment Team today.

How to Avoid the Top Mistakes Physicians Make in the Job Search

Whether you are finishing up residency or you are already working and evaluating new physician job opportunities, your physician job search is bound to present some challenges. Learn how to avoid the biggest mistakes physicians make.

6 Red Flags to Watch Out for During the Physician Interview

Physicians often accept positions without taking time to fully investigate the red flags warning the position may not be an ideal fit for their unique professional and personal goals. Here’s what to watch out for…

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Physician Compensation 101: What Residency Didn’t Teach You

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Show me the money. While most physicians don’t go into medicine solely for the high compensation, the six-figure income doesn’t exactly hurt. That said, physician compensation can range significantly depending on a number of factors. A physician’s specialty obviously impacts income, as does geographical location, but what many residents don’t know is how the different types of physician compensation models can also influence income.

Residents spend years learning their profession, but when it comes to getting paid, many have no idea what to expect. Sure, they may have seen average salaries referenced online or heard their attendings talk about what they earn, but as for what part of the compensation is guaranteed versus what is based on production or a percentage of profits–these details aren’t typically shared.

The complexities of physician compensation models could be covered by a semester-long class in medical school. Instead, it is often left to physician recruiters to explain the various nuances of how a physician gets paid–perhaps while presenting a resident with their first offer of employment!

So, in an effort to introduce the concepts earlier in the physician job search process, we present to you this primer on the two primary physician compensation models.

Hospital Employed Physician Compensation Model

According to a 2021 report from consulting firm Avalere Health, 69% of working physicians are employed by hospitals or other corporate entities, a figure accelerating significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These physicians, when first hired by a large healthcare organization or hospital group, typically receive a guaranteed base salary for a set time period (one or two years) and then, presumably after the physician has established enough patients to be productive, compensation shifts to a productivity-based model.

Productivity is measured using wRVUs (work Relative Value Units) which are accrued for every exam or procedure a physician performs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services assign an RVU for each Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code. The more complex the procedure, the greater the corresponding wRVU.

Accrued wRVUs are multiplied by an established dollar amount to calculate how much a physician earns. Some compensation plans offer a sliding scale to incent physicians to accrue more RVUs, that is, to be more productive. For example, the first 4,000 wRVUs are paid at a conversion factor of $40 per RVU, and then, the next 4,001-8,000 wRVUs are paid at $42 per wRVU. The amount employers will pay per wRVU varies, however, Medicare sets the amount they will reimburse per total RVU (total RVU takes into consideration an organization’s expenses and insurance), which is typically lower than what is billed to private insurance. For 2022, the Medicare rate per total RVU is $33.59.

Are you starting to see why a course in med school might be necessary to fully understand physician compensation models? In lieu of that, you can find further details in this Definitive Guide to Physician RVU Compensation from the advisory group Physicians Thrive.

As most physicians are employed by large health systems or hospital groups, it is worth digging into the nuances of wRVU compensation models, but at a high level, here is what you need to know.

Pros

  • The salary guarantee offers stability for new physicians and alleviates the pressure to ramp up in an unreasonable amount of time.
  • Productivity-based compensation gives physicians a sense of control over their income. The harder they work, the more income they will receive.
  • RVU compensation is typically not impacted by how much or how little the organization is able to collect from patients or their insurance companies. The payer mix also does not impact the physician’s income.

Cons

  • wRVUs do not account for time spent on administrative work, meetings, mentoring other physicians, and other tasks without a CPT code.
  • RVU-based compensation can create a culture of competition that prevents physicians from collaborating and supporting each other.
  • Productivity-based physician compensation puts a physician’s focus on the quantity of procedures rather than the quality of care. Some reports suggest this type of compensation is at odds with the movement toward Value Based Care.

Questions to Ask

Is the salary guarantee a minimum base or is it also a cap? That is to say, if a physician exceeds wRVU expectations during the guarantee period, can they receive more than the base salary?

How many wRVUs do most physicians in this practice produce? How does the productivity of physicians here compare to national norms?  

Is there a cap on RVU bonuses? 

Private Practice Physician Compensation Model

“While the percentage of physicians in private practice is waning, it is still an attractive option for many residents, especially those with an interest in business or those who simply want more autonomy in their work,” says Director of Recruiting Katie Moeller. Like hospital-employed physicians, physicians hired by a private practice may also receive a salary guarantee, but the expectation is that the physician will eventually become a partner whose income will be largely tied to the performance of the overall practice. For this reason, physicians want to be sure they are joining a practice that is financially viable.

