HELP - How to get a job in Southern California as a new grad

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology Positions' started by CornDoc, Oct 18, 2011.

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  1. CornDoc

    CornDoc New Member

    Aug 30, 2004
    I recently graduated and plan to move to Southern California in Spring of next year. I have contacted so many job postings and haven't gotten a single reply.
    What should I do next?
    Please advice!!!!
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  3. amyl

    amyl ASA Member 10+ Year Member

    find out if the anes in the area are hospital employees (then call HR or head of physician recruiting) or private groups (call the docs). try and network through prior grads of your residency program -- know anyone out there? Network however you can... I barely participated in ASA and had an offer there
  4. Consigliere

    Consigliere Probationary Status 7+ Year Member

    May 28, 2008
    Neither here nor there
    Move to Northern CA, find job there.
  5. CornDoc

    CornDoc New Member

    Aug 30, 2004
    Amyl - thanks for your advice. i don't know anybody in Southern Ca who is in the field, but I will continue to contact the job postings and start getting in touch with the headhunters. Any recommendations on which headhunter/locum tenens companies??

    Consigliere - LOL, my husband would love you for suggesting Northern Ca because he much prefers that over Southern Ca.
  6. ssmallz

    ssmallz California Dreamin 7+ Year Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    This post could probably be entitled how to get a job in (fill in the blank competitive market) because getting a job anywhere requires similar skills

    Step 1 - prepare
    -make sure you have an updated CV, make it look professional, turn it into a PDF so that it can be emailed easily.
    -write your cover letter - this should state you desire to move to your desired location as well as highlight your strengths as an applicant. This will sometimes be all employers look at so make sure that an employer will see it and say "wow this is an interesting candidate and someone I would like to learn more about"

    Step 2 - recon

    -Know you targets a.k.a google effectively

    a) hospitals - make a list of all their numbers
    b) anesthesia groups - Some of them have websites and will show which hospitals they service. This makes life easier because they will often have a secretary where you can contact directly to submit your CV
    c) understand what to reasonably expect - want to make 400k working 40hrs/week? not gonna happen. SoCal is expensive and you won't be paid as much as elsewhere. Understand that and accept it

    Step 3 - figure out who matters
    -When you don't know which anesthesia group runs which hospital, call the OR desk and ask to speak with an anesthesiologist and figure out which group runs the OR

    Step 4 - work the phones
    -Call the various hospitals and anesthesia groups, make sure you get the names of people you talk to and what they said. If you leave a message,make sure you know who you left a message with and what day you left it.
    -Be persistent - don't call everyday but if you left a message and haven't heard anything call back next week. If you spoke to someone who said they'd call you back next week, call them back in 2 if they don't call back. If someone says they're not hiring right now call back next month. Make sure they know who you are but don't be annoying

    Step 5 - expand your horizon
    -every physician in SoCal wants to live by the coast in LA or San Diego which means those hospitals always have a ton of applicants. The good news is that this is a highly densely populated area and there are many jobs to be had. The bad news is that there are many applicants. This means that you might have to get your first job in the inland empire, palm dessert, el centro, or other less desirable location. It's called paying your dues and unless you know someone or have a highly desired fellowship you'll likely have to start there. What is a highly desired fellowship? That depends on the group, some like peds, others hearts, others pain.
    -Don't be afraid to take a "bad job" just to get to the area. As long as the check cashes it's all good. Sure you may be working longer hours for lower pay but at least your in the area once you've got a foothold you can get your name out and get into the more desireable groups/areas.
    -Surgicenters - don't be afraid of working at surgicenters if you need to. It might not be full time work and might not be the types of cases that you want to do but it will pay the bills.

