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Jump Starting Your Job Search While In Medical School: Part 4

Last Updated on June 26, 2022 by Laura Turner

Read  about steps 1 and 2 in Part 1 of this series  here.
Read  about steps 3 and 4 in Part 2 of this series  here.
Read  about steps 5 and 6 in Part 3 of this series  here.
As a medical student, you’re likely very focused on listening to lectures and passing exams. Good! But by having an awareness of what the next steps in your professional journey are—specifically, pursuing and landing job opportunities—you will be well-prepared and in a position to cherry pick your job opportunities.
Step 8: Know what questions to ask on interviews
When it’s time to start interviewing, you will probably feel excited and also a bit nervous. What will ease your nerves is knowing what to investigate when you’re weighing whether an opportunity is right for you. They are interviewing you, and you are interviewing them–sometimes silently and sometimes with questions you’ve prepared.
You will want to consider three main topics: the location, the compensation, and the culture of the organization you’ll be joining.
Many residents can attest to the fact that just because you have found a place where you could work doesn’t mean that it’s the best place for you (and potentially your significant other) to live. You will want to explore what the area is like, including the state of the local economy, the quality of the schools, the arts and entertainment activities available, the housing available, and the cost of living.
In addition to asking about the salary, you will want to ask questions about other benefits that will contribute to your total compensation: bonuses, relocation assistance, loan reimbursement, and health care benefits. You may also want to ask about what your compensation may look like three years down the line.
Finally, you’ll want to understand what your day-to-day job will be like at the organization. You may want to ask about the on-call system and how many hospitals you’ll be covering. You may also want to ask about why they are adding new physicians to the team: is there turnover, or is the practice experiencing growth?
Step 7: Having successful site visits
When the time comes that you are interviewing in-person, you will be on a fact-finding mission.  Your interview will typically be conducted through one or two on-site visits, lasting one to two days.  Much of your time on the interview will be spent being entertained, but the hospital or group is also taking the time to see if you will be a fit for their practice. It’s your job to do the same. Be curious, and ask questions.
At this time, you will want to ask yourself: how do you feel about the opportunity, without considering the money factor? Of course, an attractive compensation package is alluring, but you want to make sure that you are accepting a job because you’ll be happy working there and living in the community.
Even if you have the hunch that you don’t want the job, do your best on the interview. See it as an opportunity to practice your interview skills and speak with physicians and hospital executives. After you interview, you will want to send out thank-you notes, calls, or emails to everyone who met with you.