Private practices, like any business, calculate profitability by deducting expenses from revenue. Profits are then distributed among the partners, perhaps with some percentage paid as bonuses to non-partner physicians.

When interviewing for private practice physician jobs, physicians should look beyond the initial salary offered and focus on the specifics of the track to partnership and the details of how the practice is run, including its expenses. The efficiency of the practice has a direct impact on how much the partners earn, so it is important to ask questions.

Pros

  • Physicians in private practice have a clear view of the factors contributing to their income, that is, the revenue and expenses of the practice. Once a partner, the physician will have some role in influencing those factors in order to increase income.
  • Unlimited income potential. Employed physicians are limited to the hospital’s bonus structure, but as a practice owner, you have the ability to grow your business to the level you need to achieve the income you want.

Cons

  • Research shows that Medicare reimburses physician services billed by hospitals at a higher rate than those billed by independent practices. This is one of many reasons hospitals can afford to pay higher starting salaries.
  • Because Medicare reimburses at a lower rate than private insurers, the practice’s patient mix will impact its profits, and thus, partner income.
  • Practicing medicine is already a stressful job. Physician partners in private practice have the added stress of running a business.

Questions to Ask

As noted, physician compensation will be tied to how well the practice performs, so ask enough questions to gain a full understanding.

How busy is the practice? What is the patient mix?

How effective is the billing department in collecting payment?

What are the overhead costs? How are staff levels determined? What salaries are given to administrators? 

What can I expect to earn as a partner? Are there any opportunities for ancillary income, such as investing in an outpatient surgery center, real estate, or imaging? Is there a “buy-in” cost associated with becoming a partner?

Do all physician owners hold equal shares in the business?

Is there an accelerated track to partnership? 

Are the partners currently considering selling to a hospital or corporate entity? 

Why You Should Do Further Research on Physician Compensation Models 

As residents and fellows enter the physician job search, it is important to have an understanding of physician compensation models. You have invested considerably in training to become a physician, and now that your training is complete, you are more than ready to reap the rewards. However, it can be difficult to weigh employment offers if you don’t have a clear understanding of how physicians are compensated beyond those first years when a minimum is likely guaranteed.

A good physician recruiter has invaluable insight to share with you regarding physician compensation. Physician recruitment firms often have access to proprietary data about physician compensation, bonuses, production, benefits, and time off. They can help you interpret this data to better understand what you can expect depending on your specialty, location, and other circumstances. Physician recruiters can also share what trends they are seeing in the market that may not yet appear in the data.

A physician recruiter can provide a wealth of information to better set your expectations in the beginning and more effectively negotiate your physician contract as your search comes to a close. The more information you have, the more confident you will feel when ultimately making your decision.

If you are embarking on a physician job search, the team at Jackson Physician Search is eager to share our insight with you and ensure you are set up for success. Search physician jobs now or contact us today.

How to Avoid the Top Physician Job Search Mistakes

Physicians make several common mistakes in the job search that can keep them from getting the job they want, or more likely, cause them to take jobs that aren’t a good fit. Find out how to avoid these common physician job search mistakes…

physician job search tips

Physician Job Search Tips: What I Wish I’d Known Before My First Job Search

Studies indicate half of all physicians leave their first job within three years. What can residents and fellows beginning their own physician job searches learn from the job search mistakes of others?

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Physician Job Search Tips: What I Wish I’d Known About My First Job Search

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When Dr. S began his first physician job search, he and his wife knew they wanted to find a position near their families in the Midwest. While searching online, he saw a Primary Care job posting in St. Louis and reached out to the listed contact, Tara Osseck, VP of Recruitment at Jackson Physician Search. 

Tara knew from her first conversation with Dr. S, that he was a great fit for her client, and from what he told her about his priorities, her client would be an ideal employer for him too. But of course, Dr. S had options, and after on-site interviews with multiple organizations, he ultimately went with the organization that made the highest offer. 

Six months later, he reached out to Tara again. He needed help finding a new position.

Dr. S is not the only one. Studies indicate half of all physicians leave their first job within three years. So, what went wrong for Dr. S? And what can residents and fellows beginning their own job searches learn from his mistakes — as well as the job search mistakes of countless other new physicians? 

