Over the past couple of years, I have discovered several websites that have helped organize my life and save me time and money. Some of the sites require additional software like Microsoft Word, Excel or Adobe Reader but some are free.
Resume writing is a common weakness among physicians and other healthcare providers. Many physicians have never had to create a resume or search for jobs because they have been in school continuously post-high school. If your technical skills are limited than I suggest you use one of the online resume tools listed below. Many of them offer free trials or limited access for free accounts.
If you are a bit more computer savvy, then I would recommend using Microsoft Word templates to create your resume. This option is free if you use a great site called Vertex42. If you do not have Word than signing up for a free Google account is your next best bet. Google docs allow you to modify a Word document, Excel sheet, and even a PowerPoint presentation. Vertex42 also has many other terrific templates for business and finance that you might find helpful in the future. For now, download a free resume template here to get started.
Recruiting Firms/Job Searching Sites
It always surprises me when I perform a Google search on medical recruiters and thousands of companies pop up. How do so many recruiting companies stay in business? One of my theories is that physicians tend to defer job decisions to others and fail to understand the lay of the medical job arena. I know that I certainly was naive when I landed my second job after residency. I recall sitting a table with my potential employer and demanded that I make a particular salary figure in my first year. The discussion was heated at times. I had spreadsheets to back my figures up and it sounded great on paper. The only caveat was that their practice revenue was built on a Medicare Advantage model that my spreadsheets could not account for. Even my recruiting firm (Merrit Hawkins) could not explain the Medicare Advantage capitation model 14 years ago. I ended up taking the job and soon realized that recruiters are not always the best avenue to take. Below are just a couple of firms that I am familiar with. In full disclosure, Coach JPMD has no affiliation with any recruiting firm. I offer this list as a starting point for you. I encourage you to read these seven steps before choosing a job.
Location, Location, Location
As with any business, the location where you will be serving your population is key to the growth and success of your business. But how do you know what population to serve? Did anyone in your training program tell you? Are you a specialist looking to fill a need in a particular location? You can begin to answer some of these questions by looking at the statistics of our aging population. The chart on the right describes the prevalence of arthritis in the US by state. If you are a rheumatologist or an orthopedic surgeon, the population that may require your services may not be as prevalent in Oregon as compared to Pennsylvania or Florida. Information about disease prevalence per state is readily available on Medicare’s website.
Disease prevalence is not the only factor that plays a role in choosing a location. Physicians should research commercial insurance and Medicaid penetration rates, malpractice insurance costs, cost of living, primary school choices and compensation.
Your job searching should begin only after factoring many aspects of your career goal and researching the appropriate business location for you and how you can best serve your patient population. It also helps to make sure that your significant other is involved in your decisions. Seek knowledge and make the right decisions.
Salary.com is a great place to start researching physician compensation and the salaries of your staff members. Understanding the median salary for your specialty will aid in negotiating your next job contract.
Another source for physician compensation is Medscape. Medscape published a survey on physician compensation in April 2016. Orthopedic physicians were on top of the compensation tree, earning $443,000 per year. Pediatricians earned the least amount at $204,000. There are many factors that influence physician compensation and salaries will vary for every given specialty, geographic area, and payer mix.
The great news about physician compensation is that it is still 4x higher than the average American household income and we should be grateful for that. The bad news is that most of us have an enormous amount of school debt that must be paid back. Some physicians use this fact to justify the need to request higher and sometimes unreasonable compensation packages. As someone who has been there, my impulse is to now recommend that every graduating physician get a good handle on their personal finances before seeking the highest salary in town. With a good budget and sound financial plan, you may not need to make as much money as you think. You may also not have to work as hard either. Avoid doctoritis at all costs!!!
Connecting Online and Going Social
Whether you like it or not, your patients or their families are going to search your name online. If you are looking for a job with a serious employer then they will search your name. I recently met a new patient to our practice and asked her how she heard about our office. She immediately responded with a proud smile, “I researched you online and you had great reviews.” Her reaction validated my thoughts on this topic and I know that it will happen again. I suggest that you build a strong online presence early in your career. There are several free sites that you can register with or simply update your existing profiles. Here’s the list:
Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn are not medical sites but publishing a business or personal profile on these sites will help increase your online visibility and allows potential employers and patients see what you would like them to see about you. LinkedIn advertisers often search your skill sets and send job posts directly to your inbox.