Friday, 6 September 2013

Hey Doc…Get a Job!! Tips on how to find employment in Medicine - by Guest Blogger and #1 Dad, Dr. Peter MacDonald -

In my role as an orthopedic university section chair I frequently get asked for career counseling from fellows, residents, medical students and even pre medical students.
I can remember the same angst that too many medical grads are facing, particularly in our field where there is a recent employment crisis. The most common question from an R4 to R5 resident is “Hey Pete, what can I do to best position myself to someday take your job?”  Having so many people covet your job is flattering but most don’t realize that the road is long and hard with no easy short cuts and at the end of it, my job isn’t as peachy as it looks.  Being a busy surgeon and wearing many hats is onerous and doesn’t leave much free time. Nevertheless, I feel very lucky to have the chosen profession that I am in and look forward to the daily challenges that it brings.

Sooo …here are the tips that I might offer to young budding doctors….

1)   It’s really important that you like your work, so considering employment opportunities is important but you have to do this job for 35 years so make sure your number one priority is to choose something you like!
2)   Identify early on what your life plan is and stick with it. Ambiguity doesn’t help the cause
3)   Been a keener, work hard, try to impress your mentors, but don’t become a pest or be annoying
4)   Demonstrate that you are a team player and a good person with balance in your life including a solid family life and interests outside of medicine.  Be someone that you would want to work with.
5)   Research, publications and awards are important and will enhance your CV to the point where you will be a more attractive hire.
6)   Aspire to train in different places. Medicine is global and the perspective you get from a fellowship elsewhere will help strengthen your training and form lifelong connections outside of your home town.
7)   Shoot for the stars, aspire to work with the very best and their attributes will rub off on you!

If you follow all these tips then it will be more than likely that your dream job will come looking for you, instead of you looking for it.   

Happy job hunting!!!

- Dr. Peter MacDonald 

Pete and his daughters (both authors of Doctor Confidentials) at their white coat ceremonies.

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