Start Earlier Than You Think 

Tara Osseck, Regional VP of Recruitment at Jackson Physician Search, cannot stress enough the importance of allowing adequate time for a physician job search. Doctors are in demand, it’s true, but this doesn’t mean the job you want will just be waiting for you at the exact moment you want it. 

“Allow yourself time to pre-assess the market and create a timeline for your search,” Tara says. “I’m always happy to talk to residents and fellows and help them understand what lies ahead. There is a lot to navigate.”

How much time is adequate? The answer varies depending on the specialty and subspecialty, but typically, residents and fellows should begin at least one year prior to finishing training. For those really high-demand specialties, two years is not unreasonable. Some organizations will sign new hires more than a year in advance of their start date.

“I’ve spoken to some very strong candidates who will be finishing in the next few months, but they didn’t make job searching a priority, so they’ve missed out,” says Tara. “Most organizations with a medical staffing plan have already hired from the 2022 class of residents. They are looking ahead to who they need to sign for 2023.” 

There are other reasons to start early as well. Visa candidates must meet rigorous, federally imposed deadlines that, if not attended to, can derail a job search and leave those candidates scrambling.

“We work with a lot of candidates who require J-1 visa waiver support,” says Tara. “I hate to see them settling for a job just so they can get their paperwork filed on time.”  

Define and Prioritize Your Needs

What is most important to you in your first physician job? Compensation, location, scope of practice, work-life balance? Probably, all of the above! Of course, it’s rare to find everything you want in one perfect job. Tara counsels all physicians to prioritize and know what you are willing to compromise on — and what you are not.  

Consider the importance of each of these five areas:

1. Compensation

After years of earning a resident’s salary, physicians may be tempted to simply follow the money, but Tara urges them to look at the whole package. 

“So often they see a big, guaranteed salary or loan forgiveness, and they’re asking, ‘Where do I sign?’” Tara says. “I help them evaluate the whole package by asking ‘What happens after the salary guarantee runs out?’ ‘Are the productivity targets realistic?’ ‘How long do I have to stay if I accept loan forgiveness?’ ‘What if my productivity isn’t matching my guarantee — do I have to pay it back?’”

If the compensation package seems too good to be true, it probably is. Physicians should have some knowledge about the types of physician compensation models and understand the expectations tied to any offer they are considering. Some physicians will quickly discover the trade-off isn’t worth it.

Such was the case for the aforementioned Dr. S. After interviewing with several health systems in a major Midwest Metro, he accepted the highest offer. The money was nice, but he felt like a cog in the wheel of a giant healthcare machine. He learned the hard way that money doesn’t guarantee professional happiness.

2. Location, Location, Location

So, you’ve always dreamed of living in Chicago, or maybe you want to move back to the city where you grew up. It’s normal to have a preferred location, but Tara cautions to keep an open mind.   

“For most physicians, location is the biggest driver of their job search,” she says. “They are so focused on a specific city, but they’ll often find the market is saturated, so their earning potential is not what they hoped.”

Organizations in major metros typically receive more interest in their physician job openings than those in less desirable cities or rural areas. As a result, their offers don’t have to be as competitive as you’ll find elsewhere. Additionally, it may be harder to grow a patient base in a city with 100 other physicians in your same specialty, so the earning potential is not as high. For some physicians, this trade-off is worth it to live in their preferred city. The rest, however, should place a lower priority on location to keep their options open.

3. Scope of Practice

What do you actually want to do day-to-day? A physician’s scope of practice can vary greatly, depending on a number of factors, so it’s important to find an opportunity that aligns with the procedures and services you hope to perform. That said, this too, is an area to keep an open mind. While the recent trend has physicians narrowing their field of specialization, most organizations are seeking physicians who can do it all. 

“The biggest need right now is for physicians who can be flexible and provide a wide scope of practice,” says JPS Director of Recruiting, Katie Moeller. “Sometimes a subspecialization can actually make a candidate less attractive.”

This obviously doesn’t mean your training is worthless, but it does mean you may need to broaden what you are willing to do in order to have more employment options. 

4. Culture

What is most important to you in an organization’s culture? In the recent Rural Physician Recruitment and Staffing Survey from Jackson Physician Search and LocumTenens.com, physicians ranked “physician autonomy” as the most important attribute in an employer, followed by “teamwork” and “patient-focused.” Evaluating these qualities during the physician interview process can be difficult, but good physician recruiters will likely have insight to share about the major employers in their regions.

