Physician focus: Top considerations for new graduates on the job hunt

April 3, 2018 | by Jessica Brewer
Physician focus: Top considerations for new graduates on the job hunt

As a recent graduate, you may be in the early stages of your career, or just starting your job search. You may find there are a lot of choices when it comes to choosing an employer in today’s competitive job market. While it’s an employer’s priority to ensure you are a good fit for the position, there are ways to discover if an organization is a good fit for you, too.

Here are some questions worth asking to help narrow down your choices. 

What clinical setting is right for you?

Choosing between an academic or for-profit hospital setting, private practice or medical group isn’t as cut and dry as you may think. A common misconception is that research, teaching and publishing opportunities are only available through academic hospitals. This simply isn’t true. A variety of organizations support physicians in pursuit of their clinical goals, including quality improvement, mentorship and leadership. Ask a potential employer what opportunities and systems of support are available to help you achieve your career ambitions.

While private practice groups may promote greater autonomy, 80 percent of clinicians choose hospital or medical group employment. Larger organizations are able to achieve certain economies of scale, which translates to enhanced benefits for you, including:

  • Increased time off
  • Reliable scheduling
  • Administrative relief
  • Robust resources
  • Higher pay and increased benefit packages

What opportunities will you have to interact with other clinicians?

Increased physician demand and a focus on providing an integrated continuum of care creates opportunities to share responsibilities between a variety of clinician types. You can gain a better understanding of a work environment by learning more about the team you are joining.

Advanced practice providers are increasingly important members of the care team, creating opportunities for physicians to spend more time with patients, and are associated with an improvement in patient satisfaction and reduced health care costs. Depending on the clinical setting, other clinician types, such as therapists, counselors and nutritionists, can bring additional convenience to you and your patients.

Another important aspect to consider is relationships with other specialists. Newer physicians may find value in having access to a network of experienced clinicians to tap into for extra support and mentorship, while an affiliation with other specialists can improve continuity of care across referrals.

What organizational values speak to you?

You will find a wide variety of organizational cultures, business models and patient care philosophies across private practices, hospitals and medical groups. These factors shape the way an organization engages with its employees, as well as patients and other partners. Make sure to gain a true understanding of an organization’s values as you will be impacted by these philosophies daily. Areas you should consider include: 

What are your top priorities when it comes to job benefits?

Benefit packages are a way organizations can differentiate themselves from competitors. You don’t want to wait until late in the interview process to review an organization’s benefit offerings. Common benefit packages include:

  • Health insurance
  • Short-term and/or long-term disability insurance
  • Retirement savings plan
  • Paid time off and/or sick leave

Additional benefit perks may include:

  • Support services, such as an Employee Assistance Program or AFLAC
  • Increased PTO over time
  • Discounted stock purchase plan for public companies
  • Continuing education allowances
  • 401(k) matching
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Relocation assistance
  • Tuition reimbursement

Can you see yourself staying with an organization long-term?

The final, and perhaps most important factor to consider is how long you see yourself staying with an organization. In many case, seniority leads to promotions, increased benefits and higher pay. Having just left medical school, starting your career is likely one of many new journeys in your immediate future. Larger organizations have increased capabilities to accommodate the new life you are building, including:

  • Multiple locations
  • National presence
  • Variety of clinical settings
  • Growth opportunities
  • Professional development and leadership training
  • Ability to switch between part time and full time positions


Is MEDNAX a good fit for you?

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