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I. Purpose of this Guide
This guide is targeted toward those looking for primary care general pediatrics jobs. There will be a few tips for hospitalists, but will mainly focus on primary care. It is meant to help streamline the process and suggest things to think about (and watch out for). Note: less time is spent on hospitalists because: 1. I looked for primary care jobs, 2. I modified this handout from an original handout found during my job search which was collected through sources: experiences of class of 2007 University of Chicago (I tried to collect my classes experience but had a poor response). Information gleaned from a conference on finding a general peds job by North Carolina Peds Society.  

My hopes are that someone from each future class will attempt to gather their class’s experiences and continue to modify the document.  

II. When to Get Started

A. Houston area: September

B. Out of town: This depends on how competitive the local market is. In general popular urban areas tend to be competitive, while more rural areas are always looking. For instance, in North Carolina, in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area there are so many pediatricians it is recommended you start looking in July, and even then many people cannot find jobs in the area. Get started earlier if you are looking out of town! You are going to have to arrange travel time for interviews.

TIP: Try to send out your letters 2-4 weeks before your residency schedule allows you to interview. People tend to respond about 1-3 weeks after getting your letters and it is better not to have to say “I can’t interview for a month” because you’re in the PICU.

TIP: Be prepared for the telephone calls from practices and recruiters. Having a small notebook on your person when answering phone calls will allow you to document the caller, caller’s phone number and email as well as the conversation about the job description. This will allow you to have a reference of recruiters to call back 2-3weeks before heading out on an interview trip to aid in setting up additional interviews with the most current job listings. It also will help in going on interviews to refresh what was originally described in the job over the phone.
III. Considerations Before You Start:
Is this the place where I want to practice and learn pediatrics for the next ____ years?
A. Hospitalist vs. Primary Care: while it is possible to look for both kinds of jobs, most people focus on one or the other. Some recruiters or future employers won’t like it if you say you are undecided—you need to have that “passion” for one of them. So if you are undecided don’t tell.

B. Schedules:
a. Common Hospitalist schedules: Most non-academic hospitalist jobs tend to be in 24 hour shifts. 2 or 3 local hospital programs I’ve heard about do 7 24-hour shifts a month. I’ve heard some do 11 a month.
b. Full time primary care: This can be just about anything. Ask about schedule when you visit. Most practices are doing some evening and weekend hours now. Typical would be one evening a week and a shared weekend schedule. In general 4 to 5 days a week in the office, plus rounding is typical.
c. Part Time: If you plan to find a part time job, allow yourself more time to find a job! It is apparently possible to find this kind of job, but most people I’ve heard of who succeeded did not have a job lined up after they graduated—it can take quite a while for one of these to open up, even at practices who have a lot of part time people.
i. DO YOU ASK ABOUT PART TIME UP FRONT? If you have to have a part time job, yes. The only way to find one is to ask. However, frequently candidates looking for full time will be hired over you. If you don’t have to have one, you can take your chances with seeing if they will let you go part time later. Many practices do, but even if they already have people who went part time later, it does not mean they will let you.

C. Practice Ownership:
a. Classic Private: owned by one person or group of partners
b. Private acquired by larger entity: practice sold to and overseen by larger administrative group (i.e.: TCPA groups)
c. Primary Care formed and administered by larger entity (i.e.: Kelsey Seybold)
d. Academic with primary care group combination

D. Location:
a. Metropolitan
i. Usually a major medical center nearby with subspecialists, teaching conferences, teaching opportunities
ii. Less complicated care on your own given availability of subspecialty care and specialty unit
iii. Social and Cultural Life
b. Rural
i. No major medical center: difficult subspecialty access due to time and distance
ii. More complicated care: need to take care of neonatology, emergency care with continued needs, chronic care follow up
iii. Social and cultural life very different from the city.

E. Solo/Group Practice:
a. Solo Practice
i. Incentives:
1. You are the decision maker and have total control.
2. Entrepreneurial Spirit,
3. Financial Control
ii. Difficulties:
1. Expensive and inefficient,
2. Who takes call? (call group vs. just you?, what do you do for vacations?),
3. You must handle all contract negotiations with insurance companies.
b. Group Practice
i. Two or more pediatricians who share: office space, equipment, income, patient care responsibility
ii. Advantages:
1. facility and equipment (multiple waiting rooms, special rooms like vision/hearing, lab, teen rooms, consult rooms),
2. High ticket items like computer, coulter counter.
3. Office Staff: Business manager for personnel and financials; staff for insurance, collectibles, referrals; clinical specialists like dietician, lab tech, lactation, nurse educator, psychologist.
4. Colleagues: shared night call, individual expertise, different personalities, sharing interesting patients.
5. Varied Patient Mix
iii. Disadvantages:
1. Need to play nice: share income, share decision making, share vision, represent all members
2. Care for each other’s patients

F. Big Practice/Little Practice:
a. Big Practice:
i. Advantages: More colleagues to get help, back up, advice from. Splitting up the call schedule. Likely easier to rearrange schedules. Hopefully more established/financially stable practice.
ii. Disadvantages: May be more hierarchical, or may not be. Some people just don’t like the feel.
b. Little Practice (i.e. joining a solo practice as the 2nd Dr.):
i. Advantages: Getting in on the ground floor—more equality when you make partner. Potentially better financial rewards.
ii. Disadvantages: Potentially less financially stable. Potentially worse call schedule (depends on if you split with a call group). Usually more rounding. More of an on your own feeling—this is a good or a bad depending on your personality as a new attending.

G. Academic/Private:
a. Academic: Affords teaching opportunities and possibly research opportunities. May pay less and afford less leadership opportunities.
b. Private: may pay better and afford partnership opportunity (with share of leadership and financial rewards). Usually less teaching opportunity, although some private practices have residents and medical students come through.

IV. Actually Looking: Sources to find potential jobs.

A. Ask attendings for contacts. Dr. Drutz is a good resource. Also think about finding people who trained other places in Houston (like UT Houston), as they will know people that TCH
would not. Ask permission to use the attending’s name who gave you the contact.

TIP: The highest yield in terms of getting responses from jobs is when you use someone’s name.

a.       If searching out of state, contact the residency programs in the nearest big city to your search. They can direct you towards the personal with the greatest knowledge of job opportunities in the area.
b.      If searching within TCH:
                                                                    i.            TCPA Recruiter: Marketta Beneke, 832-824-2319,
Marketa Beneke's email address is 
**The TCPA main office is at 1919 South Braeswood, Houston TX 77030.  When applying for a TCPA job, you need to send your CV and cover letter, along with a copy of your med school transcript and your USMLE scores.  While I sent an 'official' copy, it may be that they'll take a Xerox of the scores.
                                                                  ii.            TCPA job listing
                                                                iii.            FIS - Please send your CV to Dr. Paul Sirbaugh at and/or Geeta Singhal at

B. Emails about job postings forwarded by chiefs/Office Job Binder/On-line posting of the Job binder. These are places that are definitely looking, so they tend to get back to you.

C. Internet:
a. Job Board sites = Just type in your starting location and define a mile radius. = good resource for Healthcare groups organizations (i.e. Kelsey Seybold) = helpful because detailed when job was posted and immediate contact information = posts how many days the job has listed but most have separate log-in to apply for job (i.e. send information to recruiter) = must have login to site but will flag jobs that are new since your last search = will post down to the minute how long job has listed but may be difficult to find contact information as list is collected from a variety of sources (Monster, Web MD, etc.) which may require a log-in = post your CV here and recruiters with occasional private practices will call you but don’t expect to find many job postings here

Other Helpful Websites               

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