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Discussion in 'NHSC | PHS | IHS' started by smq123, 10.20.11.

  1. smq123

    smq123 John Singer Sargent Administrator SDN Senior Moderator SDN Advisor

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    As an NHSC scholar who is about to finish residency and is searching for jobs, I was hoping to get a few posts started about the job search. It's a little different from what your non-NHSC colleagues will experience, although not without its share of funny stories. When things at work calm down a little bit, I'll be adding to this thread.

    I'd love it if other NHSC scholars who are about to graduate could post their experiences too. And if anyone has any questions, feel free to post away! :)
     
  2. robu058

    robu058 Proud NHSC Scholar

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    Can you open your own clinic an underserved area and fulfill your NHSC payback this way??
     
  3. smq123

    smq123 John Singer Sargent Administrator SDN Senior Moderator SDN Advisor

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    So the first step in this whole process is attending the conference for graduating scholars that is held in the summer before you graduate from school/residency. This year, it was held in Tampa. I don't know if that's where it is always held.

    Unlike the other conferences, this one actually is mandatory, to my surprise. Basically, if you do not attend this conference, you're not allowed to formally contact job sites, is what they say.

    (If you can't make the conference, there is a "make up" internet webinar that you must complete instead.)

    You really should consider this a business conference. It's tempting not to, because the NHSC puts you up in a nice resort, in Florida, they pay for everything, it's a nice break from residency/school, etc. But, before this conference begins, you really should get a few things together:

    • An updated CV.
    • Business cards. If your residency program didn't give you some, or if you're a student, consider going to Kinko's and having some made. I personally thought it was worth having something, besides your CV, to hand out.
    • Envelopes
    • Paper clips

    Also bring a suit/dress to wear, to the job fair. They advise "business casual" throughout the conference.
     
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  4. smq123

    smq123 John Singer Sargent Administrator SDN Senior Moderator SDN Advisor

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    I think that you, technically, can. However, this is probably the MOST difficult option, and the NHSC may not allow you to. The process of opening your clinic as well as qualifying your clinic as a site, would be incredibly difficult and time consuming.
     
  5. Atticus

    Atticus

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    To add, I've read that they do not allow you open your own clinic in an underserved area. The reason is, for a lack of a more eloquent way of putting it, they consider it double dipping in government funds. In order to be certified as being LRP or scholar approved, one of the guidelines is that you obviously accept medicaid. If you are receiving reimbursement from medicaid, on top of fulfilling the commitment where the government paid for your schooling, they view it negatively. I hope this helps.
     
  6. smq123

    smq123 John Singer Sargent Administrator SDN Senior Moderator SDN Advisor

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    Like I said, you should definitely consider this a business conference. It's really set up that way, with a few "motivational speakers" thrown into the mix. There are a couple of non-job-search related lectures, including those on cultural competency/communications/etc.

    There's a little bit of the "RAH RAH NHSC RAH RAH RAH!!!" mentality, but much less than I was afraid of. Thankfully. The only really annoying part was one presentation, where they had us yell "We are...THE CORPS!!!" in unison.

    The schedule includes a couple of workshops, where you meet with your NHSC advisor to go over what your goals and plans are, what part of the country you would like to be in, and what else you need to get to everyone (Step 3 scores, etc.), and a quick overview of your timeline (i.e. when you need to find a job by). There are also workshops where you meet with people, who will go over your CV and how to improve it. Fortunately, there was a small computer lab at the resort, with printers. I say "fortunately" because the resort was so way out in the suburbs that there nearest Kinko's was several miles away. They WILL rip your CV apart, but that's ok, that's their job.
     
  7. smq123

    smq123 John Singer Sargent Administrator SDN Senior Moderator SDN Advisor

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    On the second full day of the conference, there was a recruitment "fair." Job sites set up booths in a big conference hall, and you could go from table to table, gathering information and brochures. A lot of the sites were giving out freebies, like free tote bags, pens, notepads, etc.

    There were some very very uncomfortable truths that came to light during the conference:

    ** If you are in Family Medicine, the world is your oyster. The VAST majority of physician jobs were for family medicine. I felt like the most beautiful person in the room - people are literally fawning over you when they see "Family Medicine" on your conference badge. I had never felt so desired in my entire life.

    ** If you are NOT in family medicine...things can be a little depressing. There were very very few jobs for OB/gyns, for example. After this conference, I would strongly urge anyone considering OB/gyn to avoid taking the scholarship - there were VERY FEW job openings.

    ** Midlevels really are at the mercy of the trends in any given year. A couple of the PA students were freaking out - there were a lot more PA students than there were job openings. I think, for instance, there were 20 PA students at the conference, but only 12 sites advertising openings at the job fair. The CNM students were REALLY freaking out, because there were NO job openings at the fair this year AT ALL.

    ** It is very clear that some sites are just looking for a warm body. One job "recruiter" told me that her particular job site had had 4 people quit over the past 18 months. When I asked her what they had done to fix the issue, she said, "Well...uh...I THINK they changed the call schedule? So I think that things...maybe...will be better next year." Uhhh...what? :eek::eek: Is that supposed to be reassuring?

    ** The NHSC really does not do a good job of updating their job listings website. One of the CNM students approached a job site that, based on the NHSC job listings, was looking for a nurse midwife. They responded that they had filled that job position nine months ago, and were surprised to hear that their site was still listed on the website.

    ** You really might not be able to be that picky about where you end up. This is something that, I think, a lot of NHSC scholars had a hard time with. For example, there were only a few job sites in California, but their tables were, literally, mobbed. There were a couple of urban job sites (mostly in Baltimore/DC), but nothing in New York, LA, Miami, and only one site in Philadelphia. Most sites were in rural Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Alaska. These were literally places that I had never heard of; and the job recruiters mentioned that they lived in places with only one or two roads, and one traffic light. I mean...RURAL.

