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LIST of the BEST QUESTIONS Young Ophthalmologists Should Ask When Looking for an Ophthalmology Job or Partnership Opportunity. Featured

Best Questions

This is a List of the Best Questions Young Ophthalmologists Should Ask When Interviewing for Jobs, Employment or Partnership Opportunities. 

This OjO blog post is written exclusively for young eye doctors and surgeons who are searching for their first or second ophthalmology position.  This article is especially helpful for career-minded Ophthalmology Residents and Fellows in Training

Young Ophthalmologists - Here Are the Best Questions for You to Ask When You're Interviewing for Jobs and Partnership Positions with Future Employers. 

Many young ophthalmologists leave their first job within a few years. It is reported that approximately 50% of young ophthalmologists change jobs within the first 3 years of their career.  Assuming you are a young ophthalmologist reading this post and you would like to benefit from the experience of other doctors who didn't pick the right eye job the 1st time, these great tips and questions should be a big help when you're interviewing for jobs and partnerships.

You get phenomenal training- you get incredible hands on experience--- You’re bright, bright people and you are incredible decision makers. You absorb information, make assessments and set a course of action---you are trained to execute good judgement. And yet, when it comes to picking your 1st ophthalmology job, the success rate- well... is less than spectacular. After all, most of us, don’t want to pick a job for 2 years then sell a house and relocate our family- move our kids to a new school, find a new job for our spouse...We don’t as a rule, Love Chaos--- We generally, want to settle down in our 30’s---Many of you went to college or university in one place, then moved somewhere else for medical school, then moved for an internship, then moved for residency, then moved again for fellowship training....That could mean relocating 4 or 5 times in your last 12 - 13 years. That’s a lot of movement---great for staying fit and active, not so great for home life, or settling down and being involved with a community of people. Now you’re looking for something more stable- you and your spouse would like to "settle down". Unsurprisingly, one of the first things I hear job-seekers say that they want in a practice opportunity is “security, stability”. They’re tired of moving. Now to some extent these are universals. Most of us want security and stability in our work life. But, for residents and fellows, it takes on added meaning because every stop has just been a “next place” and not a home. 

So, for the doctors in the house that would like to make wise career decisions this is for you.
Here are some of the common reasons ophthalmologists switch jobs. Below that is a list of questions or topics that might help you to make a good job choice. Perhaps by sharing this with you, you and your family will enjoy living in and being a part of a great community---for longer than 2 or 3 years!

Reasons Ophthalmologists Leave Their 1st Job
“I’d like to be a lot busier.”
“My spouse doesn’t like the area.”
“We’re too far from friends and family.”
“The buy-in costs are too high!”
“This just isn’t a good long-term fit for me.” This last one, “not a good fit for me” is normally code for one of two things; I disagree with the ethics of the practice or I don’t get along with someone influential in the group---- or both.

The Most Important Questions Ophthalmologists Should Ask When Interviewing for Jobs, Employment or Partnership Opportunities

Best questions young ophthalmologists should ask when looking for jobs OjO Ophthalmology jobs Online Small

Here is OjO's list of great questions and topics to ask and discuss when you’re on the job hunt, searching for the ideal ophthalmology job or partnership opportunity. I call these, the
“Things I Wish I Had Known” questions and topics. This checklist is perfect for young ophthalmologists who are searching for their first or second employment opportunity. Some of these are standard but a few are especially helpful depending on your situation. They all serve as good questions to keep in mind when you're interviewing and learning more about jobs and practice opportunities in ophthalmology. 

  1. How much does an ophthalmologist make- ie, what is "market rate" compensation for an Ophthalmologist?
  2. Are you offering loan repayment, sign on bonuses, or relocation?
  3. Are you charging Goodwill?
  4. Who owns the ASC?
  5. What is your doctor and staff turnover like?
  6. How often do associates become partners?
  7. How does the practice handle negative online reviews?
  8. Will someone in the practice serve as my mentor?
  9. How busy will I really be in my first 3 months and in my 1st year of work?
  10. Where will my patients come from?
  11. What will the buy-in cost and what does it include---What’s not included?
  12. How healthy are practice relationships with primary care providers, other ophthalmologists and sub-specialists and area Optometrists?
  13. What percentage of patients are word-of-mouth?
  14. Is the practice adding multiple doctors at the same time?
  15. How will the practice market you and introduce you to the community so that you can both be quickly successful?
  16. Is the practice considering a merger, acquiring another group or perhaps selling out to private equity?
  17. If I prefer not to become a partner, will I be allowed to stay on as an employee?
  18. What are the steps to becoming a partner?
  19. What are the advantages of becoming a partner?
  20. Would you mind if I talk with the last doctor who was here?
  21. In what ways is the practice always looking to improve patient eye care?
  22. How happy are you with your EMR?
  23. What is the purpose and mission of the practice?
  24. What does the group do or want to do to attract and keep top notch non MD talent?
  25. How will I fit in best with the practice?
  26. What is the practice culture? What’s it like to actually work here?
  27. How much time will be spent at remote locations?
  28. What is the commute time to each location?
  29. What kinds of patients will be sent to you from other doctors in the organization?
  30. How much inter-office competition for patients is there?  In other words, who decides what patients get sent to which doctor?
  31. I know tech turnover is a big issue at most practices, but what will you do to keep the very best techs here?
  32. Can I meet and speak with people in other departments, not just doctors. I'd love to talk with your administration and marketing departments.
  33. Why do you think people believe in the organization?
  34. How are decisions, especially big decisions, like capital purchase in the practice, made?
    Have I had an attorney review my employment contract? Suppose you lose your job or decide to switch practices, will you be able to stay in the area and still practice locally or will you and your family have to relocate?
  35. How flexible is my schedule? 


That's a long checklist of questions for YOs.  Here are a few additional questions/topics for you just in case you're hungry for more "ophthalmology job brain food". 

Legitimacy of the need. I noted this above, but establishing or understanding in detail how busy you’ll be clinically and surgically and where your patients will come from is super important. Often, young doctors tend to gloss over this. I encourage you to examine this in detail.

Purpose---- Do employees and doctors in the practice believe in the organization? Meaning, is it more than an avenue to profit and pay--- are you really able to provide excellent care...does the practice look for opportunities to grow and improve for the good of the patient?  Does the practice give back in their local community- to schools, churches, charitable organizations or through medical missions?

Trust--- Is your sense that the practice is ethical, has a good reputation, doesn’t push unneeded surgeries, IOL’s etc? No matter where you choose to work, there will be some times of conflict. The key is, “Do I trust the people I work with?”


Thanks for reading "The Best Questions Ophthalmologists Should Ask When Looking for Jobs".

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Drew Caldwell - OjO

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