You’ve completed now decades of arduous training. It’s time to take the next step in your career! As a new attending physician, you’ll quickly see that there are more openings than people to fill them. Chances are, you’ll be offered numerous opportunities to practice medicine. But what’s right for you?
This blog series explores the most important questions to ask or consider during your job search. Over the next few weeks, these are a few examples of the topics we’ll tackle:
- Medical malpractice
- Retirement planning
- Health insurance
- Hospital contracts
- The interview process
- Continuing education/career advancement
Today, we’re looking at the priorities you will need to identify with regard to what you’re looking for at this stage in your career. We’ve realized that the following are the individualized factors everyone must consider. Read on to make sure you’ve thought through each of these factors.
Do you want to stick close to home or travel the country? Are you longing for the beach? The mountains? The city? Somewhere exotic? Do you want to have dinner with your in-laws every Sunday? Do you want your children to grow up with their cousins? Or are you looking for a new community of people? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can put a pin on the map. Or lots of pins, in lots of places if you want to be a traveling physician.
Medical Practice Settings
Consider what type of practice you desire – you may find a little of what you’re looking for in each setting, but these are typically your options when selecting your practice type.
Group Ownership – All members are created equal, and all members have a meaningful voice in how the group operates. Physicians make decisions about benefits, profits, etc. Groups also handle the business end of the practice, such as coding, billing, contract work, recruiting, marketing, human resources, etc.
Hospital Employee – Directly hired by the hospital, the physician negotiates their own terms of employment with hospital administration. Priority responsibilities are patient care, and the physician is not responsible for financial or business duties. As a hospital employee, you are subject to the schedule set by the hospital.
Independent Contractor – Physician contracts with one or more hospitals and has autonomy to set own schedule, but is responsible for taxes as well as benefits such as health insurance, parental leave, retirement investments, etc.
Do you want to commit to staying in one place for a long time, or are you considering moving around? How will your plans work with the group model you’re considering?
Hours Per Month
How many hours are expected of you per month?
How long and frequent are the shifts?
Number of Patient Encounters
You will decide how busy of a hospital you want to work in – as well as the setting. Some urgent care centers see 7,000 patients per year, while others see 70,000 per year.
Once you have made these personal decisions, you’ll then be ready to consider and compare other features included in packages and offers.