Job Search Tips for Residents & Fellows

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Job Search Tips for Residents & Fellows

Can you believe it? You are almost there.  If you are a 2020 resident or fellow, all those years of training, sacrifice, 12+ hours days and sleepless nights are (hopefully for some of you) coming to an end! Now you face the next challenge in your professional life…. finding the right job.

In todays, physician recruitment world, it’s more competitive than ever. That’s a blessing and a curse for you. A blessing because you know you are needed and have a lot of options. A curse because you have a lot of options!  In all the chaos of finishing your training, trying to get through the hundreds of email messages and phone calls from all of us recruiters on top of trying to properly vette the opportunities that initially seem interesting.   In the end, for some of you, finding the right job is a daunting task. During your training you have received an excellent medical and specialty education but it seems that learning how to find the right job is not something you’ve been taught.

Yes, I am a recruiter with Pacific Companies, but me and my colleagues also see ourselves as recruitment consultants. Our job is to help our hospital/group clients find good candidates, but also making sure that we are helping physicians and their families find the right opportunity.  In that regard, we do a lot of consulting on recruiting in general as opposed to just presenting job opportunities.

So below are 5 tips that might help you as you begin your job search journey

  1. Start Off with Job Search Parameters (as a guide to help weed out jobs, knowing that your parameters may change as you go through the process)

My guess is during the last year of your training you don’t have much time to travel across the country to go on multiple site visits. I’m also going to go out on a limb and guess that you are constantly being bombarded with email and phone calls from the recruiting community concerning job opportunities? That in itself can be overwhelming.  Therefore, to weed out as many jobs as you can, you should have some general job search parameters.  For many of you that will start with location. I’ll talk more about that below. Finally, try to limit the number of interviews to no more than three.

  1. Know the Facts

Since we are talking about having multiple options you might consider and very little time to see them, I might suggest the following: first, if you are initially interested in a job, get as much of the facts as you can. We know that you practice evidence-based medicine. Why should recruitment be any different? That’s why recruiters at Pacific Companies, we travel to every practice opportunity and community that we represent so we can provide facts and details for a physician and his or her significant other to review. Getting the facts should help weed out jobs that initially look promising but are not.

  1. Consider Being Open Minded on Location

It makes all the sense in the world why you would want to be in Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, etc. All absolutely amazing places to live but are those amazing cities the best place for you professionally? Financially? For example, if you have a lot of student loans, would going to a location (you hadn’t previously considered) offer to help you pay down those loans be more advantageous than the sexy, higher cost of living location with no student loans and lower salary? Perhaps doing so can give you a financial advantage early in your career freeing you up to make other decisions later on in your career?

  1. Communicate

As you go through the process of sorting through jobs and going through the recruitment progression, please communicate with the recruiter, especially bad news. If I have bad news about a job that a physician was interested in, I try to deliver it immediately no matter how uncomfortable it may be to do that. Please don’t be afraid to do the same.

  1. Have An End Date in Mind

Wouldn’t it be nice to go into the last six plus months of training knowing where you will be working? For many residents/fellows, we hear that they target November as the time they want to sign a contract. For others, it’s much sooner, especially those seeking stipend payments while they are still in training. Whatever the case for you, have a target date in mind to end the madness.

I hope that these recruiting tips are, somewhat helpful. If you have any questions about any of the above or any other aspect of the recruiting process, you can always reach out to us without obligation. Additionally, if you would like our third-party opinion about a job you are considering, we’d be happy to talk to you about that as well. And, as always, our services are always complimentary.

Thanks for reading this blog and Happy Hunting!


  • Marc Scarlata, Director of Recruitment | Permanent Division


If you have any questions on how to set your healthcare facility apart from the rest, call us any time and we will share some ideas with you.

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