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7 Things to Know About Finding a Physician Job in 2021

February 09, 2021

7 Things to Know About Finding a Physician Job in 2021

By Jennifer Larson, contributor

It’s a new year, and you may be thinking about a fresh start. If you’re a physician contemplating a job change in 2021, Leah Grant, divisional vice president for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician placement firm, has some valuable advice for making the most of your job search.

7 tips for physicians seeking new practice opportunities

1. Identify and know your non-negotiables on the front end.

What matters most to you when choosing a new physician job, and perhaps a new place to live? What are your top priorities? Start making a list and narrowing them down. Grant noted that it’s probably a good idea to limit your non-negotiables to your top three, or it might become too hard to find a position that checks the most important boxes.

Typically, the “big three” are location, compensation and quality of life, which might entail more time with your family, no call, etc. You might want to rank your priorities, too, so you can see how a potential practice opportunity stacks up with your needs.

2. Be prepared for the virtual environment.

You don’t have to be a technology wiz, but in 2021 you do need to be competent and comfortable using technology. For example, you may need to do a video interview through a Zoom call or Microsoft Teams meeting. In fact, Grant placed many physician candidates in jobs last year who interviewed exclusively through online platforms.

That’s a good reason to start learning how to make the best impression virtually. Practice so that you feel comfortable sitting in front of a screen and interacting with potential employers, including making good eye contact.

“Treat it as if you were there in person,” said Grant.

3. Prepare to make a good professional impression.

It’s time to take stock of your online presence. There’s a good chance that a potential employer will do a Google search on you. Make sure that they find information that will create and confirm a positive impression of you. Additionally, make sure your social media presence is positive. Update your LinkedIn profile, as well as your CV, so they accurately reflect your skills and qualifications.

4. Don't work with too many recruiters.

A physician job search can get overwhelming if you have calls, emails and other contacts coming at you from all directions. Working with just one recruiter at a time can streamline the process and make it easier on you to navigate. Your recruiter will get to know you and can really focus on opportunities that are right for you, so you don’t get waylaid by things that don’t meet your needs.

5. Be knowledgeable about the best way to negotiate a contract.

You may find a great job opportunity and decide you’re ready to sign on the proverbial dotted line. But before you get to that point, it’s crucial to understand the contracting process. Grant suggested that this is the time to reaffirm your priorities. If you want something spelled out in your contract, be sure to say so as early as possible. It’s not a good idea to keep coming back and trying to add one more thing before you sign.

Plus, your employer may not have the ability to completely change a physician contract for every candidate.

“So, you want to be mindful about how many different changes you’re asking for,” said Grant.

6. Don't be afraid to see what's out there.

It's always a good time to look. You never know what exciting new physician jobs might pop up that appeal to you. You don’t have to commit to anything to look.

“It is never going to hurt to call a recruiter and ask what’s out there,” said Grant.

7. Don’t delay your job search if you know you’re ready to make a change.

According to Grant, the current employment market for physicians is very competitive, especially for specialties negatively impacted by the pandemic. So, if you’re thinking about making a move, don’t delay your search any more than you have to.


8 Questions Every Physician Should Ask in a Job Interview

6 Tips for Successful Video Interviews

2020 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives and the Impact of COVID-19

MERRITT HAWKINS is the nation’s leader in physician recruitment and placement, and our team of experts can help you take the next step in your career.


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