< Relocation Archives - Jackson Physician Search

Why Physicians Should Consider Flyover States

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We’ve all heard the references to “flyover” America when talking about cities and states in the central regions of the United States. Often times, these so-called flyover states are overlooked by physicians and advanced practice professionals when considering their next job opportunity. Doing that might turn out to be a bigger mistake than you realize.  Considering opportunities in less populous states and rural communities can be the best way to land a job that provides a combination of work/life balance and quality of life that may not be found in sprawling urban areas. With physician burnout and unmanageable work schedules increasingly at the forefront, now is the time to discover parts of this country you never knew existed.

The Reason Why

Your career should not be all about a big salary. A $380,000 salary in San Francisco or “the Big Apple” won’t get what you can with $240,000 in Duluth or Colorado Springs. Imagine being able to practice medicine outside of a bureaucracy, spending time with patients instead of managing quotas, and then actually having a life outside of the workplace.  Does that sound like something you can get into?

Let’s take a look at states that have wide open spaces and a lot of physician opportunities for those who are ready to make a change.

Minnesota

The ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’ is an outdoor lover’s dream. From recreational water sports activities in the summer to ice skating and fishing in the winters. In Minnesota, weekend retreats to a cabin on the lake is a family tradition that goes back generations.  One fact about Minnesota that you may not know is that it has one of the most highly educated populations in the country, second only to Massachusetts.

Wisconsin

Another state with a variety of physician and advanced practice opportunities is the ‘Dairy State,’ Wisconsin.  If you are a fan of cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products, you can’t go wrong here. From the quaint charm of Egg Harbor to the bustling metropolis of Milwaukee, Wisconsin has something for everyone. Year round festivals, professional and college sports galore, and outdoor activities of all types, Wisconsin is a great state to raise a family.

Colorado

Do you like to ski and wish you had more time for that and other winter sports? Colorado is famous for being the ultimate ski destination. Finding your physician opportunity in the ‘Rocky Mountain State’ means that you will not only be close to world-class ski resorts but actually have the time to enjoy them. Coloradans are health fanatics, and there are plenty of outdoor fitness opportunities allowing you to enjoy the more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Texas

While not typically included in discussions of flyover states, there is much more to Texas than the big cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin. Rural opportunities for physicians abound in Texas, and many are in and around locations in the southern part of the state. If you have always wanted to be near the water, the Houston/Galveston area is situated near the Gulf Coast, while farther inland the beauty and history found near San Antonio is hard to pass up. Texas is very financially friendly as the economy is booming and homeownership is easier than in highly taxed and more regulated states.

Start Looking

Now is the perfect time to reconsider your career options. Opportunities reside all over the country and if balance is something that is missing in your life, take a flyer on a flyover state and see if it is right for you.

Jackson Physician Search is an industry leader in placing physicians and advanced practice professionals into opportunities that provide them with the work/life balance and professional growth they need.  Get started by contacting one of our physician recruitment professionals today, or use our powerful job search tool and discover some of the incredible opportunities we have available.

JPS Recruiters Live: Optimizing for Your Children’s Education

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You can watch the recording of this installment of JPS Recruiters Live on our Facebook Page. (10 mins.)

Often, we get asked by doctors that are looking to relocate for help with assessing schools and school districts. We know that the education of their children is very important to them. At Jackson Physician Search, we actively research school systems, neighborhoods, cost of living, and other information so we can match physicians to jobs that fit their career and personal needs.

Resources for Assessing Schools and School Districts

There are plenty of good websites for checking the general “temperature” of a school or school district. It’s important to remember that the ratings are primarily based on standardized test scores. When there is additional information on student outcomes and growth or college preparedness, that is also weighed. Not all states report on those metrics though. Some sites use datasets such as community demographics, real estate sites, Wikipedia, etc. Keep in mind, sometimes that data is out of date or irrelevant, so be sure to check the source date of the information.

