Showing posts with label joining the real world. Show all posts
Showing posts with label joining the real world. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2018

Interview Season

I hate interviews. I don’t know why I hate them so intensely or get so anxious, but whenever I have a job interview I develop “functional dyspepsia” (or as my mother would call it - a nervous tummy). I’ve started looking for my first real attending job. Someday I’d like to be a residency faculty member, but my university system has zero openings. I got one job interview for a residency faculty at an outside system that met all my criteria - within a couple hours drive from our families, a community that both my husband and I would enjoy living in, and an established residency with good mentoring support. It was a long interview day - beginning at 7:30 in the morning and dinner going past 8 pm that night - and I admittedly wasn’t my best self. It was my sixth week of a stretch with only 6 days off total (2 of which were used for Baby’s first birthday with our family back home), so I was tired. I underestimated how difficult it would be to schedule interviews around a resident’s schedule, and I would have preferred a later date to have recuperated a bit, but this was the only date that lined up for both me and the program.

 I felt like I connected well with the current faculty and really felt like it was a good fit, except for one disappointing part over lunch. I was asked to give a lecture so they could evaluate my teaching style, and I was ready with flashy PowerPoint in hand with a topic I had done research on so I could actually answer a question or two. However, about 15 minutes into the lecture, I realized I was getting warm and lightheaded. The walls started closing in. I realized I was standing locking my legs in a warm suit jacket and hadn’t had much to drink for water. I started talking faster, thinking I could just get through it and no one would notice, but then one of the faculty members stood up and got me a glass of water and I noticed a bead of sweat dripping down my nose, so I finally quit faking it, apologized to the audience, and led the rest of the lecture and discussion from a seat in front of the podium. I was so embarrassed. I have had similar presyncopal vasovagal-y episodes before, but this was the first in front of a large group of people. Hopefully, I’ll get points for finishing regardless of my obvious physiologic distress...

The rest of the day went well but I still won’t hear from them for at least a month. The more I go to other interviews, the more unappealing pumping out RVUs day after day seems to be. I’ve had to stop myself numerous times from emailing the program director “Pick me! I think your program is exactly what I’ve been looking for! We want to live in your town FOREVER!”. But that probably looks bad so I haven’t.  😝 It’s my first choice for a job. I think I’m a decent candidate, but if someone swoops in with experience and/or someone from within their own system is interested, my chances probably aren’t looking too good.

I had another job interview at a community clinic within the past few days. It meets all my non-academic job wish list items except one. I’ve gotten more idealistic rather than less as medical school and residency have gone by, and I was really hoping to work in at least a somewhat underserved community - but this job is in the heart of a beautiful suburb which wasn’t what I was picturing for myself at all. The  more I think about my list of what I want in a job, the more I realize that this is probably a very good fit for me, but  there’s just a small hesitant piece of me that feels like a sell-out. Which is why I’m turning to you all for stories and advice - was there anything you had to sacrifice off your wish list to find a job you were still reasonably happy in?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

To OB or not to OB...that is the question

Career advice wanted

I’m having a mid-residency crisis. I’m halfway into my three year family medicine residency, which means in a year and half there will be much more independence but also much less of a safety net below me.   I want to practice in primary care - so I know that it won’t be hard to find a job, however will be much more difficult to find the right one. I’d like to continue doing underserved medicine of some variety - but not sure if that means staying in the city as I am now or moving to a rural area, possibly closer to family now that Baby is here. I’m currently ruminating on whether I’d like to continue practicing OB or not.

It was a surprise to me how much I liked practicing OB as a resident. I liked it as a med student enough (although I will forever hate ORs - I’m too clumsy with too little body spatial awareness) but doing deliveries of my own clinic patients has been so rewarding and energizing. When I find that precious time to devote to independent learning, I find myself reading OB literature (and staying awake through it) more than any other kind.