    That being said, don't be afraid to ask questions. I know that this is sort of a general theme when it comes to the NHSC, but you MUST be very aggressive and pro-active. One of the PA students was frustrated because very few sites were advertising for a PA, but a lot were advertising for NPs. So, finally, he asked a site if they would consider hiring a PA instead of an NP - they quickly replied that they absolutely would; they didn't see much advantage in hiring an NP over a PA.

    Also, have copies of your CV and business cards to hand out. And be quick to seize opportunities that come your way - the recruiters will certainly not be shy, so there's no reason for you to be either. One of the physicians at that conference left with TWO job interviews lined up. He was certainly an exception, but it just goes to show you - BE READY to grab an opportunity that you see and make a sales pitch for yourself.
     
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  8. montessori2md

    montessori2md Member

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    Did you feel that FM+OB was at an advantage, at all? Other FM training advantages us 4th years should be thinking about as we rank programs?
     
  9. smq123

    smq123 John Singer Sargent Administrator SDN Senior Moderator SDN Advisor

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    It was clearly region dependent, as I'm sure you already know.

    There were very few sites that specifically wanted FP+OB....I think there were only 2 at the entire fair. One was in Lake Powell, Arizona; don't remember where the other was. (Texas, maybe?)

    A few sites offered the option to do OB, if you wanted, but it was not a requirement to work there.

    A few sites (mostly on the east coast) specifically did NOT allow you to do OB. They did do some women's health in the office, but the malpractice made an FP-OB position untenable.

    Main advantage was just to be as well rounded as you can. A good mix of hospital work, outpatient procedures, outpatient clinic (as much continuity as you can; the job that I interviewed for really cared that you truly had a patient panel that was YOURS and that you knew well), and OB. That seems to be the best thing to look for in a residency. Every job site asked different things.

    Does this help? Let me know.
     
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  10. montessori2md

    montessori2md Member

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    Yep, that helps.
     
  11. smq123

    smq123 John Singer Sargent Administrator SDN Senior Moderator SDN Advisor

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    Wow, it's been a while since I updated this.

    Like I said, job recruiters will be very very very aggressive. I got emails from job recruiters after the first day of the conference. It was a little crazy.

    At the recruitment conference, there are a lot of mandatory meetings that you have to attend, mostly because they talk about basic requirements, contracts, etc.

    There were a lot of things that I didn't know, that I learned at the conference:

    1. Sites have requirements to meet, too, beyond just the need score. They have to show proof that they offer decent benefits, a decent salary, etc.
    2. Before you can go on a job interview, you have to request permission from the NHSC in order to go. This is so that the NHSC can check the site, make sure that they are an approved site, etc.
    3. Your job interview expenses are paid for by the NHSC. The NHSC will pay for your hotel, for your plane ticket, and will pay you a daily flat-rate per diem (at the standard federal rate) for all meals and incidentals. This is, like I said, a pre-determined flat rate. You don't have to submit receipts to get reimbursed for food. Even if you spend less than the per diem, you still get the whole amount. The only thing that the government does NOT pay for, however, is a rental car unless you have a specific need for one (i.e. you're interviewing in the middle of nowhere, and there's no public transportaton options). They do reimburse cab fare.
    4. When you finally get a job, your moving expenses are also paid for. If you are moving more than 50 miles away, they will pay for moving expenses, storage, and travel expenses, for up to $10,000. (They will pay more if you're moving outside the continental US - i.e. Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, USVI.) They will not pay to have your car shipped, unless again you're moving somewhere that you physically cannot drive to (Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, etc.)
    5. There is, as always, a TON of paperwork. Before you can be allowed to go on a job interview, you have to submit an updated CV, a copy of your Step 3 scores (or analogous exams for PAs, NPs, and dentists), and a bunch of other things.

    At the conference, I was told that if your site's need score changes while you're serving your commitment there, that does NOT mean that you must find another site to work at. For example, if you're serving a 4 year commitment at a site, and after 2 years there, the site's need score goes from a 17 to a 12, that doesn't mean that you have to leave. That's what I was TOLD, I don't have this IN WRITING. I would strongly urge people to make sure that this is the case, particularly if they have a long commitment. Just to be safe.

    Finally, what I also learned is that the NHSC DOES NOT PAY FOR LICENSING FEES. I found this to be profoundly irritating, because they require that you have a full license before you're allowed to serve your commitment, but they won't help you pay for it. The site MAY help you pay for it, but this is not universal....and those licensing fees are expensive. For physicians, most unrestricted state license fees are about $700. The DEA license is an additional $730 on top of that. :mad: So, the moral of the story is...save up some money before you apply for your licenses!
     
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  12. devonte

    devonte

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    Thanks "smq123" for sharing such kind of information.
     
  13. BuddyTheElf

    BuddyTheElf Smiling's my favorite.

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    Any updates on life after this scholarship while 'serving your time'? Thanks for all the tips smq!
     
  14. Ts1991

    Ts1991

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    Very informational and helpful, thanks for all the information. Does anyone else have anything to share about your experience?
     
  15. simpler2

    simpler2 person

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    I am now 1.5yrs into 4 year service repayment. I did not go to exit conference due to schedule conflict. I also did not use any of the job finding assistance services as I took position within the organization where my continuity clinic was for residency. For me, this was ideal. Other than the need for a place with qualifying HPSA score, my job search process was very similar to any non-NHSC scholar. My main advice to others with the scholarship would be to look far ahead. By doing this I had the luxury of completing residency at my future job site, knowing exactly what I was signing up for, and having already established a life in this area for 3 years.
     
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