Surgical checklists are now a routine protocol in operating room suites at hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers across the country. Borrowed from a flight safety tactic piloted by the airline industry, surgical checklists are an important patient safety technique to ensure that the right patient is getting the right procedure in the right setting by the right medical team equipped with the right tools.
But what about finding the right job? Where’s the checklist for newly minted anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists that will help them launch their first career search? There isn’t one, so we at NorthStar Anesthesia put together a five-step checklist for the anesthesiologists and CRNAs who need assistance finding their way to the right operating room suite.
Step 1: Starting Your Career Search
- Prioritize the job factors that are most important to you
- Colleagues and co-workers
- Job stability
- Organization reputation
- Work environment
Identify potential employers before residency and/or training ends
- List and prioritize 5 to 10 potential employers
- Research the hiring managers and hiring process for those potential employers
- Take advantage of informal networking opportunities with potential employers
Avoid and eliminate potential pitfalls before applying for positions
- Understand and meet state licensing requirements
- Remove any potentially damaging information on social media channels
Step 2: Knowing What Career Options Are Available
- List pros and cons of an academic practice
- Are there teaching opportunities?
- Are there research opportunities?
List pros and cons of a large anesthesia practice
- Does it have a national presence with relocation opportunities?
- Does it offer leadership opportunities?
List pros and cons of a private practice
- Are there ownership/partnership opportunities?
- Are there ancillary business or practice opportunities?
Step 3: Writing Your CV
- Write a general objective statement that’s easily customizable for the position you’re seeking
- Ensure your CV includes the following essential elements
- Contact information
- Education and post-graduate training
- Honors and awards
- Licenses and memberships
- Research and publications
- Work history
- Hobbies and interests
Use clean formatting that can be downloaded to a job website
Step 4: Planning Your Interview Strategy
- Business attire
- No scrubs unless requested
Ask specific questions
- Ask to meet with the appropriate administrators and surgeons
- If you’re interested in career advancement and opportunities, take this time to ask
Do your research
- Read about the practice’s leaders and board members
- Search for recent news articles and press releases about the practice
- Visit the practice’s website
Relax and socialize
- Accept a dinner interview offer
- Picture yourself with the practice team now, in one year, in five years
Step 5: Negotiating Your Contract
- Review a contract for the following standard elements
- Assigned hospitals
- General terms
- Professional duties
- Term and termination clauses
- Review a contract for the following non-standard elements
- Malpractice or liability coverage terms
- Non-compete clauses
- Have your attorney review the contract
- Negotiate to include more favorable terms or eliminate any unfavorable terms
- Sign and return the contract in a timely manner
Like surgical checklists, our initial career search checklist for new anesthesiologists and CRNAs won’t necessarily guarantee a perfect anesthesia services match. But, those who do follow our checklist will dramatically increase their odds of launching their professional careers in the right direction.
You can download a PDF version of our checklist here or our presentation on this subject, which we gave at the recent American Society of Anesthesiologists’ annual meeting in San Diego here.
What career or job hunting advice do you have for new anesthesiologists and CRNAs? Let me know at Jade.Vardeman@northstaranesthesia.com and I’ll add it to our checklist.