A new job inevitably means a change in lifestyle, and in the world of healthcare, that change can be rather significant. Whenever you are considering changing physician positions, there are a number of factors you will want to think about first. Here is a look at some of the most important factors you should consider when applying for a new physician position.
Location is extremely important to consider because it affects not only your own life but also the lives of your spouse and children. If you are considering taking a position in a new state, for example, your entire family will need to relocate, change schools, find new work, establish new social circles, etc. In this scenario, it is an excellent idea to bring your spouse with you to your physician interview if invited. You could arrange for your spouse to tour the community or talk to the organization’s recruiter while you are at your interview.
But even if you will not have to relocate for a new physician position, you could very well end up facing a different commute. Will you have a longer commute, and if so, are you willing to carve that much unpaid time out of your day? Will your commute affect your ability to tend to family responsibilities? Ask yourself these types of questions and discuss them with your family before committing to work in a new location.
Compensation and benefits
Take a look at the compensation and benefits you (and your family) are used to receiving. Weigh them out against the benefits that your new position would offer. (If you do not know what the compensation and benefits offered would be, keep in mind that it is typically best to wait until after the first interview to discuss compensation and benefits.) Benefits to think about include healthcare, dental, vision, vacation, and continuing education options.
Compensation is especially important for new physicians to consider. When weighing out your employment options, think about which positions might help you pay off those student loans faster.
Don’t forget to find out what technology your prospective new practice uses. If you are used to using the latest healthcare technology, for example, moving to a new practice that uses older technology might not be worth it to you. If you are a new physician, it is highly advantageous to find work with a practice that uses up-to-date equipment, processes, and techniques.
This can be difficult to gauge when applying for work at a new practice, but there are questions you can ask to determine how a new position might affect your work-life balance. At the interview, ask about expectations in terms of schedule, number of hours, and availability of physicians on staff. Will you be required to work overtime and night shifts regularly? What is the average patient load and time allotted per patient? These types of questions can help you determine what will be expected of you as a new physician at the practice or organization.
A new position at a new practice undoubtedly means a new practice setting. What is the culture like at this practice or organization? Your in-person interview can help you gauge culture very well, and it can also help to talk with physicians who work for a prospective employer. Take an inventory of the cultural perks you enjoy now, and find out if you will enjoy similar perks at your new position.
One major reason that physicians change positions is to take advantage of new learning and growth opportunities. How would your new position affect your career as a physician? Is there potential for promotion? Are you reaching the highest level of achievement in your specialty? Be sure to ask about potential growth opportunities during an interview for a new physician position.