Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Job Hunting Season

DrH has moved on from hours of endless study to hours of potential job searching.

At the end of PGY5 he started calling recruiters, combing the journals, and testing the waters. It was two years before he would be ready to work and was told that he was 6 - 12 months too early for the jobs they had available and to contact them again in January.

Guess what it is January! My computer history is chock full of "research" the DrH is doing on the different types of practices for his specialty.
  • Private
  • Academic
  • Private/Academic
  • Civilian Military (I didn't even know that was possible)
  • VA Hospital
  • Hospitalist
DrH has a strong interest in research and is doing a fellowship this next year to further that end. But he also wants to operate. So, now the process of weeding through all the available options to see which would balance his desires for research and operating in just the right proportions.

Where do we want to live and raise our family? Well it would be nice if some of those jobs were near our family. But which carries the greater weight? That is easy. After all the time we have spent to make this man a doctor, he better find a job he loves, doing exactly what he wants to do. I don't care where it is. We have been away from our families for so long that it could be anywhere. We will be fine. Our family will be disappointed, but making them happy isn't on our list.

Here is what we have learned about finding a job. (And there will be more lessons learned as we don't have a job just yet).
  1. Your best source of landing a job is knowing the right people. It is a universal truth: it isn't what you know, it's who you know. Either you know them from school, residency, mutual friends, etc. The number of jobs advertised doesn't represent all the job available. Many of those jobs will be filled without the assistance of recruiters. Our program hired one of their residents a few years ago. Many programs do that. It makes sense, you trained them, you know exactly what you are getting. Our group isn't looking for a surgeon and I don't want to stay.
  2. If you don't care where you live there is a job for you! Jobs in cities listed as "the best places to live" rarely have problems finding people to fill their spots. People find them. They have their pick of the litter, and don't require the services of recruiters or advertising.
  3. The best compensation packages often are associated with the least desirable cities. But you do have to live there. Money isn't everything. What may be the least desirable to one, may be the most desirable to another. If only we wanted to live in Fargo North Dakota (no offense to anyone in Fargo, I am sure it is lovely).
On one of our long trips to IKEA to spend money we had a lengthy conversation about compensation. Yes, I am interested in a good package but not for the reason my husband thought. I want to make sure that he is paid commiserate with the sacrifice we have made and with his skills. I want to make sure we are able to pay off our loans before he retirees. I want to make sure we have a standard of living that is comfortable, not crazy luxurious. I want to be able to pay my mortgage, feed my kids, drive a car that works, put my kids through school, take up an interesting hobby, pay someone to take care of the grass, give generously to causes I care about, etc. When it comes down to it, we don't really need that much, and will probably be just fine. After worrying about money for a decade it's hard to not worry about having enough. 

But I also realize that what I think we need doesn't accurately represent what we NEED. We also need to have enough to pay overhead expenses, malpractice insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, life insurance, retirement, taxes, etc. There are so many "other" expenses that will swallow his income. What our family will use will be far less than these other expenses for sure! 

It makes me think of a recent article that was posted about the deception of physician incomes. I have included the link on the left in my interesting articles section, and you can find it here. It compares professions by debt, hours in education, training, expenses, etc that shows that doctors earn only a few dollars more than teachers. After thinking about all our extra expenses - I believe it!

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely bookmarking this post :)

    I've been e-mailed that Ben Brown link several times this week. funny how it's making the rounds again, one year almost to the day later!


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