2019 Hiring Outlook for Residents

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If 2019 is your last year of residency, you are probably in the full-on throes of securing your first job post-residency!  While it can be a stressful time, it is also an opportunity to solidify the notion of getting your physician career off to a successful start.  Since 2019 will be spent exploring opportunities, let’s take a look at what is in store for Residents this year.

The good news is that you chose a career that is in high demand and will be for the foreseeable future.  In 2018, physician jobs grew by 7% compared to 5.1% in 2017.  As the national economy continues to grow, more people will be in the workforce, presumably leading to more individuals having company provided healthcare.  Here are several things to consider when exploring your post-residency job opportunities.

Geography Matters.  As it does in real estate, location can play a large part in deciding on your first job.  Those who are flexible in where they settle down will have greater choice and opportunities.  For example, while physician job postings across the board grew significantly in 2018, the overall demand was highly dependent upon geography. Growth was highest in areas like Tucson (20%), Los Angeles and Chicago (19%), Little Rock, Arkansas (18%), and Baltimore (17%).

Consider going country.  Many young physicians are drawn to large urban areas with the idea that it is where they will earn the most money.  While true in many cases, it also comes with its share of cautionary tales.  Large urban practices are not for everybody, and some young doctors can get lost in the shuffle.  An alternative may be to practice in a rural setting where you may have an opportunity to begin your career with better work/life balance.  Practicing in a smaller community setting gives you a sense of stature, and forces you to utilize all of your skills (and develop new ones).  Plus, compensation concerns are not the issue they were in the past.

Do your homework.  Because of the demand market, there is no need to jump at the first opportunity you are presented with during your job search.  Instead, treat each opportunity as you would a puzzling medical condition. Avoid jumping right in with a decision and do some homework on the organization. How stable is their leadership team, do they have a solid strategic plan for addressing the rapidly changing healthcare landscape?  If it is a smaller physician practice, what is their rate of turnover, are any key players planning to leave or retire? Understanding the business is just as important as the nuts and bolts of any offers they are presenting.

Culture and fit matters.  As important as it is for you to understand the organization as a business, it is equally important to understand its workplace culture.  The interview process is a good place to assess the culture of a potential work environment.  Spend some time in the coffee shop or cafeteria and strike up a conversation with some of the physicians or residents you meet. If it is an opportunity out of state or in a location you are unfamiliar with, spend time in the community, and visit the chamber of commerce to learn about recreational and cultural activities.  All of this matters if you want to set yourself up for making the right decision.

Only you can determine the best “first” job for your career as a physician.  It takes introspection to determine what type of practice setting is going to be your best opportunity for success. No physician wants to jump into what they thought was the perfect opportunity, only to find themselves exhausted, disillusioned, and back out on a new job search within a few short years.

If you are looking for a career partner that can help you navigate the process of finding a successful opportunity post-residency, Jackson Physician Search has an experienced team of recruitment professionals and a nationwide network of relationships to help you find your best fit. Contact us today.

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