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How early can I start my job search (fellow)

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  • How early can I start my job search (fellow)

    I am a fellow looking to start working in July 2021. I have a personal contact at a practice in my desired area, and have already spoken preliminary about setting up an interview in the next few weeks/months. I am somewhat hesitant to start the process now, as I want to be able to field other offers and negotiate, but am worried that other practices may not be looking out that far. I know I can ask around other practices in the area and see who's interested, but is there a benefit to trying to push this interview out as far as possible so that I can wait for other practices to start actively looking?

  • #2
    Some fellowships look 2 years out some look 1 year out. what kind of fellowship are you in?

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    • #3
      What field? Some fields (specialized?) will wait for the right applicant. Other fields like ED/anesthesia are more plug n play where if they have an opening they want to fill it ASAP. Are you GI?

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      • #4
        Yep - I'm sorry, should have specified. I am adult GI

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        • #5
          For GI start interviewing during you last year of fellowship. Ideally in fall/winter. We are hiring, would be interested in a 2020 graduate.

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          • #6
            I think a 1 to 1.5 years out is certainly reasonable to start your search. Most well run private groups will be able to predict their needs (retirements, etc.) a year or so out.

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            • #7
              I don't think you are too early. Any group that has their crap together should be willing to entertain a applicant for the next year or 2.
              Everyplace I know is looking for a gastro. Maybe it is just my area but seems like you should have an easy time finding a job.

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              • #8
                You can start putting out feelers into your desired area. Also can look outside that area and get practice interviewing and doing phone calls.

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                • #9
                  I think that it would be too early in my specialty.  If a group had a need, they would want them to start within a year or so.   It's hard to predict a need 2 years into the future unless some senior partner is planning on cutting back or retiring in that time frame or they are anticipating a lot of growth.   It may be different for a high demand specialty like GI, I suppose that a large enough group maybe willing to hire you and wait for you if they do not believe that they can find someone else in the interim.   If you are really committed to a particular area, I suppose that it makes sense to speak with groups far in advance so that you will be on their radar.  I don't know if anyone would give you a written contract 2 years in advance, but a verbal agreement may suffice until next year when things are formalized.

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                  • #10
                    For me, job location is weighted very heavily.  I signed a contract a year out with the hospital still under construction because that's where I wanted to live.

                    If you know where you want to go, IMO no prob putting out feelers in that area.  Post back here for advice if somebody wants you to sign a contract two years in advance.

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                    • #11
                      My wife is GI and started looking 2yrs out and signed 1.5yrs out.  However, we were looking in a specific area, her hometown, where she also had connections.  We weren't in the area at the time so she reached out early on just to start talking to people, getting a feel for things very casually.  One group got very interested in her as I think they were looking for particular candidates and were willing to wait for the right one.  They made her an offer and she accepted.  There were no other serious offers made but reading the landscape, the info she was able to gather, and even if she were to get an offer elsewhere we were pretty confident this group would still be the best option, financially and otherwise. She didn't even bother negotiating because it was a very good offer.

                      I say take the interview and see what happens.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the replies. I decided to take the plunge and start looking. I have an interview lined up in a few weeks, in area that's low-to-medium COL. there's only a few GI groups in town, not a lot of competition. I am trying to get an interview with the other group but have not had luck yet; my question is, if asked by the group i'm interviewing if I'm interviewing "anywhere else in the area" (again, there's only 1-2 additional groups, so they pretty much know the options), what's the best way to respond? If I tell them I plan to interview elsewhere in the area, versus being vague and saying I'm not sure, does it really make a difference? The goal of course would be to try and coax a stronger offer if possible. I'm sure I am being naive in some respects, but also I feel this is a tough situation with limited number of groups in my desired area, and they may not all be looking for a person to start when I want to start.

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                        • #13
                          Just tell them you're in the process of evaluating the other groups. It's the truth. There's nothing wrong with interviewing with the other groups. If anything I'd prefer candidates interview with our group and other groups in the area. It needs to be a good fit all the way around.

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                          • #14
                            I would just make sure that they do not know that you are committed to the area.  If they know that you are committed to the area, they probably know if the other groups are hiring and if not, will probably be able to start you off with a low offer.    I wouldn't lie and say that you have other interviews scheduled in the area, medicine is a small world and I'm certain that will be able to easily determine if it is true or not.   You can just say that you are looking at the other groups but haven't started the contact process because it is early if you want to.

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                            • #15
                              Just be honest.  If it's a small town and only few other groups, they all probably know each other and maybe even worked with each other at some point. They may very well talk to each other too and if you're caught in a lie, that's not good.  I would also bet they also have an idea of what the other groups are like, what they offer, etc. so I wouldn't worry about it much.

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