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First real job question

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  • First real job question

    Hello guys
    I'm entering my last year of pulmonary and critical care fellowship and due to being picky about which location I want to be in, I already started looking for jobs and got an interview out of state, in a sought after area. It will probably cost me close me over one thousand dollars in flight + hotel for me and my spouse to go there. The potential employer hasn't mentioned anything about paying for at least my flight and hotel.
    Should I ask for it? And if I do ask, how would you guys pose the question?

  • #2
    It is usual and customary for the potential employer to cover your interview expenses. If you have a contact at the hospital that is not a physician (executive assistant / secretary), start by contacting that person. I can't say whether or not they would cover your spouse, but if they want you, they should. It's a business expense for them.




    • #3
      I would go so far as to say that if they are not paying for the flight and hotel, it is not worth turning up for the interview.  This is not residency.  If an employer is not paying for this, they are not serious about you.  Definitely ask.  If they aren't planning on paying for hotel and flights, they are either so clueless about how to hire someone at this level that they may not be worth talking to or they are already taking advantage of you.  Before you show up for the interview.  Not somewhere you want to work.  Expect to be reimbursed for coach class airfare and whatever hotel they recommend/arrange for.  I would ask them where to stay if they don't make the arrangements for you (we typically make the reservations when bringing in a candidate), as they know the area and can tell you where, which also tells you how much they expect to spend for the hotel.  Don't expect to be reimbursed for every meal or incidental expense along the way.

      The flip side of this is that if you schedule the interview and have them spend a bunch of money on your trip and you cancel, plan to reimburse them for the flight and hotel expense they have incurred.  Also, when a practice flies you in and puts you up, don't use the same trip to interview with their competitor. Unless your field is much different they mine, it is a much smaller world than you may realize and being a jerk to anyone can have profound consequences at times.




      • #4

        I agree with everything that Raster said above. Docs tend to be somewhat clunky when running the recruiting/interviewing/hiring drill, but if they do not pay for your trip, they are either not interested, stingy beyond the norm, or poorly managed.

        I had a recent somewhat amusing situation in the context of a recruitment. We were advertising for a particular position, and I received an email from a well-qualified candidate, from out of town with no connection to the area. Where I live, that is a very low yield proposition. He told me that he was interested in the job, despite my upfront concerns, and wanted to know if he could interview with us six weeks or so out. I told him that we would probably (hopefully) have the job filled by then, but I would let him know if this was not so. I thought that after a brush off like that I would not hear from him again.

        Maybe a week or two later, I received an email from him that he would be in town to visit with some friends in 10 days and wanted to know if I could meet with him on the Monday morning. I said sure and made arrangements to meet him for coffee. He shows up at coffee in a suit and clearly is in "full interview" mode. I quickly, surreptitiously, emailed our group leaders to tell them that we had an interview today, apologized for the late notice, and he relatively seamlessly completed our standard interview process.

        Because we really never invited him for an interview, we never offered to pay his expenses. Ironically, my chief liked him enough to offer him the position, which, as expected, he did not accept.


        • #5
          This one sounds like he wanted a free trip to visit friends.  But for other open positions I would expect travel, hotel and at least one nice meal with the group/partners paid for.  We do this for our interviewees.  In my job a companion airfare was also paid for - and I actually interviewed at two places in the same town which allowed them to split the costs (and they upgraded me to first class for flights).  It's a whole new world outside of residency/fellowship interviews and you should be wined and dined.


          • #6
            Sounds like the VA.  I got an offer only following a phone interview (not even a video conferencing interview).  I wanted to come out and check out the VA Hospital, but they refused to pay for my flight because it wasn't an "interview" anymore.


            • #7
              Thank you all for the responses! I will be direct then and ask them about it.
              It is difficult to change mindset resident/fellowship interview to the new attending interview.
              We had a phone interview and I was really surprise as they did not ask me a single question about myself, all they did was talk about the practice and answered my questions. They asked me for a few people they could call for references but that was it.
              I hope that doesn't mean they are not interested and I guess I will know soon enough in case they say they will not pay for my travel or something like that. Maybe they will ask all their questions when I am there in person..


              • #8
                If it was me it would depend on the circumstances on whether I would ask for it to be covered.

                If it's a group that's not actively looking or recruiting and I reach out just trying to get a foot in the door to make an impression then I would go on my own dime.

                But if they're actively recruiting then I would assume it's all covered and would contact them about the specifics. Otherwise huge red flag


                • #9
                  Hrm, I find this interesting as most of the smaller private practices I interviewed with did not offer to put me up or pay for my flight. All of the larger multi-speciality groups and private-equity back mega practices did however. Not sure if this is just something unique to smaller fields like Dermatology or if I was just interviewing at the wrong practices!


                  • #10
                    Agree with above: big red flag if they don't pay for these expenses, don't bite.

                    During my previous job searches I was surprised to find that while private practice and most hospital system employee offers always paid these expenses, I did interview with a well-known prestigious healthcare system that was really stingy (e.g. asking me to pay for certain things with promise to reimburse, which I really dislike because of how unnecessary it is and how long it usually takes for the reimbursement to come in) and then kept refusing to tell me what the salary offer was - they kept wanting me to go deeper in their interview process, promising they would tell me later.  I finally gave up and moved on, I had other offers and couldn't keep delaying a decision waiting for them to stop being coy.


                    • #11
                      Every interview I did paid for everything, even those that were just single docs looking to add another person. Huge red flag. Even if they are tough in other areas it just shows lack of understanding or respect for the process, which cant bode well elsewhere in the practice.


                      • #12
                        Should I expect them to pay for my spouse's flight as well?


                        • #13

                          Should I expect them to pay for my spouse’s flight as well?
                          Click to expand...

                          I have seen this done (and have had it done for me), but it is not necessarily "the standard of care". I would not expect it. You might drop, "...and my wife will be accompanying me..." and see if they bite.


                          • #14
                            We have always paid for the significant other to fly in as well.  Again, it comes down to how serious they are about hiring someone and keeping them.  Other than a handful of "known quantity" major cities, the practice should want the spouse to come and critically evaluate the location - are they going to be happy there?  If the spouse isn't happy with the location, the doctor won't stay.  There are a lot of things you can't truly know about a practice prior to being hired. You can know with certainty its location.  It is a terrible deal for all parties when a new doctor is hired and then leaves in six months or a year because their spouse doesn't like the city.


                            • #15
                              WCICON24 EarlyBird
                              Every place I interviewed at paid for my wife as well. They should understand that recruiting your spouse is a super important part of the process, if you can sell them and they also like it, its a done deal. I wouldnt like hiring someone without the spouse being fully on board and having a feel for the city and practice.