Healthcare Career Resources is a blog for those who work in the healthcare industry. We cover topics ranging from current events to medical humor as well as more career focused topics such as job search and interview tips. We also publish articles written for healthcare human resources and physician recruiters.
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On top of the busy schedules residents tote, many also opt to "moonlight" for extra money. Managing a second job can be difficult when the first is already so strenuous, but this article hopes to shed some light on the how and why that resident physicians can...
While the term “moonlight” may conjure up romantic or poetic images, it is also a term used to describe something many doctors opt to do at one point or another during their careers.
Plainly, to moonlight (verb) is to work a second job. For doctors, this means acting in the same capacity you normally would, just in a different scenario from your primary “day job.”
Moonlighting can be useful for younger doctors who need to supplement their income during residency or fellowship training. Since the salaries of house staff are mostly paid for by federal funding, the salaries are comparatively very low, especially for trainees working in large cities. It can be very helpful to take home even a few hundred extra dollars per month to cover things like loan repayment or childcare. For more senior physicians who are looking to transition to part-time work, moonlighting can serve as a way to stay involved in your field with more control over when, where, and how long you work.
There are a few main things that you need to consider prior to looking into moonlighting possibilities. The major one is your contract within the primary position you hold, whether it be at a hospital or private practice. Most ACGME-associated training programs are very clear about if moonlighting is permitted during training. Many residencies will allow moonlighting after the first year, though some specialties (like ob/gyn for example) do not allow moonlighting at all. The main challenge for residents looking to moonlight is that they cannot engage in extra work that would push them over the limits of work hours each month (80 hours/ week, averaged over 4 weeks). Though this seems like it would be hard to do, even for one job, many a resident would disagree!
In fellowship, moonlighting is much more readily allowed and theoretically simpler to achieve, given that fellows’ hours tend to be less demanding, and they tend to be credentialed fully as an attending at their home institution. This can be particularly helpful given that many people are settling down and have families by the time they enter fellowship training.
Another very important element to consider is how you will be insured for malpractice during your work in moonlighting. This cannot be overlooked and is essential prior to applying for any given position. For many MD’s, moonlighting within their hospital system is the easiest solution to this issue, since you would theoretically already be covered by an insurance plan through the hospital. Working extra call hours or taking on home-call or telemedicine appointments can help to boost income with relative ease. You just have to be willing to sacrifice the extra hours away from home. For private practitioners, or those MD’s who are self-employed, the options for moonlighting are slightly more complicated. One solution, however, is to enroll in a Locum program.
Being a locum for a physician is essentially the equivalent of serving as a substitute teacher. As a locum, you enter into a position for a specified period of time, and once your contract is up you will move on. Many practices and hospital systems engage with a specific locum agency that arranges coverage during specific physicians’ prolonged absences. For example, a practice or department may require a locum during a medical or maternity leave, or during transition periods where a position is left vacant from a retirement and there is a gap in time while a new replacement is being hired. Usually, locums’ insurance is arranged by the agency that facilitates the locum position. For more information about the specifics of locum positions in your area, you can either identify the agencies that work within your zip code or city or reach out to specific hospitals’ hiring departments and find out how they go about the process of arranging locum coverage. This is beneficial for physicians who are undecided about the exact environment in which they would like to practice, those looking for more variety and flexibility in their schedule, or those who only need a temporary arrangement prior to onboarding at a more permanent position. It can also work as a supplement to the salary of someone like a hospitalist or nocturnist looking for flexible moonlighting positions on the side.
The other major option in terms of making money as a non-clinical physician would be moonlighting in advisory, consulting, or other more analytical positions. Physicians are necessary for the functioning of many businesses, from small to large. The marketability of a medical degree is fairly broad, considering business from cosmetics and medical devices to web-based publications and periodicals that rely on the expertise of doctors to legitimize their claims and evaluate safety of products. The law profession additionally relies on medical professionals for “expert witness” testimony and will pay handsomely for the service. This option is slightly controversial, as it can tend to place someone in a position where testimony could affect a colleague, so serious consideration is necessary prior to moonlighting in this way.