Links

  • nces.ed.gov/ – This is a great site that has information about public, private, and charter schools. There are many reports, with lots of data, that you can use to evaluate schools.
  • schooldigger.com – This site has its own ranking system called the “SchoolDigger Rank”. Their database has detailed profiles for over 136,000 schools. They track enrollment data, test scores, crime data, real estate data, etc.
  • greatschools.org – GreatSchools is the leading national nonprofit for school ratings. They also have articles, tips, and interactive tools to help parents support their children’s academic efforts.

What’s Most Important in Assessing Education Opportunities

There are more important factors than picking the “right” school. There is a strong correlation between academic achievement and the highest level of education of the parents, especially the mother, and the emphasis placed on learning in the home. When there is an expectation of academic excellence in the home and a real-world example of academic excellence, students have a much higher probability of academic success. This is great news for the families of physicians and scholars like yourself.

The School Is Only One Element of Academic Success

In many ways, it is more relevant to research specific resources versus overall school rating. Some schools offer resources such as before and after-school programs, and special needs assistance. If your student is college bound, they need to be prepared to differentiate themselves from other college applicants. At Harvard University, one of their four main considerations for admissions is interests and activities. More specifically, extracurricular activities, athletics, and community involvement. Your work-life balance can also have an impact on academic success. How much time will you have to get kids to soccer practice, help them with homework, and teach life lessons?

If you have more questions about how our expert physician recruiters research and evaluate the positions we staff for, please reach out to us using the contact us form below.

Take Time to Assess Your Surroundings During Your On-Site Interview

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With competition for your services as a physician being so fierce, healthcare organizations are increasingly looking for individuals who fit their culture in addition to having the necessary skills to succeed.

While administrators are going out of their way to attract and hire doctors who are a good fit, it is important that you do the same for yourself. If you are being brought in for an on-site interview, it is a good indication that they think your values and skills are a match for the organization.  Don’t pass up the opportunity to do some reconnaissance of your own about the organization as well as the community.  Is it a place you can envision settling into?  A place you might even want to raise a family?  Fortunately, like anyone who is in a high-demand career, you have the opportunity to focus on finding a job that fits your career and life goals.

Think About Your Time Away from the Job

If you are going to avoid burnout, you have to have access to things that you like to do to recharge your batteries.  Do you like to fish and hike? Then check out your proximity to parklands.  Maybe you are a cycler or a runner.  You can search online for local running or bicycling clubs. Another underutilized resource for individuals who are relocating is the local chamber of commerce.  People work for the chamber because they know everybody in town and are connected to everyone who matters.  You can connect with them online, it’s a great place to start your research.

Spend Some Time in the Community

Make your way around the downtown or take a drive in the suburbs, it is important to get a feel for the speed and vibrancy of life there.  Strike up a random conversation with the person who is filling up their gas tank at the pump next to you.  You have made your career by gleaning health information from strangers, it is just as easy to learn about non-health related things in the same way.

Assess the Facility Environment

What are your thoughts as you walk through the front doors? Do the folks at the front desk have a smile on their face?  How about the other clinicians?  What can you read from their body language?  Head over to the coffee shop or the cafeteria and strike up a conversation with any physicians or residents you come across.  You might be surprised what you can learn from a little human intelligence, and it will help you in the interview process.

Now, that you have your own sense of the community, the facility, and the people who work there, there is a frame of reference for you to lean on during the interview.  You may have learned something that you want to confirm or ask about. The members of the interview team will measure you up at the same time you can measure them against your recon experience. While it may feel a bit like a spy novel, we are talking about your career and your happiness and engagement in that career.

Jackson Physician Search recruiters personally visit their client’s location so they can help candidates accurately evaluate fit.

If you want to know more about any of our physician opportunities, please contact us.

How to Make Your Next Physician Practice Feel like a Vacation

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If that headline grabbed your attention, it’s likely that you are either on vacation or wish you were! By definition, vacation is the time you spend on travel or recreation – away from work. So, how is it possible to make your next physician practice feel like a vacation?

If you pick the right practice in the right place, it is possible to enjoy some of the feelings, sensations, and experiences you have on vacation on an everyday basis.

