What to look for in a new hospitalist job?

1. Location: This is the most important thing to look for in a new job. It depends on whether you like a warm area or a cold or snow area or metro vs rural area.  The life can be totally different in two of these places.

2. Hospitalist Salary: Compare the salaries of several places. Salaries in Metros are less. When I looked initially in NorthEast, they were very less. Salaries in midwest are slightly high because of cold weather. You may do financially better in midwest. Also look into how much they pay for moving expenses and Sign-on bonus. Loan forgiveness is something that is offered at some places.

3. Matching 401K Contributions: See if your employer matches your 401K contributions and if yes,  by how much percent. 5% contributions is great.

4. Stability of Current Hospitalist Group: Talk to the current hospitalists and if they are working there for a long time then it must be a good place to work.

5. Restrictive Covenant: Lot of groups have restrictive covenants in place where you can’t work with in a certain radius distance if you are to leave the job there. I would prefer the one without a restrictive covenant.

6. Specialty Services Support: You may prefer a place with good specialty support like good GI, Cardiology, Neurology services etc.

7. Practice Model: I prefer a hospital owned practice as I do not want to deal with all the business issues associated with a private group.

8. Nocturnists: See if your group has designated nocturnists. It depends upon whether you like to work in the night or not.

9. Moonlighting Opportunity: You may want to do some moonlighting in  your off week. See if they have opportunities.

10. Academic Vs Community Hospital Set up: It depends on what you prefer.

11. Patient Load per day: Some hospitals or groups want you to carry higher patient load per day. If you are in a private group not owned by a hospital, you may have to cover some other private doctors and your load may be higher. 15 patients per day or less is reasonable. Work load increases exponentially after 15 patients.

12. Procedures: It depends upon whether you love to do procedures or not. Lot of hospitals do not need you to do any procedures.

13. ICU Set Up: There are hospitals where you need to follow patients in ICU and it’s called Open ICU. You may prefer Closed ICU where Intensivists take over once a patient goes to ICU and give you back once patient gets better.

14. PTO: One of the most important thing to look for is Paid Time Off. Some give approximately 15 days a year which accumulates each month by a few hours to make it a total of 15 days in a year. Some give CME paid time off. So it depends on the employer. We love our 15 days a year PTO that we get.

15. Language: This is not so important that you need to really put effort into this but some areas prefer spanish speaking doctors due to large spanish speaking population in that area.