Once again, the experience of Dr. S provides a learning opportunity. After interviewing with Tara’s client, Dr. S said he felt a good connection with everyone he met and could genuinely see himself working there. Tara was not surprised; based on what he had told her about his values, she was certain her client would be a good fit. She knew from placing other physicians with them, that they treated their physicians with respect and valued their input. However, Dr. S accepted a higher offer from an organization that did not have the same reputation, and of course, we know it did not turn out well.    

5. Work-Life Balance

How much do you want to work? Some physicians are motivated by a productivity-based compensation model and are eager to work as much as possible to maximize their financial success. Others may feel they’ve paid their dues in residency and are ready for a more normal schedule. There are physician jobs for both, but it’s important to know which type aligns with your goals.

“I recently worked with an ENT who responded to my job posting largely because it required minimal call,” Tara says. “He had young kids and felt his schedule as a resident had caused him to miss out on so much. He wanted a job that would allow him to be home at a reasonable time and fully focus on his family. That was his top priority.”

A healthy work-life balance looks different for every physician, but it’s important to know what type of hours will be expected of you in any job you are considering and make sure it aligns with what is best for you and your family. 

Take Advantage of the Resources Available to You

The physician recruiters at Jackson Physician Search have valuable expertise to share about the physician job search process and are more than willing to educate and guide you through it. Not only can they help you with the logistics of what to do and when, but JPS recruiters know their markets inside and out and can offer valuable insight about individual organizations.   

Of course, candidates don’t always follow the advice of recruiters, and many times, they suffer for it. Dr. S surely did, but fortunately, Tara was eventually able to help him secure another interview with her client.   

“I told him he had to trust me this time,” Tara says. “And I needed to know he was serious. He assured me that he would do everything he could to make it work.”

Dr. S was true to his word. He followed Tara’s advice to the letter and soon had another offer from the employer he had originally turned down. This time he happily accepted and continues to thrive with his new organization.  

Of course, not every physician job search mistake can be corrected so easily. So, start your physician job search right with the help of Jackson Physician Search. Contact a Jackson Physician Search recruiter today or download the Physician Job Search Playbook.

How to Avoid the Top Physician Job Search Mistakes

Physicians make several common mistakes in the job search that can keep them from getting the job they want, or more likely, cause them to take jobs that aren’t a good fit. Find out how to avoid these common physician job search mistakes…

physician fellowship

4 Questions to Ask Before You Pursue a Physician Fellowship

An increasing number of physicians finishing residencies are opting to pursue a physician fellowship, allowing them to further specialize their training. However, as we dive deeper into a critical physician shortage, will subspecialization be an asset or a detriment?

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4 Questions to Ask Before You Pursue a Physician Fellowship

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After four years of medical school and three or more years of residency, most physicians are eager to begin practicing. More specifically, they are eager to earn the compensation of a fully trained, practicing physician. However, an increasing number of physicians finishing residencies are opting to pursue a physician fellowship, allowing them to further specialize their training.

According to data from the National Resident Matching Program, 2021 saw more fellowship programs, applications, and appointments than any year since 1993, when the Specialties Matching Services began recording the data. There has been a steady increase since 2001, however, as we dive deeper into a critical physician shortage, will subspecialization be an asset or a detriment?

For some physicians, a fellowship is a non-negotiable requirement of the specialty they have chosen to pursue. However, for others, a fellowship is a way to acquire additional training in a specific area of the field in which they are already trained to practice. It is these physicians who, as they enter their last year of residency, often reach out to the physician recruiters at Jackson Physician Search to gauge their employment options while they consider the pros and cons of extending their training with a physician fellowship.

To help them evaluate the ROI on such an important decision, the physician recruiters at JPS advise them to consider the following four questions.

Will This Fellowship Make Me More Employable?

Jackson Physician Search works with organizations all over the country that are seeking physicians to meet the community demand in their area. As a result, our physician recruiters have a clear view of which types of physicians are most in demand. It obviously varies by location, but as we dive deeper into a physician shortage, more organizations are seeking physicians who can take on a broad case mix and perform a wider range of services.

“The biggest need right now is for physicians who can be flexible and provide a wide scope of practice,” says Director of Recruiting, Katie Moeller. “Sometimes a subspecialization can actually make a candidate less attractive.”