In conclusion, moonlighting is a viable and sometimes necessary option, particularly for newer MD’s who are on the lower end of the salary spectrum. It can also be instrumental in helping to figure out what exact type of practice environment and style works best for you, prior to settling down in a permanent position. For more information, refer to the specific policies of your primary employer’s contract.
Whether it's your first job fresh out of school or switching careers 30 years in, it is important to ensure that you land where you want to be. Finding the right fit with a company is just as important as finding the right fit with the work itself. It is important to prioritize what you want from your career, so you don't end up taking a great job in a terrible...
Whether it’s your first job fresh from college or making a company change, it’s important to make sure where you land is where you want to be. Finding the right fit with a company is as important as finding the right fit with the work. The best job in the world, in the worst company in the world, won’t be rewarding. So along with finding the right position, make sure it’s in the right company.
Some ‘must-haves’ for job seekers are easily identified: salary, benefits, and hours are typically the first items that make a good match. Job seekers often look at geography, as well. Is the commute too much to deal with on a daily basis, or does a higher starting salary make it worthwhile? Once these are checked off your list, dig deeper. The basics get you on the payroll today. What will your future look like, and what will the day-to-day consist of?
Professional development should be part of your plan for the future. You’ll want to assure it’s part of your new company’s plan for your future, as well. No one intends to spend his/her life in a dead-end job, but understand career growth isn’t a passive sport. Ask the hiring authority what growth opportunities the company offers. Do they have tuition reimbursement or continuing education programs? When are they offered? If you have to wait years to be eligible, consider whether or not that will work for you. Does the company have mentor or job shadowing programs? Are stretch projects or networking opportunities available?
While recruiters may not have specifics on every department’s options, they should be able to give you an overview of the company’s attitude toward professional growth. If they’re enthusiastic about touting the opportunities available, you’re on the right path to growing your career.
The term ‘culture fit’ has been criticized as more exclusionary than inclusive when it comes to hiring. But for job seekers, fitting into a company’s culture is as important as fitting into the role. Does their culture align with your personal values? You’ll want to be as proud of the company you represent as you are of the work you perform. Does the company value inclusion, social responsibility, and diversity? If these are important to you (and they should be), you’ll want to assure they’re important to the organization as well.
Ask about the mission and vision of the organization, certainly, but go further. Ask for examples or initiatives they engage in that further those goals and aspirations. While they might not be ready with a laundry list of line-items, they should be able to provide an overview of what the company stands for, and the efforts they make to get there.
Few candidates think to ask what probationary period there is for their new role, but it’s an important consideration. Most companies require one, typically no more than 90 days. You’ll want to ask if this time period correlates with the training period, as well. Can you anticipate a level of autonomy and independence once it’s completed?
A manager shadowing your every move for 90 days in a position that requires minimal skills may not align with your need for independence, but 30 days of training for a complex position may not be enough. Look for a probation/training period that fits your needs for learning and autonomy.
In addition to asking when you’re anticipated to work independently, ask when you can expect new challenges on the job. Again, the recruiter might not have specifics, but make sure to ask hiring authorities as you move along the recruitment process.
A best practice, even before you meet for the first interview, is to ask for a copy of the job description. Many companies post them with vacancies, so make sure to look. Ask if it’s current or if it’s been recently updated. Forbes reports more than a quarter of new hires quit a position within the first 90 days; nearly half of those do so because the job didn’t meet their expectations.
An accurate job description gives you a look at the day-to-day tasks required, additional duties that may be expected, as well as the longer view of the position. At every stage of the hiring process, affirm the job description is truly representative of the position you seek to assure a great fit for you and the company.