It takes a bit of personal introspection and a good guide who can help you align what makes you happy on vacation with a job that delivers those same satisfiers both within the practice and outside of work.

First, take inventory of what you love about vacation (other than not being at work)!

  • Time: How do you spend your time on vacation? Do you plan to see, do or learn new things? Do you enroll in a course or take on a project? Do you recharge through reading, contemplation or the fine art of “doing nothing”?
  • People: Describe the energy you get from the people you are around when vacationing. Do you find solitude restorative, or do you enjoy traveling with a group? If you have a family, what are things you do together, and how do you like to spend any alone time?
  • Surroundings: What are the must-haves for your vacation destinations? Do they include access to water and mountains, or nightlife and culture? Do you relish challenging exercise or spa treatments? Are you all-in for local cuisine, history and notable sites? Maybe there is a hobby or special interest at the top of your list.

Next, explore how a potential practice opportunity and community align not only with “Dr. You,” but also with “Vacation You.”

Do not be afraid to ask your recruiter lots of questions. They understand that your medical skills – which can be applied in nearly any setting – are in high demand. Their goal is to differentiate each opportunity by showing you how they can meet your goals for quality of practice and quality of life.

Give them plenty of insight about your priorities so that they can customize the schedule for your interview. You will need ample opportunity to see how the amenities and culture – of both the organization and the community – will contribute to your overall work/life experience. Remember, you want to see and hear about the things that will evoke the same energy you feel on vacation.

Is the practice team-based or mostly autonomous? What group activities or committees are part of the job? Is time available for research, continuing education, medical missions or sabbaticals?

Does the facility offer yoga class, hiking trails, a meditation garden or gym? If there is onsite daycare, you may be able to drop in for lunch or special activities with your children. Do colleagues and their families enjoy any similar hobbies and interests as you and your family?

The U.S. is full of best-kept secrets. Some may be minutes away from fishing, horse trails, wineries or water sports that you normally must wait to enjoy on vacation. There may be fabulous dining and entertainment nearby that will make weekends special, or enough local history to allow you to be a tourist in your own town.

When you identify the restorative aspects of vacation that are unique to you, the choice of practice opportunities will become clear. The sum of positive team dynamics, small daily pleasures, local amenities and weekend excursions will go a long way toward making work feel more like a vacation.

Jackson Physician Search recruiters personally visit their client’s location so they can help candidates accurately evaluate fit. If you want to know more about any of our physician opportunities, please contact us.

Related Articles

Solving the Physician Work-Life Balance Equation

6 Ways Physicians Can Reinvigorate Their Career

JPS Recruiters Live: The Benefits of Physicians Going Country

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You can watch the recording of JPS Recruiters Live: The Benefits of Physicians Going Country on our Facebook page. (11 mins.)

Benefits of a Rural Practice

There are three main benefits of practicing in a rural area: an elevated skill set, quality of life, and compensation. Even though you probably haven’t considered relocating to a rural setting, you should.

About 10% of the physician workforce currently practices in a rural setting. What does rural medicine or practicing in a rural setting mean?  Rural literally means, in, relating to, or characteristic of the countryside rather than the town. To a physician, it means that you’ll be practicing either in a remote geographical area or in an area with a small population. Only about 20% of Americans live in a rural area.

Elevated Skill Set

The first benefit of practicing in a rural setting arises from the location of the facility where you’ll be practicing. Rural populations have limited access to advanced healthcare facilities, so you will develop an elevated skill set. You could be doing inpatient, outpatient, and emergency medicine. You’ll be developing and honing skills that might not otherwise get used.

Quality of Life

The second benefit of practicing in a rural facility is the quality of life and practice. Because only a small portion of the population lives in rural areas, you’ll experience lower patient volume, lower census, and you’ll have extra time to spend with your patients. Additionally, your impact on the community will be much higher. You will likely become a staple of the community. There is a chance that you’ll be caring for different generations of a single family.

