Residents: How to network when you have no time

Published on: Jul 9, 2018


Medical residents may be expected to work up to 80 hours per week, with shifts lasting as long as 24 hours. Among other personal responsibilities, that leaves little time for professional networking.

Set networking goals

When you have limited resources for networking, you cannot afford to waste any time when you have the opportunity. Attempting to talk with random professionals in a scattershot manner will lead to less-than-ideal results. As Ivy Exec noted, busy professionals should set concrete goals and objectives. Remind yourself why you want to network, then look for ways to keep your objectives front and center during all subsequent networking interactions.

Introduce others

If your schedule looks too full to allow for networking opportunities, consider what other roles you might play. Networking means more than just finding contacts who can help you advance your career. It also means being a team player who supports other professionals. If you hear of an opportunity that isn't right for you, consider passing the information along to someone who can benefit from it. Being the person who introduces other people is a valuable networking role. When you think of others, they'll think of you, too.

Two doctors talking.Networking is more effective when you have established goals.

Use your meal breaks

All too often, a medical resident's lunch consists of food from a vending machine and a bottle of water. When you do get a chance to sit down for a meal, try to sit with other professionals and use the time to talk about relevant topics. You might meet new people who can help your job search, or learn about interesting new career paths. Over time, short conversations add up, and you can build your network at a manageable pace.

Connect with a recruiter

Speaking with other professionals is an excellent way to learn about new opportunities. But this method can also seem slow when you're ready for a change. Speaking with a professional recruiter can quicken the pace of your physician job search. After you connect with a recruiter, he or she will serve an active role in your job campaign while you focus on finishing your residency.

Medical job boards are a fantastic resource for finding new opportunities and making connections with established recruiters. To find positions that interest you, consider signing up for job alerts at today. Speaking with other professionals is an excellent way to learn about new opportunities. But this method can also seem slow when you’re ready for a change.