RFS Voices: Job Search

Job searching season is here. Follow these tips to find a position that suits your needs.job search

It’s July, and change is upon us. For trainees in medicine, this heralds the beginning of a new academic year.

If this is the beginning of your final year of training, it’s important to start planning your job search. This discussion is primarily targeted at those trainees applying to private practices, although some of the advice could universally apply. Remember though that there are no guarantees and no secret to success. Although I was successful in the process, please consider my advice in the context of your own situation. As they say, your mileage may vary.

Before you even begin searching for job positions, you must decide what you want from your job and what you’ll need from your job. Begin by organizing a list of these things — this will help narrow your job search. In my opinion, geography is both the most common and most important limiting factor for those with a spouse or family. Focusing the search to at least eliminate specific regions should be a number one priority. No job quality can compensate for an unhappy family.

The Radiology Business Journal publishes an annual list of the largest 100 groups in America which can be a great start to narrowing your search by certain criteria. If you are interested in moving to a particular state, you could contact the local ACR chapter and solicit information from their leadership. In addition, you could use an internet search engine to find Radiology practices in a specific area and browse their webpages to learn more about them.

Additional important considerations might include population density (urban, suburban or rural), practice structure (partnership versus employed), scope of practice (subspecialty versus general), or call structure (night shifts versus teleradiology coverage). If you are happiest in an urban setting, then seek out those practices. If you want to do 100 percent breast imaging, apply for those positions which require only breast imaging. Taking some time for introspection and self-selection will give you the best possible chance of finding the perfect fit.

Once you have decided your preferences, searching for jobs is easier than ever, thanks to online resources. Radiology jobs are posted throughout the year on sites such as the ACR Career Center and the ARRS Career Center . Although you will find many jobs posted, career centers are not completely comprehensive, especially with competitive jobs. Some practices may email their trusted colleagues at training programs, who in turn will solicit interest from their residents and fellows.

Networking is more important than ever in this process and if you are interested in a specific region or practice, you should make that known to your mentors. Finally, recent graduates from your program can be especially helpful in recommending potential practices.

When you are ready to apply to groups, it is important to set realistic expectations. Every situation is different and you probably won’t be able to find a job with everything you want. Make the choices you can upfront, but stay flexible and be willing to compromise. In the next post, we will talk about preparing a formal cover letter and resume/CV for submission to practices.

Ivan DeQuesada, MD completed his neuroradiology fellowship at Emory University this summer and joined the Radiology Associates of North Texas in Fort Worth.

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