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Advice for Finding Your First Healthcare Job

Published on: Oct 22, 2020


The transition from being a trainee to becoming a healthcare practitioner is not a simple process. While starting the search, there is a lot of factors to consider and preparation that will go into it. Here are some first steps to take before pursuing a career in healthcare:

  • Craft a curriculum vitae and cover letter
  • Consider your priorities
  • Get advice from graduates from the residency program
  • Go to recruitment events
  • Keep an open mind


Job Search Preparation

The first step in preparing for your medical job search is to make sure you have a CV, it’s up to date, and that someone has reviewed it for you. This is your best chance to present who you are on paper to prospective hirers.

Submit your CV to a wide network of people (faculty, mentors, industry professionals, colleagues). Often the best jobs are not public knowledge, and it can’t hurt for your network to have your CV on hand, and keep you in mind, if a position becomes available.

Utilize the graduates from the residency program – they just went through the same process and can have great advice and tips.

Go to recruitment events, talk to healthcare recruiters, and put yourself out there. You’ll find more of what you want by going and asking questions to narrow down your priorities.

“Don’t panic,” Codrin Lungu, MD, Program Director, Division of Clinical Research at the NIH says. “It may at times feel like the right job is not out there, but it probably is, and it will just take a bit of time to identify it. Be confident and aware of what you bring to the table.”


adult businessman close up at desk


Know Your Priorities

“Choosing a job is a very individualized decision based on priorities,” Ashish Aggarwal, MD, Staff Physician at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center advises. “Some important factors can be the setting (academic vs private practice), research opportunities, salary, and geographical location. It is always best to cast a wide net in order to find a job.”

Other priorities to think about will be spouse/family, and if the position supports professional development and career goals.

When casting the net in the medical job search, keep an open mind and don’t discount something at face value.

“Lastly, everything is what you make of it. Enjoy the human experience of being a doctor and connecting with patients—that’s still the basis of everything we do.” Gautam Jayram, MD, of Co-Director, Urology Associates. Here are some first steps to take before starting a job search in healthcare.