A new job holds the potential for personal and professional success. Make sure you’ve considered more than just the basics so the move you make is in the
At some point in your career, you may reach an impasse where your personal ethics and work assignments are not in alignment. Take it from us, it can be difficult to navigate the best decision in this case. You want to keep your job, and your integrity as...
I hung up the phone from our weekly conference call and immediately thought, “I’m gonna lose my job over this.” After several years of sticking with a company that I loved through staffing shortages, technological changes, and various other rough patches, I was completely floored by the managerial decisions that had been dropped during that call. I had asked questions. So. Many. Questions. But, they were prepared for pushback and every inquiry was met with a scripted legal statement that left no room for discussion. I knew that I had two choices. Comply, thus compromising my own ethics and putting myself and my patients at risk or refuse and risk my career.
We work for years to obtain our medical licenses and we study ethics as a part of that, being sure to understand our own biases and training to ensure that we always provide the best possible care for our patients. Above all else, we strive to DO NO HARM. Yet, there are instances when decisions are made that, while legally and scientifically “recommended,” are carried out in harmful ways. I think of the countless nurses and doctors that have spoken out during the recent COVID-19 pandemic when organizations took measures that would previously been thought of as harmful behavior (think reusing disposable materials, transferring positive patients into facilities without appropriate infection control, etc). Were their voices heard? I’m not so sure.
So, what are we to do when we’re faced with such a conundrum? Do we sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the company, and out of necessity of money and insurance? Or do we throw it all away and hope that our next organization will have an ethical stand that lines up more closely with ours? Unfortunately, it’s a deeply personal decision with no easy answer. Regardless of your decision, the most important part is how you carry it out.
Take a day, or two, or ten if you need it, to consider how the new policy relates to your morals and ethics. If you can’t continue working without directly facing the dilemma, take a few days off. Whatever you do, don’t rush your decision. You may find that a good night’s sleep, and the council of friends and family gives you a new perspective and a clear idea of what you want and need to do.
If you realize, during your time off, that you cannot carry out the new policy and walk away feeling like you did the right thing, then DON’T CARRY OUT THAT POLICY. You should absolutely, never breech your own ethics for the good of a company. If you do, you’ll have to live with your actions for the rest of your life, while the company itself won’t think twice of the emotional harm done to you. It’s not that the organization’s management doesn’t care about you as a person, it’s simply that they have a mission to carry out and the moral dilemma of a single employee isn’t enough to dictate change.
It can be intimidating to move on, and having to inform management of your sudden decision can be downright scary, especially if you are unable to give proper notice. Just remember that you’re doing the right thing and be 100% honest with your supervisor about your reasoning. It’s unlikely to change your current situation but may spark conversation that could change the policy in the future. This course of action may also help with receiving positive references.
When you start your journey to a new position, remain open and honest with perspective employers about why you left your previous position. Not only will you avoid ending up running head on into the exact same policy, but the perspective employer will appreciate the opportunity to understand you more as a person and as a professional. At the end of the day, you’ll be happier when you find a new gig that lines up more closely with your own moral compass, and they’ll be confident in knowing that you have a strong sense of values and ethics.
After hearing of the new policy implementation, I took a day off. Surely, I don’t recommend taking un-approved days off very often, but in this case, I felt that it was necessary for me to have a day to think over what I had heard. This gave me time to consider if I was simply frustrated with yet another policy change, or if my ethics truly were at stake.
On my day off, I sought the council of some trusted friends and colleagues. Hearing their feedback helped me to realize that I was not alone in my concern, but also that not everyone agreed with my stance. I knew then that my company would not receive pushback from all of us, and that I would likely be mostly alone in my non-compliance if I chose that route. However, I also felt the support and love from those around me, which gave me strength to go on. It was at this point that I discussed my options with my husband and gained his support in case things were to go poorly.