As an example, consider a Family Medicine resident who has spent an additional year training in a Sports Medicine fellowship. Perhaps they are hoping to work primarily with athletes or even find employment with a professional sports team. The reality is, these jobs are few and far between, so this physician has essentially limited their employment options. Even if they are willing to work in a broader practice setting, the fellowship may signal to an employer that the candidate’s ultimate goal is to focus on sports as much as possible, and therefore, perhaps not the best long-term fit.

“I would never say, ‘Don’t pursue a fellowship,’” Katie continues, “But physicians need to do some research and be clear about how it may impact their employability and, of course, their income.”

Will This Fellowship Increase My Income Potential?

There’s no doubt, certain specialties earn significantly higher compensation than others. The latest compensation data from Doximity shows specialized surgeons, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, oncologists etc. can earn two to three times as much as their primary care or general surgery counterparts. Obviously, the opportunity cost of those additional 3+ years of training is more than covered by the high compensation commanded by those specialties.

On the other hand, some fellowships provide a subspecialization that is not as likely to increase income. Consider an internal medicine resident applying to a one-year geriatrics fellowship. The resident knows the population is aging and demand for geriatric medicine will be high. She thinks it is likely to increase her attractiveness as a candidate, but will it increase her income?

The Doximity report indicates geriatrics commands an average compensation slightly below that of an internist or family medicine physician. Looking at this hypothetical situation solely through the lens of income maximization, the physician has sacrificed a year in which they could have earned the compensation of a practicing internist in exchange for training in a field that, on average, pays slightly less than general internal medicine.

Do I Feel Called to Pursue This Type of Medicine?

Income and employability aside, many physicians truly feel called to pursue a specific type of medicine that requires one or more fellowships. If a Pediatric resident who survived childhood cancer feels called to spend their career working with other children fighting cancer, they should certainly pursue a pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship.

Though not always so personal, many medical students and residents feel drawn to pursue a certain scope of practice. This feeling is not to be ignored; however, it shouldn’t trump all other considerations. Physicians should seek advice from a mentor in the field to learn more about the reality of practicing in whatever specialty or subspecialty they are considering. They should also consult with a physician recruiter regarding their job prospects and the types of settings and locations available to those trained in that subspecialization.

Can I Become an Expert in This Area While on the Job?

As discussed, some specialties require a lengthy fellowship, however, if the goal is merely to learn more about a specific area of interest, it may be wiser to find a mentor or practice setting that will allow you to continue your training while on the job. In the case of the internist considering geriatrics, they might be better served finding a practice with a significant population of geriatric patients. In the physician interview process, he should make his interest in this subspecialty known and inquire about finding a mentor within the practice. Similarly, a family medicine resident who wants to incorporate obstetrics into their practice doesn’t always need a fellowship. Rather, they could accept a job with a practice that employs experienced OBGYNs or FM-OBs who are willing (or even eager) to be mentors. By pursuing on-the-job training, these physicians can earn full compensation right out of residency even as they continue their training on a specific area of interest.

Exploring these four questions, and researching to find answers where applicable, can help residents make an informed decision about fellowships. Other points to consider are your personal needs with respect to more years in training, student loan deferment, and the geographical and lifestyle implications of a career in your chosen specialty.

Ultimately, only you can answer the question of whether or not to pursue a fellowship. As always, the Jackson Physician Search recruiters are here to talk with you about your options. Contact a Jackson Physician Search Recruitment Specialist today or download the Physician Job Search Playbook

Physician Job Search Playbook

Whether this is your first job search or one of several during your career, the Physician Job Search Playbook offers a comprehensive, structured approach to ensure your next position meets your most important professional and personal priorities…

rural physician

7 Reasons You Might Be Happier in a Rural Physician Job

With a signing bonus used toward loan repayment, flexible schedule, a healthy work-life balance, and an affordable cost of living, rural physician jobs can be an ideal setting for a young physician (or physician couple) to build both a career and a family…

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Physician Job Search Playbook

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Welcome to your physician job search. Whether this is your first job search or one of several during your career, the Physician Job Search Playbook offers a comprehensive, structured approach to ensure your next position meets your most important professional and personal priorities. Enclosed is everything you need to launch a successful search, including:

  • Preparing for Physician Job Search Success
  • Elements of a Great CV and Cover Letter
  • Working with Physician Recruiters
  • How to Conduct a Smart Job Search
  • Interviewing Best Practices
  • Maximizing the On-site Interview and Community Tour
  • Navigating the Job Offer
  • Conducting Your Own Due Diligence
  • Physician Contract Negotiations
  • Compensation Considerations