Compensation and Reimbursement

The third and probably most appealing benefit of practicing in a rural setting is compensation and reimbursement. Typically, you’ll see higher compensation in a rural setting and you’ll have greater access to loan repayment resources. You can use our Physician Salary Calculator to see the difference setting has on compensation. Additionally, you will also likely experience a lower cost of living compared to urban and suburban living. As you are probably aware, there are different types of loan repayment programs. Practicing in a rural facility likely qualifies you for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. As part of your compensation package, you could potentially receive over $100,000 towards loan repayment annually. Here is a link to a list of repayment/forgiveness and scholarship programs.

If you have any other questions about practicing in a rural setting, please reach out to Jeff Foster.

Relocation Tips under the New Tax Law

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In case you hadn’t heard, the new tax law eliminates the tax deduction for moving expenses and other job costs such as license and regulatory fees, required medical tests, and unreimbursed continuing education.  The following relocation tips will help make sure you have a great moving experience under the new tax law.

If your next job (or your first job) involves relocation, you need to know these seven relocation tips for optimizing your moving experience.

  1. Involve your spouse early. Understand their “must haves,” from the smallest details of the move to big picture issues like their earning power in the new location. Two heads are better than one; they will think of things you have not.
  2. Compare the cost of living. With your short list of locations in hand, assess the long-term economic impact of living in those communities. How far will your dollars stretch? Websites such as Sperling’s Best Places to Live can guide you.
  3. Research your moving costs. There could be a wide cost variance, based on distance and the volume of items you’ll move. Get a no-obligation quote from a moving company to help you quantify this perk and substantiate the amount you seek in your relocation package. Even if the hospital simply includes a flat moving allowance in your signing bonus, you want to be sure your costs are covered.
  4. Get the reimbursement policy in writing. It should include a detailed list of what will or will not be reimbursed. Be sure you understand their definition of “reasonable” expenses – because that’s what counts when the check is cut.
  5. Use an approved relocation service. If the hospital has a direct contract with a relocation service, working with them will save you time and help you avoid out-of-pocket expense when cash is tight. Alternatively, the hospital may provide a list of approved movers that you must use to be reimbursed.
  6. Keep every receipt. Your itemized credit card bill probably doesn’t provide enough documentation for reimbursement. The original, detailed invoice and receipts proving payment may need to be submitted.
  7. Reserve enough cash to pay your taxes. To avoid an expensive surprise at tax time, ask a tax adviser how relocation reimbursement and other incentives will be taxed in 2018. Then, be prepared to pay Uncle Sam what you owe in 2019.

Which relocation expenses are typically reimbursed for physicians?

Items that may typically be approved for reimbursement:

  • Truck or trailer rental
  • Professional movers
  • Amount paid for gas and oil for physician’s vehicle OR the standard mileage rate
  • Parking fees and tolls
  • Packing materials…boxes, tape, etc.
  • Lodging expenses (reasonable)
  • Airline tickets for physician and family members for one-way travel to new location
  • Shipment of one personal vehicle
  • Storage fees (30 days)

Items that are typically not reimbursable:

  • Pre-move house hunting expenses
  • Expenses of buying or selling a home
  • Expenses of entering into or breaking a lease
  • Temporary living expenses
  • Meals

Note: Starting in 2018, moving expenses are not tax-deductible.  Consult a tax advisor about how reimbursed expenses may be taxed.

With this relocation guide, you can put your moving expenses and cost of living differences into context with your overall compensation package.  For additional insight, see how your compensation compares across the country by visiting the Jackson Physician Search Salary Calculator and Resource Center.

Want to know more about how to select the right location? See additional articles:

In Your Job Search, Think “Location” Last: Really?

Residents, Avoid the Curse of the #FirstJob

Why the “Worst” Location Might be Better for Your Practice

 

Personalized Compensation Reports with New Physician Salary Calculator

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According to a recent MMS Survey, 69% of physicians say the most important factors when making a decision about a new job opportunity are location and, not surprisingly, compensation. After you have prioritized your need for a satisfying medical practice, working with colleagues you respect and living in a community you and your family love, the remaining question is: Will I be fairly compensated?

