Just like in any profession, physicians are often subjected to the challenges of a job hunt. While medicine is a highly specialized field and comes with its own whims and considerations, and talented physicians are often headhunted by prestigious practices, mistakes can be made during the job hunting process.

Why should a doctor’s job search woes matter to patients? A physician that ends up in a less than ideal position may reflect upon their engagement and dedication to their work, ultimately impacting their patients’ health. Here are five common mistakes new physicians make during their job search:

Not Starting Soon Enough

Many new physicians make the mistake of thinking they will be able to find a job when they walk out the door on their last day of training. In reality, new physicians should start their hunt at least a year before their training ends.

The final year of training is intense as it is, without worrying about vetting job options. In addition to training time, consider the added stress of multiple interviews, contract negotiations, paperwork, and depending on your location the idea of moving somewhere else.

By delaying, physicians risk putting themselves in a situation where they accept a job they don’t want due to limited options. They can end up distracted from their work and patient care as they keep their eyes open for something else.

Failing to Negotiate

Usually, when an offer is made to a new physician, it is done so with the intention of negotiating. Therefore, the initial offer might be lower than the interested party is willing to pay. It should be noted that you can’t always rely on a recruiter to negotiate in your best interests. They ultimately make their money by getting you to sign a contract.

Physicians should take some time to research the area and know their value. They should not be afraid to ask for something higher than the initial offer. By accepting less than their expertise is worth, they may become burnt out, causing delays and challenges passed onto their patients.

Knowing the Pros and Cons

In every field, there are pros and cons to working at different businesses. Working in a non-profit might mean less pay for work with a higher rate of self-satisfaction and feeling of purposefulness. Working in a small business may have fewer health benefits than working for a big corporation, but you get to work with people on a more personal level.

Physicians also need to consider these differences. Working for a private practice will be a very different environment than working for a hospital. While there are perks to working in a large city, they may find they enjoy the work more in a rural area. On the other hand, a rural area may have too few doctors for the growing population, resulting in a lot of overbooking for those who practice there.

As with anything, not considering the pros and cons of a job can result in some unfortunate surprises and a quick departure, leaving patients high and dry.

Limiting their Options

Many new physicians have a very clear picture in mind when it comes to what they want their first job placement to be. They may pick a particular area, close to where they are or near a place they’ve always dreamed of living. They might pick a few practices or hospitals where they imagine themselves working.

When this happens, physicians are limiting themselves. They may miss an amazing opportunity for which they would be perfect, simply because they weren’t open-minded enough. The physician could be in a practice he or she doesn’t necessarily enjoy in an ideal location rather than conducting life-changing work in a place they never considered.

A physician in the wrong job will experience the same feelings anyone in this situation would: stress, disengagement, and distraction. Luckily a knowledgeable recruiter can help physicians find the placement they want while avoiding mistakes that impact the well-being of their patients. Click here to learn more.