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Seminars provide needed career advice for life after residency

LETTER — Posted July 15, 2013

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Regarding “Physician career moves: List before you leap” (Article, June 3):

I am an internist in Scottsdale, Ariz., and it was not until the winter of my third year of residency that I was approached by a faculty member about what my plans were after graduation.

At that time, I had no plans other than securing my state license and passing my boards. It was assumed that we residents just knew where we would go and what we would do, and how to go about finding positions that worked for us.

After making my own decision of where to start my medical career, I wanted to bring my experience of job searching and landing a position that was right for me to the current residents. For the last three years, Patti Thorn, PhD, an education specialist, and I have held monthly seminars about planning for life after residency for the internal medicine residents at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.

The premise is largely based on a 1978 article in The American Journal of Psychiatry by Jonathan F. Borus, MD, “The Transition to Practice Seminar.” Topics include making a job priority list, CV preparation, contract negotiation, fellowship application planning and financial planning. All internal medicine residents and medical students are invited.

Our goal has been not only to encourage, inform and prepare St. Joe's residents to be successful as they enter the real world of medicine, but also to reduce the job turnover we see in the newly graduated after a couple of years.

The recruiters quoted in your article have a lot of experience in this area, but what about our residency programs and faculty? Are we as educators doing a disservice to young doctors by not discussing these important job search strategies prior to graduation? Our seminar series is a first step to showing residents what smart decision-making in the job arena can look like.

Abby C. Roberts, DO, Scottsdale, Ariz.

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