If you’re getting ready to start your physician job search, you’re probably concerned more with finding the right position than what doing so might cost. Believe it or not, applying, interviewing, and accepting a new position can be quite expensive, especially for physicians. Because of this, it’s important for physician job seekers to budget for all the likely and possible expenses that can crop up during their job search.
Below are six of the main expenses physician candidates can expect throughout the recruitment process – and some tips on how to mitigate them.
1. CV Writing Services
Whether you haven’t updated your CV in a decade or are just too busy to put one together, many candidates turn to CV writing services when planning to start a job search. These services can run hundreds of dollars, so putting your own together can be a huge cost-saving measure.
2. Site Visit Travel Costs
Ideally, travel costs for in-person interviews that are out of state will be covered or reimbursed by your prospective employer, but that isn’t always the case. Organizations in larger, desirable cities will expect candidates to foot the bill for their own travel expenses for site visits. When you combine the cost of a flight (or multiple), hotel stays, meals, and transportation, these travel expenses can add up. To minimize your travel expenses, try to cluster site visits for multiple positions.
3. Legal Assistance
If you’ve gotten to the offer stage of your job search, it’s time to start reaching out to a contract attorney. A physician’s employment contract is a nuanced document with many provisions that can have a huge impact on candidates – both in and out of the workplace. Make sure to have an experienced attorney conduct a full review of your contract prior to signing to make sure you avoid any surprises down the line. While having outside counsel review your contract can get expensive for practicing physicians, many residency and fellowship programs offer contract review services to their trainees at low or no cost.
For physicians in the U.S. on a visa, the legal expenses don’t end here. Many of the physicians on an H1-B or J-1 visa will need to work with an immigration attorney to address any job search restrictions or to complete documentation. While some organizations have in-house counsel or immigration attorney’s on staff, the majority do not. In some cases, the healthcare organization will agree to cover all associated immigration costs, whether or not you use their immigration attorney, but make sure to ask before hand.
4. Licensing Fees
If you are graduating from a training program, or aren’t already practicing in the state you plan to take a position in, you’ll likely need to apply for a state medical license. The costs and wait times for state medical licenses vary, so it’s important for candidates to budget accordingly. Additionally, while many organizations will cover the cost of obtaining a license, not all will. Make sure to clarify whether or not that is an expense your prospective employer plans to cover – or whether you’ll have to finance it yourself.
Most hiring organizations will assist physicians with relocation costs, making this seem like something a candidate wouldn’t need to worry about. But while organizations do help with relocation, most will only do so up to a point. Feel free to ask your point person within the organization if relocation costs will be reimbursed, and up to what amount, to avoid getting stuck with a several thousand dollar moving bill later.
6. Malpractice Coverage
Depending on the type of malpractice coverage you currently have, taking a new position might mean having to cover your tail. Tail coverage can be incredibly expensive, making this one of the biggest ticket items on this list. When in contract negotiations, be sure to request that tail coverage be included in what the organization will provide. While some may refuse to pay for tail coverage, others will include it in their total package.
Key Take Aways:
- Always ask! Make sure to find out what is covered by the hiring organization during the recruitment process and in the negotiation stage to avoid any surprise costs.
- Budget for legal fees, tail coverage, and licensing costs as those are less likely to be covered by an employer.
- Take advantage of any in-house services the employing organization or your current training program have to save on costs.