When I returned to work, I sat down with my chain of command and informed them of my stance on the policy and why I personally felt that I could not comply without breeching my own personal ethics. I fully expected to be fired. I was nervous and deeply saddened by the impending loss, but I knew I needed to have a discussion before moving forward. Surprisingly, behind closed doors, outside of earshot of upper management, my direct supervisors agreed with my position. I knew they would never publicly support me, but it was reassuring to know that they were understanding, even if they weren’t willing to advocate for our shared ideals.
For several days after the discussion with management, I was preparing for a job change emotionally. But, without explicitly saying so, it was almost as if they took measures to exclude me from the policy to the best of their ability. My work assignment was changed in such a way that I simply wasn’t faced with that particular facet of my position, and I was allowed to go about my days with relative normalcy. It was a kind and generous act by management that I never expected, and while I was deeply appreciative, I knew it couldn’t last forever.
I never intended to put my direct management in a position where they needed to defend my ethics against the company. They have their own ideas, values, and priorities to deal with, and that just wouldn’t be fair of me. Additionally, I knew it could only go on for so long, and eventually I would be faced with the same issue again. What made the final decision for me though, was knowing that I no longer wanted to be part of a team that was carrying out harmful practices. These were not bad people, and I really enjoyed them as friends/colleagues, but I just couldn’t continue to support the practice in place.
Each day is a series of decisions for us all. I had to make several difficult choices during that period of my life, but at the end of the day, I found that when I laid my head on my pillow, I could rest easy in knowing that I had not caused any harm to my patients and I had advocated for what I knew to be right. When you’re faced with a dilemma of this sort, and you certainly will be at some point in your life, you need to do the same. Take the path that allows you to sleep at night. Everything else (money, benefits, status, seniority) can be recouped or worked out, but none of it will ever be worth it if comes at the expense of your soul.
Many initially assumed that the healthcare field would be unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many were wrong. Navigating the job market post-coronavirus may seem distant, but it is important to stay sharp and vigilant on your career path.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people in every area of life across the country and around the world. Initially, many in the healthcare industry assumed that jobs in healthcare would be unaffected. Most healthcare jobs typically continue without disruptions, even in times of economic or social flux, and many in the healthcare industry did not expect the changes that have occurred in healthcare employment.
Those who are seeking a job in healthcare may be especially surprised by the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their job prospects. Many healthcare employers are not offering jobs during the national health crisis and may even be laying off their existing employees. Jobs in areas of healthcare that are considered elective may be especially impacted, with many of these areas being suspended in locations that are being impacted by the pandemic. While getting a job or changing jobs in the healthcare field may be especially difficult during this time, there are several considerations that people in these positions should consider.
Unless you encounter a unique opportunity that is better than your existing job, it is probably wise to not make any significant career changes during or immediately after the pandemic. Just as no one could have predicted that even ICU and ER staff would be furloughed or experience reduced hours in many locations due to the pandemic, no one can predict what will occur as the United States focuses on the new normal. A career change that does not guarantee continued security could be risky for those who are already established in a good job during the pandemic.
Some areas of healthcare will continue to be widely utilized, even in locations where pandemic-related lockdowns are more restrictive. The area of healthcare that is least affected by pandemic-related changes seems to be labor and delivery. The need for healthcare professionals to safely deliver babies cannot be delayed, and jobs in this area have been less affected. ER and ICU are two areas that, while impacted by lower censuses, will still always exist, even when censuses are low.
While career areas that are less affected by the pandemic may be a good consideration for those seeking a job in healthcare, looking into locations that are less affected may also be an effective strategy. Some areas of the country (typically more rural areas) have experienced fewer restrictions for a shorter period of time, allowing employers greater flexibility in offering employment.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has suppressed healthcare jobs in many ways, there are some areas that may be stimulated by the pandemic. At one point during the height of the pandemic, travel nurses working in New York City could make more in a week than would typically be possible in a month. While this is an extreme case, there may be options for healthcare jobs that have been created or will emerge as a need as the pandemic continues to run its course. Even if a job is not created directly in response to the pandemic, it may lead to changes in demand in some areas.
