MD Preferred Blog

*The views expressed by the authors below do not represent the views or opinions of MD Preferred Services.

Doing Your Homework Before the Job Interview

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Information is the key to success when a practice opportunity comes along. When entering the interview process a candidate can expect the practice to have their list of questions in hand. It is equally important that the physician candidate be prepared to gather the information he will need to make a career decision. How much, how long, how many are questions that usually come to mind:


  • What benefits does the health system offer?
  • How many hours do the doctors work?
  • What income can an associate expect?
  • What income can a partner expect?
  • How long is the track to partnership?
  • Is there a buy-in?
  • Is there a buy-out when older partners retire?
  • Who pays for the buy-out?
  • How is the call schedule determined?

But a candidate should not overlook important organizational and strategic considerations. The internet is an important resource. Google the organization to gather additional data. Visit the hospital or practice web site. Use both the web browser and the news browser for stories that may have appeared in the press. I like to call these questions ‘fit in’ questions:


  • Has your education and training prepared you to perform the procedures that the practice or hospital currently perform?
  • Do you possess skill sets that can bring new patients and new procedures to the group?
  • Is the group prepared to provide marketing and technology support to help you build your practice?
  • Have any partners left the practice recently?
  • Why did they leave?
  • Does the community need another doctor in your specialty?

And of course there are the family questions:


  • Are the schools exceptional?
  • Are there private as well as public school options?
  • Are the neighborhoods safe and inviting?
  • Are real estate values affordable?
  • Are there cultural and entertainment opportunities for every member of your family?
  • Does the practice or hospital offer a family support system?

Accepting a first practice opportunity out of medical training or relocating to accept a new career opportunity are life changing commitments. Make sure you have a clear picture of what the employer is looking for in the long run. Most groups invest in physicians who will be able to contribute to the practice on both a clinical and administrative level. Expressing a willingness to work hard at building a secure future for the practice may separate you from other candidates.

Make sure you do your home work. The time you spend before you arrive for the interview can be as important as the time you spend at the interview.

Tim Russo is an experienced physician practice administrator/medical group manager and President of U.S. Cardiology, a recruiting firm specializing in cardiologists. A graduate of the University of Southern California’s Master of Health Administration program and member of MGMA, he has recruited doctors from both sides of the table - on behalf of doctors and on behalf of medical groups and hospitals as an in-house recruiter - and has developed and managed medical groups.


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