How to Find a Job
Carrie Rassbach, MD, FAAP
Associate Program Director, Advising and Career Development
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University
September 5, 2012
Upcoming Career Sessions
• 9/25
• 10/1
Hospital Medicine Panel
Primary Care Panel
• All sessions, 6-8pm
• Handouts can be found on
Special Thanks
• Our invited guests:
– Marisa Cappiello, MD
– Jessie Myers, MD
– Laura Webb, MD
PAMF Sunnyvale
LPCH NICU Hospitalist
and CPMC Hospitalist
Kaiser Santa Clara
Understand the steps in searching for a job
How to identify what you want
How to learn about jobs that are available
How to promote yourself
Gain skills in writing CVs and cover letters
Outline the components of the actual interview day,
including what questions to ask
Identify the potential benefits a job may offer
Recognize when to negotiate one’s contract
• AAP Practice Management Online (
“Selecting A Career in Pediatrics” Handbook, chapters:
“Launching Your Career in Pediatrics”
“Finding the Job”
“Job Seeker: Tips on Interviewing”
“Negotiating an Agreement”
“Setting Up A Practice”
• AAP CV Builder:
• AAP PedJobs:
• Abelson HT, Blewett L, Tunnessen Jr WW. Career Planning
for Pediatric Residents. Pediatrics, 107; e65, 2001.
• Stanford Pediatric Career Development Website:
Resources: website
Resources: website
Timeline – How to Apply For a Job
Deciding what
you want to do
Applying for Jobs
Interns, &
In-Depth Timeline For Seniors
Send Cover
Letters and
with Phone
Receive &
1-2 weeks
How to Identify Career Goals
Particular passion
Specific areas of interest
Primary care vs. subspecialty
Predominantly outpatient vs. inpatient
Chronic vs. acute
Continuity of care vs. short-term
Deaths and bad news
How to Identify Career Goals (cont)
• Academic vs. community setting
• Clinical Work, Clinical Research, Laboratory
Research, Education, Advocacy, Policy
• Hours of work
– Daytime vs. nighttime
– On-service time vs. shifts vs. set schedule
• Ability to work part-time
• Geography
Exposure to Different Careers
Continuity Clinic
Urgent Care
Away Rotations
Informational Interviews
Shadowing for a day
Career Panels
Networking Opportunities
– AAP and other societal events
• National Conferences
– AAP National Conference: New Orleans, LA, October 2012
– Pediatric Academic Societies: Washington, DC, May 2013
– Pediatric Hospital Medicine: August 2013
Identify Mentors
• Program Director and Associate Program Directors
• Assigned Advisor
• Community Pediatricians and Hospitalists willing to
serve as career mentors
• Current Residents
• Alumni of your residency program
How to Find Out About Job
• Job Market Reality
– Fewer jobs available in some parts of the
country than there were before the economy
took its downturn, but still many jobs
– Many different choices (i.e., you can do what
you love most)
– Many jobs are not listed
– People learn about them by word of mouth or
How to Find Out About Job
Opportunities (cont)
• Word of Mouth
– Talk with mentors, continuity clinic preceptors,
residency alumni, current residents, others in the
• Send out feelers
– Mail/Email cover letters and CVs, even if a job is
not posted
• Ask for an Informational Interview
How to Find Out About Job
Opportunities (cont)
• Networking
• Website: (National AAP Job
Networking Website)
• Notices via Mail and Email
• Career Fairs
• Moonlighting
• Locums Tenens
Preparing What You Will Need
• Cover Letter
• CV
• References
Cover Letters
• Purposes of a Cover Letter
– Introduces you to the employer
– Identifies what type of job you are looking for
• ie – outpatient (continuity vs. urgent care vs. both), inpatient (gen peds vs.