 

Jackson-Physician-Search-2021-job-search-playbook

 

Try Our Interactive Physician Salary Calculator

Today’s physician compensation models are like the healthcare industry: highly dynamic and increasingly complicated. Many doctors find it challenging to assess how the compensation package will align with their personal and professional priorities. Try our salary calculator to:

  • Easily access customized physician compensation data
  • Drill down by specialty, state, and type of location
  • Get instant results and have your report emailed to you

3 Ways JPS Recruiters Simplify Your Job Search

  • Nationwide Reach. We open doors to opportunities across town or across the country.
  • Insider Access. We have established relationships with administrators and in-house recruiters. We even know about job opportunities before they’ve been made public.
  • Save Time. We review your CV, prep you for interviews, and guide you through contract negotiation.

Parting Words of Wisdom from the Expert Recruiters at Jackson Physician Search:

  • Do your homework
  • Trust your heart
  • Include your family
  • Be a smart negotiator
  • All relationships take work
  • Every location has positives and negatives

The team of experienced physician recruiters at Jackson Physician Search wishes you the best on your physician job search journey and will be there with you every step of the way. If you’re ready to pursue a new physician job opportunity, reach out to Jackson Physician Search.

 

Thriving in the First 90 Days: Seven Tips for Physician Job Success

To set yourself up for success in this fresh chapter of your personal and professional life, check out these seven tips every physician should put into practice in the first 90 days of a new role…

Five Ways Professional Coaching Helps Physicians Turn New Jobs into Long-Term Success

As a physician, landing a new practice opportunity is cause for celebration. It also signifies the beginning of a new journey – one in which you’re bound to experience some great successes, as well as a few bumps in the road…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.

Thriving in the First 90 Days: Seven Tips for Physician Job Success

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There is a lot at stake in the first 90 days of any new physician job. Not only are you taking on a new professional opportunity, but you’re also likely navigating a relocation. Uprooting your family to a new community can add a layer of stress to what otherwise is an exciting time in your physician career.

When your first day arrives, you’ll be introduced to a new workplace culture, a roster of patients, your leadership team, fellow physicians and providers, and more. To set yourself up for success in this fresh chapter of your personal and professional life, check out these seven tips every physician should put into practice in the first 90 days of a new role.

1. Maintain a Focus on Learning and Growth

Yes, you spent many years in medical school studying and working impossibly long hours throughout your residency, but you still have a great deal to learn. Approach this opportunity with the intention of absorbing as much information as possible by nurturing a growth mindset. Not only will you improve your physician skills, but you’re also more likely to experience increased motivation and a higher likelihood of enjoying your new job.

2. Develop Strategies to Help Manage Your Workload and Stave Off Feelings of Physician Burnout

Like any new job, you will be very busy in the first 90 days as you navigate everything from learning protocols and responsibilities to remembering your colleagues’ names. During this time, nothing can be more detrimental to your success and efficiency than being disorganized.

Sure, chaos at times is normal and expected, but how you handle that chaos will be what sets you apart. From day one, find ways to stay organized and efficiently manage your time. This process looks different for everyone, but a great place to start when it comes to managing your workload is to write out goals and to-do’s for yourself, categorizing them as either short-, immediate-, or long-term. By doing this, you’ll have a tangible list to tackle that you’re able to cross off as you go.

Setting goals also helps you to own your schedule, which is critical to minimizing the risk of burnout. When physicians are asked what is contributing to their chaotic schedules, many cite the amount of clerical work and documentation that they are required to perform. If you find that your day just gets away from you, document your activities for a few days. Once you have determined where the time drag is coming from, you can work on a resolution. Your career as a physician means that you are a natural problem solver, and your time is an issue to be solved, not ignored.

3. Earn the Trust of Your Patients

Don’t underestimate the power and benefit of earning the trust and respect of your patients. A key element of success in your first 90 days is laying down the groundwork to foster a healthy, beneficial rapport with the community you care for. As a physician, people are coming to you in some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives. That’s why you must ensure they have a healthcare provider who will advocate for them, help reduce their anxiety, and empower them to make the best decisions regarding their health.

In doing this, you’ll reap the benefits of building an excellent reputation, earning top patient satisfaction scores, increasing patient retention, and having the ability to provide them with the best possible care.

