All the years spent getting A’s so you could get into college, maintaining A’s so you could get into med school, and outshining your classmates so you could get into the residency of your choice have brought you to this turning point. You will finally be the one who decides your next move—the place where you begin your practice.
If you’re feeling apprehensive about making that choice—one that can influence the course of your career—you’re not alone. The biggest reason physicians succeed in their first jobs is because they do what it takes to find practices that match their values and beliefs. You can find your place too, with the right direction.
Finding a practice with the right workplace culture, size, and location—one that’s a good fit for you—is all about preparation. We designed Vituity’s Senior Residents’ Weekend to support residents in your transition from residency to practice and help you find a place where you belong. We offer guidance to all residents, no matter where you are headed.
Senior Residents’ Weekend starts with a one-day intensive workshop, where a group of panel speakers work to strip away your fears about the job search, how to evaluate salary offers, and handling the first few months of practice. They review various employment models for you to consider and share successful interviewing, negotiating, and financial planning tips that can help you in any practice situation.
To give you an idea of what you will learn, here are some of our favorite takeaways from the presentations:
Leaving the security of your residency faculty behind can be tough. Consider assembling your own “advisory team” to support and mentor you as you begin your own practice.
Many physicians coming out of residency express a preference for the simple employment model. But working as an independent contractor or joining a physician partnership can have added benefits that are not always so obvious. Once you understand the different models, you’ll know which one is right for your goals and values.
If you enjoy teaching, learning, and researching, consider taking your first job at a teaching hospital. The adage is that it’s easy to leave academia, but hard to come back to it later!
Malpractice insurance exists to protect you, but you can also take steps to limit your professional risk. These include careful documentation, cognitive pause, taking steps to prevent burnout, and following a rigorous decision-making process.
A key to retiring early is saving early. While many new physicians consider employment to be the “safest” model financially, physician partners may have access to certain financial instruments that can help them meet their retirement goals sooner.
The second day of Senior Residents’ Weekend presents the opportunity to schedule mini-interviews with Vituity Medical Directors from all over the country. Think of interview day as job search speed dating. You’ll be scheduled to talk to up to 14 different medical directors for 20 minutes each based on your geographic preferences, so consider this carefully.
When it comes to interviewing, realize that Medical Directors are looking for a good fit as much as you are. Turnover is costly, so they want to make sure the attendings they hire and train will stay. You can take the lead and prepare questions designed to assess compatibility—and have your own answers ready.
Questions about the Medical Directors’ management philosophies, the opportunities they offer for leadership, and how their teams interact with other specialists in the hospital can help determine if you’re both on the same page. Getting your interviewers to talk about themselves is a great way to assess whether they are people you’d want to work for in a stressful environment. This is your future, and the more advanced planning you do, the more you turn a useful event into an invaluable one.
This post originally appeared at FeminEM.org. First reprinted at Vituity.com July 12, 2018. Last updated October 7, 2019.