I forgot one term in recruiter ads that is easily misunderstood. This contributed to my disappointment in recruiter jobs. It's "metro area". I was thrilled when I come across ads featuring jobs in a "metro area in Massachusetts" and thought, metro area means population over 500,000. At least, that is "metro" for me. If I hear metro areas I think of Atlanta, New York City, Denver, Houston, Boston etc. To my great surprise, recruiters use the (formally correct) metro definition of the US department of statistics. And they define metro area as an area with a population of 50,000, in words fifty thousand. No wonder the recruiters advertise "metro" jobs and no wonder I was disappointed. I had not expected to find out that that "metro" job was in Worcester or Lawrence instead of Boston. And I bet I was not the only one disappointed. So, remember, Podunk is a "metro area". And, yes, recruiters have jobs in "metro areas"! They are right!
By the way, when I speak to my colleagues about recruiters, I usually get grumbling answers and spontaneous reactions like "Oh, they're the worst" - which stands in strange contrast to what the recruiter websites want to make you believe. On recruiter websites you read testimonials from "satisfied physicians", who usually have a first name and a letter as a last name, such as "Jonathan L from Arizona" who supposedly said: "You guys are the best, your service was phenomenal" and similar things. Were are these happy recruiter clients? I can't seem to find them! And I keep asking around collecting ideas for this blog. Maybe because I work in the city of Boston? And maybe because the recruiter clients mostly work in a Masachusetts "metro area" - somewhere out there far away? They all work "close enough" to Boston, "near" Boston, with "easy access" to Boston! NO colleague at my hospital found his or her position through a recruiter, not a single one.
The function of recruiters in the physician job market is to fill the less desirable jobs. When a recruiter calls, ask yourself: Do I really want a less desirable job?
Your Matthias Muenzer