Congratulations! You survived school, passed your national board-certification exam and are ready to head into your career as a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant! Or perhaps you graduated some time ago but you’re considering a career change. Maybe you just know a few new graduates that could use some advice! This post is for you.
There are a lot of jobs out there for clinicians. But finding one that feels like a perfect fit can seem a little overwhelming. It’s time to ask yourself what you want—and that’s a big question. Let’s explore your options.
Where Do You Want to Work?
This comes with a lot of additional questions.
- Do you find work where you did your clinical studies or explore a different part of the country?
- East coast, down south, mountain frontier or midwest?
- Can you picture yourself in a rural setting, or would you prefer an urban environment?
Once you have the geography down, ask yourself:
- Hospital affiliation or private practice?
- Inpatient or outpatient?
- What about an unconventional setting, like an IHS program, mental health facility or military base?
- Do you want a nights and weekends position, or Monday through Friday?
Permanent or Locum Tenens?
Locum tenens allows you the unique ability to test drive different types of practice settings, which can be particularly valuable when you’re just starting your career. There are also locum tenens opportunities for “temp to perm” positions. If you’re thinking about trying locum tenens, ask yourself if the following sounds good:
- You can try out a job, practice type and work setting without making a long-term commitment.
- You can experience a new city, state or region without settling down (even if it eventually becomes a permanent home).
- Expenses for travel and lodging are covered.
- As an independent contractor, you’re responsible for managing your healthcare and taxes, but locums physicians typically earn a higher hourly wage—helping you pay down those student loans.
5 Final Tips for New Graduates
Enjoy this moment. You have a lot to think about right now, but you’ve worked hard and deserve a breather—even though this time can feel a little daunting. Here are some tips to keep in mind during the first months after graduation:
- Take some time for you. Even if you are ready to put your head down and find work right away, remember to give yourself a few weeks space. That means time to do things like celebrate with family and friends—and get to that oil change or dentist appointment you’ve been neglecting. Plus, it’s a great time to polish your resume and really think about your next move.
- Use your network! If you belonged to a student association, talk to other members. You can join national networks like the AANP, AAPA or AAP, as well as local groups. And of course, never underestimate the networking power of LinkedIn.
- Be patient and persevere. Even though demand is high for clinicians, the first job you land may not be your dream job. Remember to stay positive. You can gain valuable experience at every position in every stage of your career.
- Don’t be afraid to take a different route. Being fresh out of school can be a great time to gain some experience in a variety of areas to see what feels good. You never know what could end up being your path to happiness.
- Find a career partner. VISTA works with physicians, NPs and PAs in every stage of their professional lives, connecting them with permanent and temporary jobs across the U.S. and abroad. If you’re looking for a rewarding, flexible career option, we’re here to help.
If you need a hand navigating the waters post-graduation, or you’re a seasoned clinician looking for a career change—contact us. Or start by checking out open positions for Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers.
Finally, congratulations! And best of luck.