Completed Your Residency? Here Are 5 Tips on Finding Your First Job

Becoming a doctor is notorious for taking quite a while. After completing your undergraduate education (which can take four to five years), you’ll have to complete medical school (which takes another four years), and after graduating from medical school there’s completing your residency (which can take anywhere from three to seven years, depending on your specialty). There are also the various exams that must be passed and the board certifications and licenses that must be earned. Once all of that is complete, it’s time to find your first (and possibly long-term) job as a doctor. 

#1: Starting Your Job Search

Your job search as a future doctor should begin at least one year before your residency is over, preferably 18 months to two years prior. Brome of the most important tasks that will need to be done include:

– Drafting a résumé/CV

– Prioritizing your goals 

– Getting key documents together

– Preparing paperwork

– Sitting for phone interviews

#2: Networking

Networking is a crucial part of anyone’s career, no matter what industry they’re working in— and this is especially true for future doctors. Networking is the key to not only finding a job, but also to improve in your career, managing the stress that comes with the job, and improving your quality of life in general. The first people to include in your network would be those you work with and learn from during your time in medical school, including professors and other medical school students.

#3: The Job Search

If your professional networks can’t recommend any job openings for you at the moment, there are other options available.

Job Boards

Job boards like and are some of the most popular options among people working in all industries when it comes to finding a job. In fact, Indeed is considered to be the top job search site. However, because Indeed helps people across all industries find jobs, it can be harder for professionals in certain fields— specifically doctors—  to find jobs that are a better match. Fortunately, there are physician-specific job search sites, such as:

The Medicus Firm

– PracticeMatch

– PhysicianJobBoard

– MDSearch


Another option you have is to look into recruitment agencies whose job is to help you find a job that’s a perfect fit for you. This may cost a little more on your end, but they’ll be able to help you find job opportunities that you may not have realized existed.

#4: Avoid These Mistakes

All of the long years of hard work and money you’ve put into pursuing a career as a doctor can make you eager to find a job. So it’s understandable that you’d want to accept the first offer. However, it’s important to do your research and negotiate. Offers that seem too good to be true likely are and could be masking something that could become an issue for you later on.

Don’t be afraid to explore different career paths (within medicine) if you’re not 100% sure of what you want. For example, a locum tenens position can be a great alternative for those who like to travel and/or desire more flexibility as a doctor.

#5: Starting Your Own Practice

Another option you have is to start your own practice. Usually experienced doctors start their own practice, but you can start a practice without having as much experience as seasoned physicians. It is, however, advised that you start a group practice if you want to take this route. A group practice allows you to share the burden of starting and running a medical practice, and partnering with more experienced doctors can make you appear more credible.

This is also where networking comes in again. Those in your physician network can help you when writing up a business plan or pro forma when seeking financing. You’ll also need to be able to equip and staff your medical practice, and those in your professional network can help with these resources. They can also be of assistance in securing the legal aspects of your practice, such as how to obtain business licenses and insurance.

The pressures of becoming and actually being a doctor are high, which is why it’s important to make sure that this is the career path you want to take. Being a doctor is also very rewarding, both internally and monetarily speaking— which is why it’s even more important to plan and take your time when it comes to your job search. The path to becoming a doctor takes time and patience, and your job search should be the same.