Seeking an answer can be overwhelming. Just google “physician salary” and you get 42.7 million results.

Whether you are a new physician emerging from training, or you are considering a change after years in practice, you likely want to know what the compensation for your specialty looks like for your area and across various locations nationwide.

It’s a good idea to consult a number of credible sources to understand how multiple variables influence your potential compensation package. Data sources vary from comprehensive reports published (and offered for sale) by healthcare industry associations to free salary calculators that cover a wide cross-section of jobs and professions, including the practice of medicine. Industry insiders, experts and advisors, including experienced physician recruiters, are also valuable resources.

To further contribute to the resources available to physicians, and to provide physicians with a more useful and accessible tool for physician salary data and trends, we have created an enhanced Physician Salary Calculator and Resource Center featuring an interactive calculator that enables you to:

  • Easily access customized physician compensation data
  • Drill down by specialty, state and type of location
  • Display instant results with option to have your custom report emailed to yourself

Customizable calculator fields reflect the components that are typically included in a compensation package, including:

  • Benefits
  • Sign-on Bonus
  • Residency stipend
  • Relocation assistance
  • Student loan repayment
  • Future bonuses for productivity and quality

Your results will instantly show a competitive market-based scenario that breaks out base salary, benefits, hiring incentives and bonuses.

The calculator is unique in its design for use with an offer in hand, or if you are considering relocation and want to see how far your current compensation would stretch in a different state or type of community.

Data has been compiled from salary surveys published by industry leaders including HealtheCareers and Doximity, which draws from self-reported compensation surveys of more than 36,000 physicians.

We also have incorporated proprietary data from our own physician placement and search data. Of course, actual compensation will vary depending on additional variables such as skills and qualifications in your specialty, and supply and demand in your chosen location. The information does not constitute specific advice for any candidate nor does it guarantee compensation from any organization.

We invite you to explore the enhanced Physician Salary Calculator and Resource Center yourself.

For even more personalized consultation, we recommend speaking with one of our knowledgable recruiters.

Avoid the Resident’s First Job Curse

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As a resident entering your final year of training, logic may lead you to believe that the high demand and limited supply of physicians will make it easier for you to find your first job whenever you start looking. But with literally thousands of options available, the opposite is true. Keep reading to see how you can avoid the curse of the resident’s first job.

Many final year residents are overwhelmed by the sheer variety of choices, are unaccustomed to negotiating for a job, and underestimate the timeline involved from application through interviewing and licensing. As a result, the most desirable positions are often filled early, and new doctors often wind up in positions that aren’t their best fit. If you wait too long, confusion and panic can set in, and you may accept a job out of necessity rather than choice.

It sounds ominous, but it is estimated that more than half of new physicians leave their first job within five years, and more than half of that group had stayed only one or two years.

Getting ahead of the timeline will position you to land the best job possible and avoid common missteps including:

  • Not spending enough time with your job search
  • Lacking resources for due diligence on market conditions and trends
  • Succumbing to external pressure from family or colleagues
  • Failing to optimize and negotiate your contract and compensation package
  • Rushing to make a decision in the eleventh hour based on what’s easy or “fast”

Finding the Right Fit is Important for a Resident’s First Job Search

One common mistake that newly trained doctors make is to focus their job search on a particular location to be near family and the community where they grew up, rather than focusing on finding the practice setting and culture that offers the best fit for their career and personal goals.

This narrow “location-only” approach could force you into a job you don’t really like. We surveyed physicians and found that when “location” was the top priority in their first job search, they were more likely to leave within five years than those applicants who had chosen “quality” as the top priority.

Of course, if you remove the location filter from a job search, the number of possibilities can seem overwhelming. Narrowing the choices means having a good idea of the type of job and employment model you want. Do you want to work for someone or strike out on your own? Do you want to be in a large organization or a small one?

