Find Your Opportunity as an Internist
It takes doctors about 20 years of studying and training to practice medicine. Their educations include 12 years of general education, four years at a university, and three or four years of residency.
After completing their residency, soon-to-be internal, or general, medicine doctors have several options. They can:
- Work as a Primary Care Physician in private practice.
- Become an Internist in a hospital.
- Apply for fellowships to continue training to become a specialist.
- Teach at hospitals.
However, before becoming employable or to continuing your education, you need to take and pass your boards to become a certified physician.
When to Apply for Jobs?
Delaying the search for a job in certain specialties or in certain areas of the country can increase the stress residents are under in their last year of training. There is often lots of competition for employment in desirable cities.
Also, their last year is already hectic, so trying to look for a job within the last few months of residency can add more responsibilities and stress to their lives. The time for job hunting should be in the fall of their final year.
The process for finding work as primary care physicians or as internists in hospitals involves searching for positions, doing on-site interviews, finalizing contracts, and completing pre-employment paperwork.
This process is time consuming and you shouldn’t be adding more stress to an already busy final year of residency.
When to Apply for Fellowships?
If an internist wants to apply for a fellowship in one of the 11 subspecialties of internal medicine, they should also get an early start. Some subspecialties have more competition than others due to their desirability.
The search for a fellowship should begin 18 months to two years before residency ends. If they wait too long, then residents may find many of the fellowships already taken.
Where to Search for Jobs?
While you may already have a certain area of the country in which you want to work, you need to find openings there for which to apply. Start your job search online by visiting websites that contain internal medicine career options.
These opportunities usually include open positions at private practices or in hospitals. Openings on job boards may include details about the hospital or practice and the community where the opportunity exists,
There are several job boards online on which to search. Some are owned by private companies, but others may be run by professional medical associations.
Searching for Teaching Opportunities
Opportunities to teach others medicine at a teaching hospital may also be open for internal medicine doctors. Many job boards also include opportunities at teaching hospitals.
Even if you’re a first-year doctor, if you have the clinical or research experience a teaching hospitals needs, you could get the job.
While the median income for internists is about $167,600, it depends on the experience and subspecialty of the doctor. Usually, specialists receive more pay, as do those who are more experienced.
However, that shouldn’t deter you from seeking a position or fellowship in a city or at a hospital in which you’ve always dreamed of working. By starting your search early, you are more likely to get your desired opportunity than those who wait too long.