The world of medicine is like a bubble. A lot of people THINK they know what goes on there, but unless you're down in the trenches it's unlikely you do. So here is my semi-anonymous blog, here to tell you what really goes on in the life of a medical resident.

Monday, July 07, 2008

So I Guess I'm Job Hunting...

I don't even remember the last time I had to look for a job. My husband likes to point out the amusing gap in the "Work Experiences" section of my C.V. that started in 2003 (when I began clerkship) and lasted until I did my stint as a moonlighting hospitalist last year. 

In all fairness, yes, residency is a job. But I put it under "Training" so there still looks like there is a huge gap where I did nothing. 

But now here I am, tweaking my C.V. and making contacts. Sigh. And more than a little uncertain about the future. 

When I first married Mr. Couz and it started to look like life might take us to this particular area, I made contact with the region's physician recruiter. I was hoping to sign a return-of-service agreement with the town, which would repay a portion of my tuition (to a max of $40K) in return for 4 years return of service. Sounded good to me. But I didn't want to work in just any rural/underserviced area, I wanted to work in this town. So I wanted a commitment.

Well, it wasn't going to happen. The recruiter was an expert at giving us the run-around. First she said she didn't want to make a commitment until I decided if I was switching programs or not (back when I was in the FRCP Emerg program). Then she couldn't do it that far ahead. Then she said it depended on if I was going to practice family medicine with emerg or just do emergency medicine. But all the while her stalling was laced with flowery promises and plenty of syrupy sweetness. In fact, she always seemed THRILLED that we were considering settling in the town she represented. But she still wouldn't sign anything. So in the end we took the $40K from the government, which gave us until 6 months after the completion of residency to find a town to sign with.

And then I matched here. I made it clear to the head of the department that we intended to settle in the area, and he was happy to hear it. They always had a spot on the underserviced list, he said, and they'd be happy to have me. We bought a house. We settled in.

We still crossed paths with the recruitment agent a few times. Each time she continued to ask if we were still interested in staying, and promised us the moon. But never committed to anything on paper. We started getting concerned, but the head of emerg assured us that she was just flakey and they were definitely interested in hiring me once my training was completed.

Then I went on my out-of-town rotations. And from there, maternity leave. Out of sight, out of mind. Two of the other residents in my training pool are hired by the emergency department to start on July 1st. 

And now I'm back in the emergency department where I'm hoping to work in just 5 months. They're already making scheduling requests going up to December, when I'd be available for work. I find myself working a shift with the head of the department once again. And again, I mention that I'd like to remain in town and be hired by the department. This time, however, the department head looked like it was the first he'd heard of such a thing. In spite of the fact that we'd discussed it twice in the past year. Nice.

So now he's humming and hawing, and telling me to send him a CV while simultaneously listing off all of the other nearby communities that are looking for emerg docs and encouraging me to check them out. Not exactly the reaction I was hoping for. Sigh.

So I'm job hunting. Great.

It has not been a good week.


Blogger medstudentitis said...

ah poop. That sucks. I can only hope that you'll find something close to where you want to be where you can commute easily from your house!

10:24 PM

Blogger Lindsay said...

People who don't value the trainees they're reputedly trying to recruit probably don't value their employees either. My advice is get the hell out of there, and go someplace where they'll treat you with respect.

11:18 PM

Blogger Jess said...

WHERE WHERE WHERE are you looking? That is absolute garbage for a place that says it's on the under-serviced list. That recruiter ought to be fired for doing such a poor job, especially with a physician EAGER to live/work there.

I'm at a smaller hospital in SW Ontario (and work at the bigger trauma centre up the highway too) and we would be THRILLED to have you work here! We're relying on the HFO team too much and it's killing the budget (though they are almost universally fantastic docs) Come work with us!

1:39 AM

Blogger Dragonfly said...

Grrr. Good grief...anyone would think that they didn't need (American trained) doctors.

3:21 AM

Anonymous Mayhem said...

Wow, that sucks. Still, you might find something better outside so maybe it's all for the best. He could at least be straight with you though and not beat arund the bush. I find it hard to believe he genuinely forgot you wanted to stay.

9:49 AM

Anonymous jojomd said...

Oh no, that really, really sucks. It's so frustrating after working so hard after many, many years to realize you don't know if you have a job, or at least not one you want. I had similar conversations after we moved out here in which people gave me suggestions about other communities that were looking for doctors to do occasional night call... it worked out in the end but was extremely stressful for a long time. I wish you lots of luck.

2:50 PM

Blogger Swedoz said...

I often think that medical recruiters are actually the opposite when someone is eager to work there.

6:41 PM

Blogger Resident Anesthesiologist Guy (RAG) said...

I hope all goes well. Whenever someone promises the moon it makes me nervous - b/c I've been burned a lot as well.

6:41 PM


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