ED vs. nursery vs. NICU vs. PICU vs. combination), other
– Gives a few reasons why you would be an excellent choice
• Nuts and Bolts
– One page maximum
– Send along with your CV
• The cover letter can be in the body of the email, rather than an
attachment, but don’t treat it less formally – often this letter (no
matter how formal or informal) will be sent on to the rest of the
group you are applying to
Components of a CV
• Name
• Contact Information: Home & Work Address, Email,
• Medical Training
– Residency (Years attended)
– Inpatient and outpatient rotations at Hospital X, Hospital Y,
and Clinic Z
– Continuity clinic at:
• Education (reverse chronological order)
• Professional Experience (reverse chronological order)
– List any related experience here (moonlighting, etc)
Components of a CV (cont)
• Licenses and Certification
Pediatric Board Certification
Medical Board of California
• Special Skills
– Languages spoken
– Ability to do special procedures: PICC lines, chest tube
• Honors and Awards (reverse chronological order)
Components of a CV (cont)
Teaching Experience
Professional Organizations
Volunteer Experience
International Experience
Special Interests/Hobbies (optional)
• 3-4 Total
– Program Director or Associate Program Director should be one
– References should know you well and preferably come from the clinical
background to which you are applying
• When asking someone to be a reference, be sure to ask if he/she
can provide a strong recommendation on your behalf
• Technically, CVs do not include references, but some employers
appreciate you offering this information up-front, either on your
CV or separately
• Provide references’ names, contact information
(phone/email/fax) and ensure accuracy
Scheduling Interviews
• Be persistent (but polite and appreciative) in requesting an
• Sooner the better
• Try to cluster interviews because the timing of interviews at
some places may overlap with offers from other places
• Preparation for interviews
– Learn about the places you are going to visit
• Why do you want to work there?
• Why would you be a good fit?
– Talk with anyone who might know something about the
– Practice answering interview questions
Academic Positions
• Know the different academic tracks at the
institution (usually on the academic affairs
• Learn what is required to advance in the given
track (often on the Appointments and Promotions
Committee website)
Interview Day
• Your goals:
– To promote yourself
– To evaluate the potential job and determine if it
fits what you are looking for
• Number of people you will meet with varies
• Types of interviews vary
• Do your homework: read the website, understand
the leadership structure
• Dress and act professionally
Interview Day Questions
• What will the actual duties involve?
Clinical sites and duties
Number of patients per day
Number of days/week or shifts/month
Number of call nights and weekends (and what
responsibilities you have during that time)
– Dedicated administrative time (for returning calls,
finishing charting, making referrals, etc.)
– Non-clinical expectations
• Teaching, administrative (committees, etc)
Interview Day Questions (cont)
• Who are the other physicians? How long have
they been there and what are their backgrounds?
• What support staff is available?
Business manager
Case manager
Social worker
Answering service
• Is RN first-call or MD?
• Is there an answering service during the day?
Interview Day Questions (cont)
• How are young physicians mentored?
• How is evaluation and promotion handled?
• Are there partners? How does one advance to
• How long do physicians typically stay in the
• Are there any significant upcoming changes?
(People leaving, mergers, etc.)
• What else should you know about the job?
Interview Day Questions (cont)
• Payer mix
• What is the physician payment rate? What is the
basis of this scale (eg, salary, seniority,
productivity, patient load, call load, combination)?
• Benefits
After an Interview
• Take detailed notes about what you did and
did not like and what you learned
• Write a thank you note to your interviewers
• Initially, may receive verbal contract
• Ensure you get written contract shortly thereafter
• Compensation = Salary + Bonuses + Benefits
– Clarify what the salary will be
– Clarify what bonuses depend on
• Clarify job being offered
What will the job consist of?
Number of hours/week
Number and type of call
Expected non-clinical contributions
Dedicated administrative time
CME Time
Health insurance
– How much are you
expected to contribute?
• Dental/vision insurance
• Retirement plans
– 401K, 403b, Pension Plans
– Matching vs. non-matching
• Benefits for Domestic Partner,
Spouse, Children
Life Insurance
Disability Insurance
Child care accounts
Reimbursement for
• Boards
• Medical License
CME/Education Stipend
Tuition Benefits for Dependents
Housing Benefits
Other Benefits
Benefits (cont)
• Maternity/Paternity Policy
• Loan Repayment
• Malpractice Insurance
• Insurance that covers you while you are at a practice.