Here are a few tips for building trust from the beginning, according to Pharmaceutical Journal’s Maria Allinson and Betty Char:

  • Demonstrate active listening without interruption to ensure patients feel their concerns are heard and considered.
  • Practice using effective communication skills – both verbal and non-verbal – so your patients feel respected and empathized with when receiving information that may be difficult to hear.
  • Identify areas where you may need additional training, and don’t be afraid to seek out guidance or advice when you don’t know an answer.
  • Act with honesty and integrity, always making decisions with the patient’s best interest in mind.

4. Build Strong Relationships With Your Colleagues

In a high-stress professional environment, the ability to trust the people you work with and having them reciprocate that trust is a vital component of succeeding in your new role. When there is mutual understanding and respect among a team, you can expect higher rates of engagement, an alignment of goals, and an increase in motivation. So, from the beginning, it is in your best interest to build a strong foundation and put forth the effort to get to know each of your new team members.

Viewing your new role as one contributing part of a greater goal helps to create a more collaborative environment where everyone feels as though their hard work matters. You must respect the idea that every team member is essential and that you can’t be successful without their collective contributions.

It is just as important to also get to know your fellow physicians and work on building those relationships, as well. You will find that you need a strong support system to get you acclimated in your first 90 days, and your physician colleagues play an essential role in that. Having others who understand what you are going through and can be relied upon is a key ingredient to your success and fulfillment as a physician.

5. Make the Most of Your Physician Orientation

According to a recent survey, one in three physicians receive no formal orientation upon joining their employer – a huge issue that unnecessarily leaves many struggling to get acclimated in the first few months of their employment, which can lead to early physician turnover. A formal orientation helps to set expectations, explain policies and procedures, and assists physicians in assimilating socially with their staff.

If your new organization offers a formal orientation, you must take advantage of every aspect of it by writing detailed notes, asking thoughtful questions, and understanding the goals you need to meet to be successful.

However, if you find yourself as the one in three with little direction at the beginning, download your own onboarding checklist and communicate with your superiors to ensure everything from credentialing to setting up patient communications is handled properly. You’ll be glad you took matters into your own hands.

6. Practice Self-care

The first 90 days of any new physician job are bound to be challenging, stressful, and overwhelming. It is of the utmost importance to practice self-care and tend to your mental health, so you can be at the top of your game to avoid burnout and create a healthy level of work/life balance.

Practicing self-care looks different for everyone, so it’s important to find ways that help you de-stress and recuperate each day. When you have downtime, seek out activities that allow your mind to focus on things other than work, such as taking an evening walk with your family, reading a book before bed instead of scrolling on your phone, or doing a guided meditation.

Another important aspect of practicing self-care is getting an ample amount of sleep each night. After enduring long hours on your feet from school and residency, you may have to re-learn how to sleep, since you’ve likely become accustomed to not getting much rest on a day-to-day basis. Try creating and sticking to a routine that ensures at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

Remember: the better you take care of yourself, the better you can take care of your patients.

7. Seek Out a Mentor or Professional Coach

One of the most important things you can do in the first 90 days of your new role is finding a mentor or professional coach. Whether that is someone you formed a relationship with during your training or an experienced colleague at your new workplace, a trusted advisor can be invaluable to new physicians.

A professional coach or mentor has a leg up on things you may not know, as well as things you don’t know, you don’t know.

Having someone who understands what you are experiencing can help you overcome any anxiety you may be feeling in the beginning. A mentor can also help you develop the habits and systems you will need for long-term success. Plus, they can also be a sounding board during difficult times.

You have done an incredible amount of work to get where you are today, but it is just the beginning. The first 90 days in your new position can be used to develop the foundation that assures a long and prosperous career. Don’t underestimate the value of cultivating successful habits – without them, bad habits tend to take their place.

If you’re ready to pursue a new physician job opportunity, reach out to the physician recruitment professionals at Jackson Physician Search.

 

Take Charge of Your Career as a Physician

Take Charge of Your Career to Avoid Physician Burnout

Today, physicians have many more options available to them and a variety of career paths.  Let’s look at different career options physicians can choose to best fit their lifestyle…

Five Ways Professional Coaching Helps Physicians Turn New Jobs into Long-Term Success

As a physician, landing a new practice opportunity is cause for celebration. It also signifies the beginning of a new journey – one in which you’re bound to experience some great successes, as well as a few bumps in the road…

Start Your Job Search

Click the Search Jobs button to browse our current openings.