When following an adventure trail, a straight line is always the easiest route from Point A to Point B, but when planning your job search, you must blaze a new trail.  Without a well developed plan, you may end up traveling in circles, running into dead ends, or finishing last in line.

Your journey is unique and you must identify your resources, understand your obstacles, and organize the tools at your disposal to reach your final destination quickly and efficiently.  In this stage, you will learn who and what can help you on your journey, what may block your path to success, and how to develop your own “golden” opportunity.

Let’s get to work.

Validating Your Values and Purpose

At this point, you have laid out a road map to secure the right opportunity-having a better understanding of all of the elements in a job search.  You have studied and learned how today’s landscape is changing, how a hospital operates, self assessed your professional competencies, gauged how physicians within your specialty get paid by market, and dived deep within your soul to discover and prioritize you CORE VALUES, LIFE PURPOSE, and LIFE AND WORK PRIORITIES.

Prior to embarking on the “Search” phase, we recommend asking yourself the following questions:

  • Can I articulate my core values, life purpose, and my life and work priorities?
  • Can I define what type of employer can help me grow professionally based on my professional competencies?
  • Can I define the type of community in which I want to live and practice?
  • Am I okay with the compensation packages within the territory?
  • Do I have a good understanding of how hospitals/groups operate?
  • Can I define what type of practice setting in which I would best thrive?
  • Do I understand the pros and cons to each type of practice setting?
  • Am I prepared to make concessions when choosing a position?

If you cannot answer these questions specifically, you are not alone.  After all, you have dedicated a decade of your life to becoming a physician, and re-entering life and choosing a career for the first time is no easy feat.  Remember that there is a big difference between acing your exams and applying the information you’ve learned into diagnosing your first few patients, or performing surgery on your first few cases.  The difference is that you’ve had teachers, professors, and seasoned physicians to help guide you each step of the way.

You can study the job markets, discuss the type of opportunity you’re seeking with loved ones, and do the heavy lifting to map out the rest of your life; however, the fact is, you don’t know what you don’t know-which is another reason to use your resources wisely.

Just like when you were in your internship, you had an opportunity to experience several different specialties to see where your interests lie, searching and interviewing is an opportunity to test pilot the elements you have identified as your search criteria.

To read the rest of this AIM resource from our AIM Resource Library click here.  We will discuss different Search Methods and how they can work for you.



Though the views expressed above are solely the writer’s, Guthrie supports “The Dose with Dr. Goodhook” and is partnering with Adventures in Medicine to create an open, inspiring and insightful community for residents and physicians. Click here to learn more about ways that Guthrie is making practice purposeful.


The Staff at Adventures in Medicine