Perhaps you know you want to pursue academic medicine in a big city with job opportunities for your significant other. Or if you’d like to see your compensation stretch further, a smaller city may be best. Due to the more limited supply of physicians, small-town practices often provide higher earning potential and a lower cost of living.

Once you can clarify what really matters to you, it becomes easy to focus on the best fit locations, practice settings and organizations.

Spring into action on your job search, with our Job Search Preparation Guide.

Connect with us for help with your job search timeline and game plan.

Resident’s Job Prep Guide: Countdown to Landing the Right One

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Resident’s Job Preparation Guide: Countdown to Landing the Right One

You’ve been working hard through medical school and residency. The culmination of your lifelong dream and years of hard work is fast approaching – with yet another challenge: finding your first job as a practicing physician and laying the foundation for a successful career.

If your first job will start next summer, then the clock is already ticking on your job search. We have compiled a list of the critical things you should be doing in the coming months to make sure you aren’t forced to “settle” when it comes to your first job.

Start with Research. The following steps should be accomplished before the Fall of 2017, with much of it being able to be accomplished with over the course of a few focused weekends.

  • Create a Game Plan –With your family or significant other, decide what the personal and professional “must haves” are in your first position. Are there locations that will be ruled out right off the bat? Are you looking to start in a large organization, or would you prefer a smaller practice? What are your financial needs? How much flexibility do you have in any of the above decisions? Do you have “nice to haves” that are not deal-breakers? Document your thoughts and prioritize what is important to you and your loved ones. Clear criteria and a rational decision-making process will help you identify the right opportunity.
  • Talk to Colleagues and Mentors – The best way to gather information about finding your first job is by speaking with people who have been through it. The more information you have, the better you will be able to discern what makes sense in your situation.
  • Keep an Open Mind about Location – The most obvious place may not end up being the perfect place for you, your family or your practice. Stay true to the criteria in your game plan, but think outside the box. The location that may not seem to be the most apparent choice, may actually check most of those boxes.
  • Consider Cost of Living – Do you have a firm idea of what you want to earn? Be sure that you are also putting the cost of living into that equation. Big numbers can grab your attention, but how far will it stretch when housing, taxes and other budget busters are factored in?
  • Talk to Recruiters – Professional recruiters, such as Jackson Physician Search can be invaluable in sharing their experience and knowledge to help you identify opportunities. They can provide insights into various practice and compensation models, as well as incentive trends. Best of all, they have contacts nationwide to keep you informed of the latest developments in your prime target locations.

Acing the Interview Process (Start in September). Now that you have done all of the legwork and created a game plan, it is time to start lining up interviews. This process should be started no later than September or October because of the length of time it takes to get everything on the schedule, especially with the holiday’s right around the corner. There are some key things to keep in mind before scheduling your first interview.

  • References and Letters of Recommendation – One of the biggest mistakes new physician’s make when preparing for the interview process is to wait until the last minute to determine who is going to be a reference or provide a letter of recommendation. If you truly want quality people to provide you with documentation espousing your virtues, then it will take some time.
  • Prepare Your Resume – As a new physician, you are still in resume territory versus putting together a Curriculum Vitae (CV) which stands for life’s work. By the time you are applying for that department head position, you will have enough life’s work to put into an extensive CV, for now, a resume will suffice in most cases. Make sure you have someone dutifully proofread your resume several times. Nothing puts your resume into the circular file faster than spelling and grammar mishaps.

The Home Stretch (Start in January). As the calendar flips to 2018 and the holiday rush subsides, you should be in a position where you are fielding offers and determining what opportunities make the most sense for you.