If you are new to the healthcare field, building connections can help you to access better career advancement opportunities. While now can seem like a difficult time to land your dream job, you can use this time to build lasting connections that will benefit you in the long run. Volunteering to help at a hospital, to help with drive thru COVID-19 testing, or for other volunteer opportunities relating to the pandemic will help you to foster these valuable connections. Another benefit of volunteering for a COVID-19 related need is that it will help to make you more attractive as a candidate when you are applying to positions later.
If you have been furloughed, laid off, or even had your hours reduced, you can use this extra time to improve your value as an employee. This could include studying for an advanced certification, pursuing additional education, or even reviewing things that you already are familiar with, but may have changed. By using your extra time productively, you will have more value to your current employer or may have access to better career opportunities later.
While the pandemic has definitely changed the types of healthcare careers available and people’s ability to work, there are many ways that you can use this time to ensure your career is still on the best track possible to succeed.
If you’re looking for a career change, HospitalRecruiting.com offers all varieties of healthcare jobs.
Emerging and advancing medical technologies reached new heights in 2020 and show no signs of stopping marching into 2021. The COVID crisis has led to many innovations and advancements, and it seems this trend isn't over yet.
As the sad chapter of 2020 closes, it is with hope and optimism that we can all look forward to the creative endeavors rolling out in the new year. The destruction of society as we knew it has opened the doors of opportunity to solve even more significant problems as we advance into 2021.
With the rapid deployment of COVID vaccinations worldwide, researchers provided tools to verify the results quickly.
An advanced nanomaterial-based biosensing platform developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University can detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies within seconds. While the world focuses on COVID-19, this technique has a very low error rate and applies to various other viruses of public health concern across the globe.
Over 5 million people in the United States currently have dementia, with a new diagnosis approximately every 65 seconds. This issue has apparent massive importance in light of our aging society.
Researchers have discovered how vector cells work storing time and distance data in the brain. Alzheimer’s preferentially attacks this type of cell and explains why losing objects is often an early warning sign of this type of dementia. The hope is that with earlier diagnosis, researchers can develop interventions for this fatal diagnosis.
The brain’s connectome can be thought of as a wiring schematic. Through a more comprehensive understanding of these links, researchers hope to discern key differences in disease states that will allow earlier intervention and the development of targeted therapies.
Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University have been using artificial intelligence to map brain regions. Using advanced MRI techniques, they have been able to determine neural connections at an accelerated pace compared to the older methods using animal models.
CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology has allowed the creation of novel concepts to treat a variety of health conditions. Genetically modified organisms are engineered to spread a desired genetic variation (Allele) throughout a targeted population. Proposed uses include the eradication of diseases transmitted by insects such as malaria.
GenElek Technologies is combining a robotic exoskeleton with AI, offering hope for people with paraplegia. Consider the impact as a reported 1 in 50 live with some degree of paralysis in the US alone. Additional applications include stroke, degenerative, or demyelinating neurologic conditions.
AI has previously shown promise in mammography. A new study at the University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry showed Denti. AI detected a significant number of pathologic conditions missed by human dentists. This technology promises less expensive care and improved outcomes due to early detection.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota have discovered a polymer-based method of delivering DNA that has promises in creating treatments for various genetic conditions. This tonic water molecule’s fluorescent properties allow researchers to track its journey through the body into cells. A significant cost saving is likely compared to current viral vector techniques.
As various entrepreneurs and their companies deploy solutions worldwide, enhancing and expanding internet connectivity, physicians and administrators can address the access to care issue head-on. Many parts of the world have internet access rates of 10-17%. Google’s Loon project has the potential to bring healthcare, education, and entrepreneurial opportunities by delivering affordable internet access.
