Monday, September 17, 2007

Great books for Physician Job Search

Two useful publications for physician job seekers:

The first is the surprisingly good "The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Right Job after Residency" by Koushik Shaw, published in late 2005. This is probably the most useful book for the physician job search that I have come across so far. It is short, concise, to the point (sometimes a bit too short), but it covers absolutely everything that is relevant from getting to know your personal preferences in your work life to determining where exactly you want to live and work, how to find a job, how to interview, and - kudos for this section - how to analyze a practice you are looking at, what questions to ask a potential employer to uncover risks and possible mismatches early. The author goes into details of analyzing benefits offered by an employer and negotiating a contract. He even goes into the basics of opening your own practice.

Overall very well written, in good style, very easy and quick to read and extremely informative. One smart book everybody should read at least once and at least one year before graduation. It fits the motto of my blog perfectly "What I wish I had known as a resident". I highly recommend it.

Here is a review by Paul Gill on
"This book is an absolute must have for any graduating resident. The author has put an enormous amount of research into a concise and organized fashion, allowing even the time restricted resident to conquer this book in a few short sittings. I have discussed this book with several junior attendings and private physicians, and they are all amazed at how much accurate and insightful information is hidden in this short concise book. It will save you weeks or even months of research and grant you an amazing head start into identifying and obtaining the right career. I truly believe this book will substantially increase your chances of a successful and happy career choice plus teach you to avoid many of the common pitfalls."

Published by McGraw Hill it costs $21 at Amazon or at your local book store. If you are a physician searching for a job and only want one resource, read this book. If you have a bit more time, read my blog "The Summary on Physician Job Search" too, where I have summarized my experience and my knowledge about this topic.

While we all would love one single access point to the job search, it does not exist yet. It is doubtful it will ever exist, because there are so many different people and so many different ways of going about finding a job. New interesting websites for job seekers are added all the time, recently it was, a site worth visiting, exploring and watching.

A free publication is also worth mentioning: The recruiting firm Comphealth's "Best Friend's guide to find a job", which you can download for free here. It is a remake of Weatherby's booklet with the same title. Caution, you get what you pay for. It is free, because is a marketing tool for Comphealth and on every other page you stumble across sentences like "If you have any questions about xxx, call your Comphealth representative, who is well trained and very experienced, especially in xxx". And so on...

The information is good though and you can't complain about the price. As you would expect, the information is severely restricted to anything that will help to make you a client of Comphealth and make you more sell-able to Comphealth. A better CV, a better cover letter etc will ultimately make you more sell-able and therefore will benefit Comphealth. Any information that would lead you away from Comphealth and make you an independent job seeker such as tips for networking and for approaching hospitals directly and for direct mail are absent. But that's what you can find on my blog. Comphealth's "Best Friend's guide to finding a job" is an excellent complement to my blog.

As a side note - I would demote anybody from the rank of "Best friend" who would try to recommend that I use recruiters as my main way to find a job. After all recruiters know about maybe 50% of all jobs, not more. And here I am overly optimistic in my estimate, since a maximum of 30% of jobs are handed out through recruiters, according to a recruiting companies research. The real percentage of jobs brokered by recruiters might be lower, since nobody can accurately estimate the size of the "hidden job market" and the number of jobs filled without any participation of the public. The only way to approach the hidden job market, and that means all those jobs that either are not advertised yet and all those jobs that might be filled before they are ever advertised (because they are so attractive), all those jobs are off-limits to recruiters. But YOU can easily find them by networking, by sending your cover letter and CV to EVERY doctor in your target area and by using "", who can do the legwork of direct mail for you for a fee.

There is another book available on the topic of physician job search. It is called:
"The Physician's Job-Search Rx: Marketing Yourself for the Position You Want" J. Kashani, W. Allan and K. Kelly. I DO NOT recommend it. It was published in 1998, it feels outdated and actually is outdated. The internet and its possibilities are not discussed as you would expect, and overall it just pales compared to the excellent style, balanced handling of topics and thorough research of Dr. Koushik Shaw's book.

1 comment:

Adam said...

We also have some excellent resources on our website, both in our career center at and our career blog at