Today was the first call for a delivery I’ve had since our own Baby was born. As timing goes, it was perfect for me. I was called at 6 am, ran to the hospital, and was back after a beautiful delivery by 9 am. It was great for me - but maybe not so much for Husband. When I left at 6, Baby was just starting to wake up and Husband had stayed up late working the night before, was already awake and was very much looking forward to a morning nap. He didn’t say anything negative, but his expression was less than pleased.

...and this is a best case scenario when I got called in. Our residents are continuously on call for our own patients with lots of back up as with residency schedule we may be working nights or a hospital shift elsewhere that we may not be able to leave. My husband didn’t realize it was a possibility that I would be going in today, but the reality is it’s pretty much always a possibility as I’m usually within 2 weeks of a patient’s due date and babies don’t always come on schedule. And I think as an attending, I’ll likely be much more responsible for my own patients’ deliveries - although having adequate back up is something I am definitely evaluating as part of my future job.

So my question is... can we do this? Or more accurately, will it be worth the effort to do this? We don’t have family close. We don’t really have an emergency contact nearby who can watch Baby if plans change quick. I think I can handle the lack of sleep and unpredictable hours, but is it fair to ask my family to do the same? What about when we want to leave town and spend time with our family? Husband and I have had several conversations and will continue to do so over the next 6 months as my patients continue to deliver and we’ll see how it goes.

 I just really wanted the advice of some moms who have been practicing outside of residency for awhile. Spoiler alert: this likely won’t be my last post asking for career advice. Are you doing what you want in your careers despite a somewhat demanding call schedule? Or did you find that giving up a bit of call was worth it for a little more overall family stability?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Help with attending job interviews!

T minus 8 months until I join the real world.

I am now 4 months into my breast imaging fellowship. It's about that time I start looking for my first attending job!! As someone who went straight through in my medical training, I have no idea what a job interview truly entails. Yes, I've done plenty of interviews. I know what it's like to sell myself as a medical trainee but as for joining the real world, I have absolutely no idea.

My experience looking for a job might be a little different than some because I am geographically limited. My husband started his (first) attending job in a city 2 hours away from where I am doing fellowship. On a side note, this situation is so much better than our west coast east coast marriage while he was doing fellowship last year! As much as I am looking forward to joining the real world, I am really looking forward to our family of 3 to finally be living under the same roof!

I went on 2 interviews so far. The first one was not the same location but same group as my husband's place of work. Given that it's part of the largest managed care organization in the United States, questions outside of who I am, what I can offer were really not asked. Details of what the contract would entail, how much I would make, what my benefits were and etc. were not discussed. Mostly because I already knew the answers to these questions and the fact that I was told that there was no need to go over a contract from this place as it was standard across the United States. I came back from this interview thinking it went well and that it wasn't much different from a fellowship and residency interview. A downside to this job is that it will be a 45 minute commute to where we will most likely settle down.

The second interview I went on was a large private practice group in the city where my husband practices. It's a group of approximately 80-90 radiologists. We talked about my dual boarding in radiology and nuclear medicine. We discussed the possibility of working within my preferred subspecialties (breast imaging and nuclear medicine. We discussed the possibility of working part time, which got me really excited. I also met some of the radiologists in the group, who all seemed very nice. However, I came back after my interview most of my conversations with my attendings at work went like this.

"How was your interview?" "Good. I really liked the practice"

"What is your base salary?" "I don't know..."

"What is your retirement?" "I don't know..."

"What benefits are offered to you?" "I don't know..."

"What about maternity leave? " "I don't know..."

"Do you get paid overtime for call?" "I don't know..."

"How many years until partnership?" "I don't know..."

Basically, I felt like an idiot. And now, I am waiting to hear back from both jobs but I feel like I cannot really compare and contrast since I don't know the answers to these questions!

How do you go about asking these questions during a job interview? Do you ask right away? Do you wait until there's a proposal? Is these anything else I should be asking? Do you need a lawyer to review your contract?

Thank you in advance for your help!