Doctor Dan: Transitioning from Residency to the Working World

Hello, CareerBeat readers! I’m here to share a newly-minted physician’s perspective on the transition from residency to the working world.

I’m a board-certified pediatrician practicing at The Iowa Clinic, a physician-owned multi-specialty private practice in West Des Moines, Iowa. I care for children from birth to age 21 as an outpatient pediatrician, rotating call and inpatient management of newborn nursery patients with my three partners.

I am a native Iowan who received my undergraduate education at the University of Northern Iowa (Go Panthers!). I received my medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and completed residency training in 2015 at the University of Iowa Stead Family Department of Pediatrics.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy running, golf, and exploring the Des Moines metro with my wife, Diana, and our 10-pound poodle mix, Moose.

I started my career search while on a rotation that will be very familiar to first-year trainees—night shift. Between answering my pager and silencing monitor dings, I searched for practical tips about how to begin a medical job hunt.

Google kicked out plenty of results but nothing resonated with me personally. I discovered that networking and asking a mentor for guidance, the two most common pieces of general advice, were difficult to accomplish at 3 AM. I quickly became mired in articles with ostensibly helpful, but ultimately vague, recommendations.

Simply put: I needed a guide—a recent residency grad with practical, specific advice about how to find jobs in the real world.

Unbeknownst to me, one of my patients on those same night shifts was related to someone with connections in the physician employment world. Three years and a couple of serendipitous encounters later, I’m now in a position to answer the questions I had while seeking my first real job. I’m excited about the possibilities of PhysEmp’s CareerBeat blog and look forward to overcoming my pathological fear of a blinking cursor on a blank white screen. I am also certain none of those initial articles listed this as a potential career direction.

My goal for the CareerBeat blog is to bring a common sense approach to employment topics that matter to residents. I’ll be sure to discuss CVs and resumes, job fairs, recruiters, phone interviews, and some finer points of job-hunt etiquette. Lighter posts about surviving residency and off-the-wall things my patients say will be mixed in along the way.

Interested in hearing about a specific topic? Have a burning question about your new job search? Comment below.

Coming up next: resume advice from the working world. I’ll share my top resume dos and don’ts. Stay tuned!

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