It is always difficult to feel like you are in control when it comes to your first real job. It isn’t easy being the new kid on the block, especially if you expect something completely different from what you get. However, with more physicians leaving jobs within two years of employment, it’s essential to be thoughtful about your first career opportunity as a physician.

Here are the five key factors to consider when seeking your first physician job.

1. Work with a trusted recruiter

Finding a physician job on your own can be challenging, but working with a physician recruiter can help you find the right opportunity. A physician recruiter will have access to more jobs and will be able to match your skills with the right position.

2. Income is not always everything

Most physicians put income at the top of their list of priorities when comparing various job opportunities, even though other factors are more likely to shape their experience on the job. For example, job satisfaction is a better indicator of turnover than income. Those who reported the highest levels of job satisfaction were more likely to stay in their current position than those who were the least satisfied. Other important factors include work schedule, call frequency, and the opportunity to learn new skills, which physicians should consider when evaluating job offers.

3. Consider practice setting and treatment philosophies

The way a practice is run will have a significant impact on physician satisfaction. Consider the culture of the organization, the practice setting, and the treatment philosophy when making your decision. For example, if you value work-life balance, you may want to avoid a high patient volume practice. Or, if you prefer working independently, you might want to steer clear of a large group practice. It’s crucial to find a good fit to be happy and satisfied with your work.

4. Location, location, location

The geographic location of a physician’s practice is another crucial factor to consider. Physicians should think about the type of community they want to live and work in and the commute. Those who choose to practice in a rural area may have a longer commute, but they may also enjoy a slower pace of life. Physicians who want to be close to family or friends may prefer a practice that is located near them. Therefore, it is important for physicians to weigh all these factors when choosing a location for your practice.

5. Think about your long-term career goals

When considering a new physician job, it is essential to think about your long-term career goals. For example, what type of physician do you want to be? What kind of practice do you want to have? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your options and choose the best opportunity for your career.

Final thoughts

You are the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to your future. Make sure you factor in these five key factors and understand each practice opportunity comprehensively before signing on with any healthcare organization.