2020 delivered many painful lessons. It also created numerous opportunities to solve inequalities and close gaps in our healthcare system while advancing functionality and longevity for humanity as a whole. Adopt an abundance mindset and find solace in the creativity and promise of those pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
Many reading this may find themselves with rounded shoulders and aching backs from long days seated, staring at screens. Don’t become a physical casualty. Reward your persistence, for you deserve self-care every single day. Consider the following tools as options for your survival as 2021...
Those reading this undoubtedly find themselves sitting with shoulders rounded, neck flexed, and backside aching from long hours in the saddle.
The setting of 2020 and the dawn of 2021 shifted the delivery mechanism of healthcare. The celebration of government mandated EHR rollouts was short-lived as the COVID pandemic forced a more profound attachment to the keyboard and technology. Hands-on has been replaced with clicking, typing, and staring at Zoom, WebEx, or another of the plethora of admin or telemedicine options.
Don’t become a physical casualty. Reward your efforts because you deserve a moment of self-care every day. Consider the following tools as options for your survival, mental and physical, as 2021 unfolds.
Medicine generates an inordinate amount of stress. Fail to manage this successfully, and you will find your name added to the casualty list. The news is full of articles on a rising epidemic of physician burnout and practice closures. Over 16,000 are estimated to close their doors forever by the end of 2020.
Unplug, breathe, and calm the mind. Your soul will recover from battling daily in the trenches of healthcare. Reward yourself with even ten minutes a day. You will note a difference. There is no right way to meditate, and this tool will guide you on the journey, calm your worries, and likely help you sleep better. Another popular option is Headspace, with a reported 62 million users.
Physical tension builds during every clinical day. Posture suffers hours into a day chained to the keyboard. Before long, the neck, shoulders, and myofascial attachments cry out for mercy. Radiologists historically suffer, with nearly one-third reporting neck and back pain, but no specialty is immune.
Physical restrictions, governor mandates, and exposure risk limit the option of human touch-massage. Devices such as HyperIce or Theragun offer on-demand solutions to the burning pain building around the body. The app-driven programmed sessions are designed with a specific body area in mind.
This less expensive tool can provide the most versatility. Bodyweight rolls out kinks, and knots soften as tissues glide over the roller. A bit of soft tissue work during the week will go a long way to improved mobility and comfort after a long shift in the hospital or clinic.
Physicians frequently recommended TENs units for patients in chronic pain. Although developed for athletes, healthcare providers are running a different type of marathon daily. This app-based tool packs a punch, and the customizable settings deliver precisely what the problem area needs.
Nothing clears the mind like a thirty-minute breath depleting sweat fest in the privacy of home. Enter the Peleton bike and treadmill.
Having pedaled in the front row of the NYC Peleton studio pre-pandemic, this is a hands-down favorite. The instructors are talented, charismatic, and varied enough to engage a diverse audience. Add in gamification and lively music, and the prescription is just what the healers need. The app delivers portability, and new programs are added regularly. While many perceive Peleton as only a bike-based company, they have ventured so far off the bike, and many sceptics will no longer recognize the diversity of their offerings.
Choose from an endless array of cycling, treadmill, yoga, meditation, strength training, and bodyweight exercise classes, as well as boot camps on the bike, treadmill, or the smartphone app.
Peloton $100 off code: EPJ5AY
The new kid on the block offers an alternative to the local gym. The shifting targets of government lockdowns have hampered gym options. This device touts a technologic approach to enhancing strength gains using technology to function as the gym and trainer.
Spend any time traveling or working in a decibel rich environment such as the ER or ICU, and the brain will appreciate an acoustic reprieve. While Apple recently launched a rather pricy model, several Bose or Senhauser sets offer delicious sound and impressive noise cancellation technology. These multipurpose devices provide comfort and a break from soreness or irritation from earbuds.
After a decade of training and decades more carrying the heavy load of healthcare for the masses, you deserve a consistent self-care routine. Without a degree of self-compassion, you risk becoming a statistic.
Splurge on one or all the above, mixed in with longstanding favorites. The world is counting on you, showing up to play your best game. Today, tomorrow, and the next.
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