The average graduating physician begins his or her search as early as twelve months before graduating, while many of the remaining graduating physicians begin their search as early as six months before graduation. Because of this, many recruiters believe a graduating physician who is still available by August is in some way lacking.
Whether their continued availability is a red flag or may just signal that they are somehow less desirable, many recruiters are hesitant about pursuing these physicians. But while in some instances continued availability late in the physician recruitment cycle can indicate that a candidate has unseen issues, in many more instances this availability has to do with personal preferences or sudden changes on the candidate’s part.
Below are three reasons that physician recruiters shouldn’t count out graduating physicians that are available late in the physician recruitment cycle.
1. Waiting for Their Boards
While many graduating residents and fellows are eager to lock in employment before graduation, others instead would prefer to wait to make a decision or even really begin their search until after they take their board exams. Some believe that having their board certification in hand makes them a more attractive candidate, while some prefer to concentrate on passing their board exams before undertaking the taxing job search process. The latter is even more common among candidates who are part of very rigorous training programs who have little spare time to search for opportunities or attend job interviews.
2. A Contract That Fell Through
Sometimes a candidate does everything right during the recruitment process, but due to circumstances beyond their control, a contract fell through or a final decision on behalf of the employer was pushed back. This can happen in instances when the candidate is joining a group that has not done their due diligence in determining if there was a) a true need, or b) the funds required to hire a new physician.
3. Changing Priorities
Just like the rest of us, life can surprise graduating physicians. In these cases, the candidate will find themselves needing to change directions late in the physician recruitment cycle. Reasons can include family emergencies, a change in spousal preferences, or even an unexpected new addition that changes how the candidate views their prospective opportunities. In these instances, an otherwise fantastic candidate can find themselves starting from square one as the summer rolls around.
While it’s important for a physician recruiter to do their due diligence and inquire why a candidate is still available late in the recruitment cycle, a candidate in this position is often still a solid candidate. By understanding the varied reasons a physician may get a late start on their job search as they come out of training, recruiters can reevaluate their existing preconceived notions and consider candidates they may have shied away from before.