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Practicing Physician

Resident and Fellow Job Search Timeline

The Resident/Fellow timeline is a guide for Graduating Residents and Fellows that will be completing their programs within the next year. This timetable should be used in conjunction with our other strategies and articles of interest to assist you in you job search. This timeline has some flexibility and will vary with the individual.

Pre-Practice Calendar

This calendar is representative of your last year of residency and should serve as a reference of when certain tasks should be completed and when you need to be considering specific issues related to joining a practice. Note that is only a guide; some practices may begin recruiting students before the third year of residency has even started.


Plan Your Strategy What is important to you? Rank such factors as family, location, finances, and working conditions.
Where are the jobs? Assess your value by assessing the job market. Look at the current demand compared with the number of working physicians in the area.
Practice Types Solo, group, hospital-owned, staff-model HMO
Fellowship Training If you want to pursue this route, start making contacts and setting up interviews.
Prepare your CV This is a detailed listing of all credentials and professional accomplishments. Make sure you proofread your document twice, and print it out using a laser printer.


Board Review Strategies Learn the format, pace yourself with studying, assess your weak areas, start forming study groups, think about taking review courses.
Subspecialty Training and Certificates of Added Qualification These recognize special expertise in a particular area, and it typically means an additional 2 years of training after residency.
Network Talk to attending physicians, residency alumni, recruiters, professional organizations.
Fellowship Training If you want to pursue this route, start making contacts and setting up interviews.
Obtain Letters of Recommendation Make sure you have at least 2, and allow time for the people you chose to write them. Make an appointment with them to discuss the letter, and send a thank you note.


Interviewing Season This is when you need to start heavily interviewing. Keep your CV and resume up to date.
Make Yourself Marketable Become acquainted with a wide variety of technology, gain broad work experience, if possible, learn another language (especially Spanish), and demonstrate that you are a serious candidate.


Physician Recruiters If necessary, you may want to use the services of a physician search firm. There are an estimated 4,500 to 5,000 recruiters in the U.S. offering their services. If you decide to put yourself in their hands, visit the firm and make sure the recruiter has the expertise to place you in the kind of practice you are looking for.
The Employment Contract If you receive a contract for employment, assess both the economic and noneconomic issues. Remember that everything is negotiable.


A Second Look At the Contract Before making a final commitment, look again at the term of the contract, the offered salary, benefits, and any restrictive covenants.
Managing Debt Accumulated debt by medical students is growing every year. Poor planning and debt management often ends in unwise decisions. Once you have secured a job, eliminate your personal debt first from family and friends.
Paperwork Make sure all your paperwork is in order. A medical license application must be completed during training, as this can take 4-6 months to be processed by your state licensing agency. If you have already done this and you are remaining in-state, then it will still be valid. You will need to have your CV up-to-date, with no timeframe gaps. Obtaining hospital privileges make also take up to 6 months. If you are joining a group practice, the staff will probably take care of obtaining insurance provider numbers for you; however, ensure that this is being done.


Moving If your new position necessitates a move, many employers will pay for these expenses.

Practicing Physician Job Search Timeline

The Physician Job Search timeline is a offered as a reference to those physicians who are already employed but are seeking another practice opportunity. This timetable should be used in conjunction with our other strategies and articles of interest to assist you in you job search. This timeline has some flexibility and written in stone and will vary with the individual. If you are seeking employment or a practice opportunity immediately, these steps will occur faster and over a relatively short period of time.

1. Prepare and/or update your Curriculum Vitae (CV). Our CV Example Format, CV tips and Post Your CV are free resources for you to use and are printable for your convenience.
2. Finish your CV and send it to JSMG Select your references and prepare them for upcoming calls from employers and have them write a letter of recommendation for you. We suggest a "To Whom it May Concern" format. A more specific letter can be written for the job you want after you interview and have decided it is the one that you want. The letter should address your clinical skills and professional competency, work habits, interpersonal skills, maturity and ability to practice medicine, a statement about what the person's relationship is to you and how long they have known and worked with you as well as an overall level of recommendation and endorsement. A concluding statement should be please feel free to contact me directly if any additional information is needed or if you have any further questions.
Having your references ready and available will greatly expedite the process.
3. Decide where you want to live and work. Carefully think about what areas of the country you want to work (on a regional, state, and possibly city level). Consider what type of environmental setting you are willing to work (metropolitan, suburban, and rural). Also, focus on the type of practice you are looking for (solo, single-specialty, and multi-specialty).
4. Determine your Practice Parameters-Geographic, Professional, Financial and Personal. Assess special needs or circumstances, to include your spouse or significant other and family.
5. Arrange Telephone interviews with the preferred opportunities. Quickly determine if they meet and/or mach your parameters within reason.
6. Decide which opportunities you are most interested in and schedule an onsite interview.
7. Visit the Opportunity Personally. Refer back to our Interviewing Tips to assist you with this process. Do your research, homework and have your questions ready. Be prepared and make a good impression.
8. Examine and evaluate all of your options carefully. Speak with your spouse, family, friends, and colleagues about your opportunities. Determine which, if any are good for you, are a good "fit" and "feel right".
Take your time in making a decision.
9. After careful examination and review, decide on an opportunity.
10. Have your attorney review the contract before you sign it. Decide on a mutually agreeable start date. Give yourself enough time to make the transition.
11.Complete all of your licensure applications and credentials paperwork asap. Some states like Texas and Florida take over 6 months before you will be issued a license and have certain criteria that must be fullfilled before you will be issued a license. You can use our Physician Links to get access to the State Medical Boards.
12. Finalize all of your State licensure and Credentialing requirements. Make sure all of your paperwork is turned in on time and inform your new practice of your progress in the meantime.
13. Find a Realtor and Purchase a New Home or Rental Apartment.
14.Keep in touch with the Hospital and/or Medical Practice that you will be joining, informing them of your progress and any unexpected problems or delays.
15. Begin your new position.


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