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10 Questions for Changing Physician Jobs

Before starting a physician job search and changing physician jobs, it is important to identify the reasons that a physician would like to change positions and outline key requirements for your next position.

Our physician recruiters encourage prospective applicants to consider the following.

1. Why are you interested in a job change?

The first step when considering a job change is to identify the reasons that you are willing to leave your current job. Have you been passed up for promotions? Do you work hours that conflict with your family life? Are there co-workers with whom you do not work well? Knowing the reasons that you are interested in leaving a position will help you to successfully identify the right physician career opportunities for you.

2. Could these issues be rectified in your current position?

Before beginning the process of finding a new physician job, it is important to identify whether issues faced at a current job are the result of the community, position, or the industry itself.

While it is normal for physicians to experience periods of job fatigue, whether these issues are specific to a particular hospital or practice and help you identify whether you may have more success in a new job. For example, if you have not received raises in a current position is it a result of regional salary trends, physician demand in your area, or has your experience exceeded the salary caps of your employer? Knowing the answers to this question will help you narrow down the options that you consider for your next physician job.

3. How will a job change affect your work-life balance?

Changing physician jobs can have a significant impact on your life outside of work. Hospitals and practices will have different expectations about the number of hours, schedule, and availability of physicians on staff. When considering changing physician jobs, think about how this will affect your time at home, commute, and availability for familial and other obligations.

Commuting to and from work can be difficult depending on your location and schedule. Will your new position require an hour of commute time each way? Evaluate whether or not you are willing to incorporate that additional unpaid time into your daily schedule. Will a new position require you to work evenings and overnight shifts regularly? Does this align with your needs to transport kids to soccer practice or attend school events?

4. Who else is affected by your physician job search?

The consequences of changing jobs often affects more than just the physician. Will your spouse or family be open to relocation? Will this mean changing schools for children or asking a spouse to leave friends and family behind? Before making career decisions it is important to consider whose opinions should be a factor in your decision; then, solicit their feedback about your physician career options and come to a decisions that accounts for the best interests of all involved.

5. What benefits do you require?

What benefits are provided at your current job, and will your new employer be able to meet or exceed them? Families rely on benefits such as health insurance. Compare the options for health, dental, and vision insurance as well as retirement packages before you make a decision.

Additional benefits that physicians can expect are vacation and continuing education options. Ask whether your employer offers education assistance and the number of PTO days per year that can be earned. Compare these policies with those of potential employers.

6. How will a job change affect your career trajectory?

One common reason that physicians identify when changing jobs is the potential for personal and professional growth. Will your new position offer the potential for promotion? Have you reached the highest level of achievement in your current job? Knowing that there is potential to increase position and salary is a significant selling point for physician recruiters.

7. What type of culture are you looking for?

Will your new position offer the hospital or practice culture that you need? Finding a physician job with like-minded coworkers can make a big difference in the job search process. Make notes of aspects of your current job that you enjoy and ask physicians who work for prospective employers whether they experience the same cultural perks.

8. What will you be giving up? What will you gain?

When changing physician jobs, there will always be both positive and negative consequences. Perhaps a new position will mean the end of relationships with current co-workers or a difference in pay. These must be weighed against the new benefits that will be gained such as increased benefits, opportunity for advancement, and the formation of new relationships. Perhaps a loss in seniority at a current position will be traded for a physician job with long-term advancement opportunities.

9. Are you willing to relocate and how will this impact your options?

Physicians know that there are vast differences in opportunities depending on your location. Consider whether or not you will be open to relocation, and which areas are appealing to you and your lifestyle. Regional differences in cost of living and pay scales should be taken into account.

How will the process of moving work for your family and personal relationships? Will you need to sell a house? Does the hospital or medical practice you’d like to join offer relocation assistance? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you identify the opportunities best suited to your specific physician search needs.

10. Are you ready to start over with a new challenge?

Making the decision to change physician jobs often means that a new, exciting challenge awaits. Are you ready to meet new physicians and take on the challenges of adapting and excelling in a new environment? If so, begin your job search by contacting a physician recruiter.