Pocket Doc

6 Reasons Physicians Should Turn Down a Job

Cortney Ikpe

Maybe you have just begun your first job search, or maybe you have decided to move on with your current practice and explore new opportunities. In either case, there are few red flags you should watch out for when considering a new practice.

These potential negatives pertain to both the short-term and long-term success at your new practice. Avoid positions where you see any of these six undesirable scenarios.

Ineffective Administrators

Being a physician affords you a great deal of autonomy, especially in comparison with other professions. However, there will likely be administrators or more senior physicians who will have some say over the logistical aspects of your job. For instance, administrators may oversee the purchase of your malpractice coverage policy or the budgeting of your CME while senior physicians may proctor you while you learn a new treatment technique.

You want to look for professionals in these positions who are focused on providing you every opportunity for growth and success. If those who are managing your employment are disorganized, ineffective and disinterested, your ability to care for patients and develop your skills will suffer.

High Turnover

For the recently trained physician hungry to earn, it may be tempting to jump at an early job offer, especially if above average compensation is on the table. However, there can be potentially troubling reasons for these types of offers, and a major one is a high turnover rate. Employers will try to turn a prospective physician’s attention away from the fact that people leave the organization early and often.

Reasons for high turnover include everything from poor management to unreasonable scheduling. Oftentimes, it will become evident to you that working in this type of environment is either not sustainable or not worth it, and you will eventually quit as well. To avoid this, try to get a pulse on the organization and culture by talking to current employees before you make the leap. And, before signing, be sure to have the contract reviewed by physician-specific contract attorney.

Lack of Practice Protocols

Clinical practice protocols help guide decisions based on certain criteria in regards to diagnosis, management and treatment. These protocols may vary slightly from practice setting to practice setting, but are all generally based on current evidence, per the paradigm of evidence-based medicine. These guidelines can be crucial for physicians, especially those who are new to an organization.

If your prospective employer does not utilize any of these clinical guidelines, be very wary about how the lack of standardization could impact you and your patients negatively.

No Orientation

Being the “new doctor” can be an awkward and intimidating situation. You are probably unfamiliar with your coworkers, certain work expectations and maybe even the building itself. An orientation session can be immensely helpful in easing you into a new workplace so that when your first day comes, you are not left feeling alone and overwhelmed.

If your potential employer has no orientation, or a loosely put together introduction by a staff member, then this is a sign that they may be lacking in organizational protocols and efficiency. Find out if there will be an orientation session early in the job search process. If there is not one, ask to be introduced to those you will be working with and have questions ready about your work expectations.

Inadequate Equipment

Medical equipment is expensive, but vitally important to maintaining a practice that can properly diagnose and treat patients. Depending on your specialty, you will need a variety of equipment to care for your patients. For example, if you are looking for a job in a surgical field and want to develop the skills to use robotic equipment, you need to make sure that your potential employer has the needed equipment on hand. In some rural and community hospital settings, it can be harder to come by highly advanced equipment, so take this into consideration when looking into these practice settings. You must decide before you take a job what level of equipment you will need to do your job, but if a potential employer is missing even the basics, it might be time to look elsewhere.

Offers to Buy-in

Some organizations, especially small practices, may offer the option for you to buy-in and become a partner after a designated period. This can seem like a very lucrative offer in terms of increased income and responsibility, but in the current state of healthcare, it may leave you with little additional value and a significant increase in liability. Also, the buy-in can be far too expensive, reaching a million dollars or more in some cases. If you are wanting to become partner or enter a partnership track, it is crucial that you ask about the buy-in cost upfront. This will give you a clear picture of what it will take to make partner and whether buying-in is ultimately worth it.

Paying attention to some of the warning signs that may arise throughout the job search and knowing when to say no is crucial to securing a satisfying job. Resolve can help guide you throughout this process and has a team dedicated to setting you up for career success.