• Tail Insurance
– Malpractice insurance that covers you after you leave
the practice
– Example: Tail insurance will cover you if a patient you
treated during your time at a practice sues you and/or
the practice 5 or 10 years after you actually saw them
Benefits (cont)
• Benefits are very important – may represent 1/3
of your overall compensation
– Example: If you are offered a salary of $140,000/yr,
often the benefits can be worth $50,000-$70,000/yr
• For part-time work, clarify what proportion of
benefits you will receive
Part-Time Work
• Very common, especially in pediatrics
• FTE = Full-time Equivalent
– Full-time is often considered 36-40 hours/week
• Part-time = Anything less than full-time
– Example: 0.5 FTE often 18-20 hours/week
• Pay attention to how benefits are affected by
FTE status
– Often you need to work > 50% time to get any benefits at all
– Benefits for 0.5 FTE vary from none to 50% to full benefits
After You Have Received an Offer
Think about it
Talk about it with family and friends
Talk about it with a trusted mentor/advisor
Consider negotiating your contract
Consider having a lawyer review the contract
Contract Negotiation
• Fair Market Value
– See what people in the area, in similar practices,
are paying for physicians coming out of
comparable residencies. Add your other
experiences, languages, and special skills.
– Ask alumni, colleagues, pediatricians in the area
about their compensation
Contract Negotiation (cont)
• When to negotiate?
• Different organizations have different expectations
– Some places don’t do any negotiating
– Others don’t take you seriously unless you try to
Contract Negotiation (cont)
• Things that are negotiable:
Job specifics (ie. % primary care vs. urgent care)
Percent FTE
Comparison with other offers you have received
Exit clauses
• Usually Non-negotiable:
– Non-compete clauses (where you can practice after you
– Benefits
– Moonlighting outside system if working more that a certain
percentage of FTE
Contract Negotiation (cont)
• Balance: Knowing your bottom line vs. you will be
working with these people in the future
• Find right venue/person to negotiate with
• Know who you are negotiating with (know their
background, ask people in the area)
• If people say “best and final offer,” it is usually true
• You normally have at least 2 weeks to decide on your
Other things to consider
• Get a medical license ASAP if changing states
– Can take up to 9 months
– It makes you seem like a more serious applicant
– Places are more likely to hire you if they don’t have to
worry that you will be licensed in time
• Consider registering with Federation Credentials
Verification Service (FCVS):
– Centralized process for state medical boards as well as
private and governmental entities to obtain a verified record
of a physician's medical credentials
– Cost: $295 (increasing to $325 on 10/1)
After You Have A Job
• Complete credentialing paperwork ASAP
– Can take up to 6 months
• Keep photocopy of your credentialing paperwork
• Follow-up with credentialing office to verify that
everything is being processed
– You don’t want anything holding up when you can start
working (because you’re not paid till you start working)
Changes You May Wish to Make
in Your Practice: Medical Students
Start to identify career goals
Take electives during your clinical years
Start to identify mentors
Choose a residency that exposes you to a variety
of practice styles, types of general pediatrics and
subspecialties (i.e. leave your doors open)
Changes You May Wish to Make
in Your Practice: Interns
Start to identify career goals
Start to identify mentors
Meet with mentors, seek advice
Consider switching your continuity clinic site for
junior year
• Consider attending pediatric national conferences
Changes You May Wish to Make
in Your Practice: Juniors
Begin working on your CV
Continue identifying career goals
Continue identifying mentors
Meet with mentors
Consider switching your continuity clinic site for
senior year
• Consider attending pediatric national conferences
Changes You May Wish to Make
in Your Practice: Seniors/Fellows
• Talk about potential job opportunities with your
Advisor, Program Director, Associate Program
Director, Chief Residents, etc.
• Create your CV and Cover Letters
• Review CVs and Cover Letters with mentors
• Arrange interviews
• Interview
• Weigh job offers and discuss with mentors

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