Top 3 Job-Search Tips for Residency Students & Locum Tenens

Guest Q&A with AJ Rachele
Owner, Medical Placement and Search International

Q: When should a residency student start their job search?

A: In general, it’s best to start early in your final year of training, whether that would be your final year of Residency or Fellowship. Most practices don’t start their recruiting process more than a year in advance of their need, though one exception would be if the institution where you are training has a position projected for a later start date (e.g. due to retirement or expansion).

Candidates in their final year are often seen as “more mature” clinically, which can affect the hiring party’s decision. They will have a clearer idea of your potential and your clinical performance thus far which can give you an advantage over candidates from the “outside.”


Q: When you’re seeking a Locum Tenens position, what are some things to keep in mind?

A: A lot depends on the purpose of the locum tenens position. If it’s just a “fill-in” position to provide income or additional experience while you are on a job search, you can be fairly flexible on the specific clinical duties and compensation. If you are looking for a longer, ongoing relationship to supplement your day job, it would be good to do some initial research on the clinical aspects of the position and the normal compensation offered for your specialty and geographic area before you make a decision.

You could very well land a permanent position during this temp period. In fact, it’s often a great strategy to supplement an ongoing job search, particularly if the position is open to providing coverage while the practice is interviewing candidates for permanent hire. In this sense, it’s kind of a “try it before you buy it” scenario. The practice members get to observe your clinical skills and performance in the workplace, and this can give you an edge over candidates who simply interview for the position.

Q: What are some tips for becoming the kind of staff member employers want to keep?

A: Obviously showcasing your clinical acumen is first and foremost. Efficiency is also very important in these days of reduced reimbursements in medicine. Other considerations, such as good patient interface skills and collegiality with the other physicians in the practice, often play a significant role as well.

Best of luck with your search!