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Physician Job Search Mistake #1 and How To Avoid It

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Physician Job Search Mistake #1 and How To Avoid It

In my last article, I showed you the three reasons employed physicians quit their jobs – the last straws if you will.

In this article let me show you the #1 Mistake the vast majority of physicians make when looking for a position. When you avoid this mistake, you stand a much better chance of landing your ideal job.

Here is the physician job search mistake in a nutshell …


Do NOT search for a job the same way you applied to Medical School or Residency

If you do, your success in this employed position will rely purely on luck. Here is what I mean.

For most of us, the last experience we had of interviewing for a position was our application to Medical School and/or Residency. In this situation, we were basically doing anything we could to be accepted. We were saying, “Pick me, Pick me” and doing whatever it took to make it into the ranks of the chosen.

That is NOT what a job search is about. In fact, a healthy job search turns the tables 180 degrees – it is another Mind Flip.

In your search for a permanent position, you want to make sure this is a place you will fit in – Long Term. In order to do that well you must have an Ideal Job Description and be screening job opportunities to see if they fit your Ideal Job.


So … what is your Ideal Job Description

Most doctors have never created a description of their Ideal Job. We spend our time coping with the areas in our current position that are painful and anything other than “ideal”.

1) Grab a pen and some paper

2) Imagine you have a Magic Wand in your hand … you wave it and … poof, there’s your Dream Job in all of its glory

3) Write down all the characteristics of your Ideal Job in as much detail as possible.

4) Keep it in a folder labeled “My Ideal Job Description.


Here are some of the questions you will want to answer …

– What do you want to be doing – what kinds of patients and cases?
– In what setting?
– For how many hours a week?
– For what pay and benefits?
– In how big of a group?
– Where – in what area of what country?
– With what group culture and work environment?
– What are the characteristics you want in your boss?
– List all the pertinent positives and negative?
– BOTH the things you want AND
– And the things you want to make sure are NOT there

Know that this is a living document. You will add to it and subtract from it over time as you get more and more clear.

It often takes a while for these dreams of your Ideal Practice to awaken from their slumber. Some of the items on this list will be things you have all but given up on in your current position. Put them all on the list now. Your next job can be a much better place, but only if you put your true desires in your Ideal Job Description now.



Power Tip #1:
Write it down in ink on paper.
 Keep your Ideal Job Description in a folder with a nice label in a place you will see it weekly. You will use this description in both your job search and in continuously improving any position you ultimately take.

You are taking something that exists only in your imagination and beginning the process of turning it into reality. The move from thought to physical pen strokes on physical paper is step #1. And I know this is “old school”. Try it for yourself.

Power Tip #2:
Write it down even if you feel it is something that is “impossible”. Write it down anyway. It is a goal to shoot for that will shape your decision in a healthy way. There is no job that is a 100% overlap with your ideal. This does NOT mean you can’t aim in that direction.

There are some specialties where the job market is so tight that you must still work hard to get accepted – radiology comes immediately to mind. This process works best in specialties that are in high demand at this time – especially Family Practice and all other forms of primary care.


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