  • Examine offer letters and preliminary contracts carefully – The excitement of receiving an offer letter from your first choice opportunity is no reason to accept it sight unseen. You are in a competitive environment and should treat your skills and education as valuable assets. Be aware that an offer will most likely have an expiration within about two weeks. That is standard in the industry. It keeps the process on track and is fair to both the organization and the candidate. Preliminary contracts are negotiable, and if you plan to have a lawyer review it, make those arrangements in advance and focus only on the variables that are up for negotiation. You don’t want to become caught in “analysis paralysis.”This stage of the process is another one that is much easier when you are working with a recruiter. Given that they already know the organization and community, they can help you better understand the components of the offer, help in the negotiation process and provide perspective on how well the opportunity fits your interests and your family’s needs

Licensing and Credentials. Once you have accepted your first job, the last thing you want to encounter is a delay in licensing and credentialing process. All too often, a physician’s start date slip due to delays in acquiring the proper licensing. Keep in mind that in some states the process can take three months or more. Ask questions to be clear on what is expected of you in this process, watch closely for the paperwork that will arrive, and adhere to deadlines.

Your final year of training will fly by and end with a flurry of activity. Make sure you pace yourself so you can strategically pursue – and carefully choose – your first job as a physician.

Check out our articles on Location and Compensation to gain more insight. Or, connect with us for help as you launch your career.

 

 

Why the “Worst” Location Might be Better for Your Practice

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The old real estate adage “Location, Location, Location” also applies to your choice of location for practicing medicine. But, when deciding your practice location, the places that come to mind first may not end up being the best for your career. There are many factors that contribute to finding the right location for your medical practice, and being near a bustling urban center isn’t necessarily one of them.  Let’s examine why the “worst” location may be the best one for your practice.

Locations that are More Lucrative for Physicians

Are you tired of being embroiled in the daily struggle of dealing with traffic, noise, crowds, the high cost of living, taxes, etc.?  While there are many good reasons why being a physician in large urban areas is beneficial, there are just as many for choosing a less populous area. For example, when you think of a great state to be a physician, would Iowa come to mind first?  Probably not, but a recent study from WalletHub.com found that the Hawkeye State is the best state to be a physician.  Two contributing factors: Iowa ranks in the top five for ‘Highest Annual Salary’ (adjusted for Cost of Living) and ‘Least Expensive Malpractice Insurance.’  The ability to keep more of the money you earn is always a good consideration when determining where to earn that living.

Locations that Provide a Better Work/Life Balance for Physicians

Other “under the radar” states that earned top ten rankings in the study were Idaho, Kansas, South Dakota, Montana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  None of these states will ever be mistaken for large metropolitan powerhouses, but they have much to offer a physician who prioritizes their work/life balance.

As a physician, no one has to tell you about the stress that accompanies your career choice.  Balancing that stress by choosing to practice in an off-beat location can be your golden ticket to a better quality of life. Imagine spending your day off going for a hike in the woods rather than the concrete jungle.  Or think of relaxing in your backyard instead of on your balcony and without the blare of sirens and honking horns every three minutes.

Other considerations that favored states with more rural areas were decreased competition because of having fewer physicians per 1,000 residents.  Although fewer large hospital systems and less access to specialty services can be viewed as a disadvantage when it comes to practicing in a community, it can provide a great opportunity for many practicing physicians. Furthermore, rural communities are known to greatly appreciate their “hometown docs” and are very resourceful in providing a high quality of life for physicians and their families.

Locations Offering More Family and Lifestyle Options

Deciding where to practice is often a family affair. Physicians with spouses having professional careers of their own must take that into consideration before heading somewhere without similar career opportunities. However, the cost of living upside and proliferation of remote work options make smaller communities a viable option for many couples. Whether you are a younger physician choosing a location to practice based on quality-of-life considerations or a mid-to-late career physician emphasizing cultural amenities and financial opportunities, there are many hidden gems to discover in unlikely places.

The moral of this story is that the most obvious place may not end up being the perfect place for you, your family or your practice. When making that all important decision, dig a little deeper and consider places that may not be the most apparent choice.

When exploring options for establishing your medical practice, a knowledgeable recruiter can help you identify opportunities you may not otherwise know about – and the many reasons why that practice setting could be a well suited for you.

Explore our latest practice opportunities to find a location that matches your career – and life – goals.

Or, contact a recruiter to personally discuss your priorities, interests and needs.