How to Find a Job After Residency

by Jill Leviticus

When your medical residency is coming to a close, it’s time to start your job search. Choose your first position wisely, because your decision will establish the foundation for your medical career. To find the right job after a residency, examine your wants, needs and career expectations.

Decide which factors are most important, such as the size and type of practice, location, salary and benefits. Research the cost of living in the areas you are considering to determine how much money you’ll need to make to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.

Discuss your search with your spouse or significant other, if applicable, to ensure that both of you will be happy with any job decisions you make. Consider how difficult it will be for your partner to find a job in a new location before you choose a job. Evaluate access to and availability of schools, an important consideration if you have a family.

Review Internet job listing sites and specialty-specific websites in cities you want to work in. Use search functions that allow you to sort jobs by specialty, salary range and years of experience.

Take advantage of personal and professional connections. Inform people in your professional network -- including mentors and medical school professors -- that you are looking for a job. Remember that job leads can come from the most unexpected sources, so include relatives and close friends in your personal network.

Check the classified section of medical journals and publications. Both print and online journals publish job advertisements for physicians.

Devote a portion of the time you spend at conferences and symposiums to networking. Ask other attendees and exhibitors whether they are aware of opportunities in your field.

Work with a physician search firm to find a position. Search firms work for medical practices and hospitals by screening applicants. Emphasize your priorities so that the firm doesn’t ask you to interview for positions that don’t meet your salary or location criteria.


  • Begin your job search at least one year before the end of your residency. Starting the search early will allow you more time to find a position that you truly want, rather than settling for any available position.


  • Don’t focus on location only when searching for a job. A survey by Jackson and Coker, a physician staffing firm, discovered that physicians who spent fewer than five years at their first practice reported that location was the prime consideration in accepting the position. Taking into account other factors, such as patient load, hours, incentives, housing options and fit with the other physicians in the practice, will help you ensure that you make the best decision.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images