Your Residency as Job Interview
Written by Amy Jorgensen   
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Your Residency as Job Interview
Page 2
The third in a series on Transitions in a Physician's Career

As you work through your residency, your focus is probably just on getting through this stage in your career path. While that is important, the new physicians who are most successful in securing a great first job are the ones who view their residency as an extended interview. Residents often start getting job offers before they finish their final year.

In this article, we'll look at some of the ways you can use your residency to help you secure the job you want.

Solid Experience in a Respected Program

Part of this “extended interview” process actually takes place before you ever become a resident: choosing your residency program. Just as some medical schools are more respected than others, so are some residency programs. If you are fortunate to be placed in a highly respected program, then you'll have your jump on a job or fellowship. After all, just getting into a top program demonstrates that you've excelled in your training. 

Even if you don't get a spot in one of the best residency programs that doesn't mean your doomed to taking a less than stellar position after finishing. Medical employers are going to be more interested in your experience. That's why it's important to take into consideration what you want to be doing and where you want to be working after your training is complete when you select a residency program. For example, if you are interested in working with minority populations, then you would want to choose a residency program that provides you with those types of opportunities.

No matter which residency program you choose, you want to make sure that you take advantage of every opportunity you have for new and challenging experiences. These experiences may be trying during your residency when you're working long hours and doing the jobs no one else wants to do, but they will make you a better physician and a better applicant in the long run.

Build a Positive Reputation

Every day of your residency you'll be working with experienced physicians. In many cases, a positive word from one of these physicians can open doors to job offers.

To make this happen, you have to work on building a positive reputation during your residency. When on you are on service your first priority is taking care of your patients - but it's also useful to consider the attendings perspective. Residents can either be a blessing or a liability - try to be the blessing. Anticipate the attending's concerns. Residents are often more up-to-date than private physicians, bring that with subtlety and humility.

Besides working hard to make a positive impression on the other physicians, you should also try to develop a strong reputation among your co-residents. Peer referral is one of the most effective methods of building a patient base. They might also become valuable connections to potential positions. Additionally, when your peers recognize your talent and skill, this sends a good message to those who are evaluating your work.


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