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5 Physician Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

Jackson Physician Search
June 14, 2022

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, 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.

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