    Additional considerations
    -Your SO - are you going to be the primary breadwinner? If so your SO needs to understand that your job comes first and they might have to sacrifice something in their life to make it work. If you are not the primary breadwinner you've got other issues to consider. You might be even more geographically confined than you first realize
    -Kids - You might get a job in a great place where you want to buy a house and raise your kids but then again you might end up in a less desirable area. How's the public school situation? Will you have to afford private school? Do you want to settle down or are you going to continue to look for a better area forcing your kids to move and change schools?
    -Housing - Buying a house ain't cheap, selling a house is expensive, and moving sucks. If you move at the wrong time you could end up oweing a lot of money if you bought a house. Are you OK renting an apartment for a few years until you are sure you have the job you want? How does your SO feel about this
    -Luxuries - as you've heard other people state numerous times on this forum, the worst thing you can do when you first start out is buy a large house and expensive car. This goes double fore SoCal b/c you may not have the job you want and you need money to move or live on in between jobs. You don't need to live like a pauper but don't plan on going to Europe right away or throwing parties like diddy. If you don't have kids it becomes much easier to control expenses but if you have them you need to have an even larger cushion for unexpected expenses

    SoCal is a great place to live but it certainly requires a little bit more work than getting a job in other locations. Only you and your SO can figure out if it's the right move for you but please consider everything that I've written and pay special attention to the additional considerations section. Good luck
    cozypark likes this.
  7. CornDoc

    CornDoc New Member

    Aug 30, 2004
    Wow!!!! Wow!!
    Thanks Ssmallz for taking the time to write such an impressive reply that completely blew my mind. Thanks again!!
    I know SoCal is competitive and being at the bottom of the totem pole without much experience or connections doesn't make it any easier. However, anesthesia is not all about experience but other factors such as procedural skills, great personality, team player, hardworking and bedside manners are also needed. I completely agree with you regarding taking any job just to get my name out there because I know that I have all of the above qualities.
  8. SleeperHold

    SleeperHold Anesthesiologist 10+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    Southern California
    That was a great overview by ssmallz. I agree that there can be a fair amount of open positions in So Cal, but there can be a lot of bad positions too. Some hospitals/groups in Los Angeles will not reimburse very well because of patient demographics, and you'll end up working yourself to death to make a reasonable income. Orange county with its patient population may be more financially rewarding, although I don't know which areas exactly you are looking at, and how close you wanna be to LA itself.

    Definitely in So Cal it can be about who you know and where you graduated from in terms of getting you in the door to interview, especially for big name places. I think a good idea is seeing if any graduates from your program have meandered over to the west coast and calling them up to see if their groups are looking.

    Another option besides going inland is going north to Ventura County. Santa Barbara can be a hard market to crack, but Ventura and Oxnard may be accessible, and you are only about 45 minutes from Los Angeles and the weather would be better.

    Another option would be Kaiser, which has a single So Cal hiring center. You send your CV to them, and they would tell you which places are looking for help. Each Kaiser is set up differently. I believe most people out of residency are hired to per diem positions these days. Hourly rate is around $125/hr, and they would take care of your malpractice.

    Hope all goes well.
  9. CornDoc

    CornDoc New Member

    Aug 30, 2004
    You guys are awesome!!
    It's amazing how much help and advice you can get from a single post cryin for help.
    I now feel more motivated to get that job preferably in orange county/inland empire but will go wherever and do whatever it takes.
    Thanks guys!!!
  10. aneftp

    aneftp 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2010
    Is Southern California worth it?

    You are going to make a lot of sacrifices. My brother is senior partner in Los Angeles. They are in the good part of LA.

    His group had over 50 applications just for one cardiac anesthesia position and 120 applications for a general anesthesiologist.

    The general people make in the low 400s and the cardiac guys make in the mid 400s to low 500s. But my brother (who does cardiac) works like a dog. 60 plus hours a week. So you can make good money but you will be working hard.

    It's almost all fee for service in many hospitals in southern California. But becareful of some fee for service. Some groups screw young grads by giving you all the medicaid/medicare cases while they cherry pick the plastics cases/private insurance cases.

    Honestly, if you don't have family or financial constraints, the best way to break into the area would be to try the Kaiser per diem route (Kaiser hires almost all their anesthesiologists the per diem route these days). My friend is with Kaiser 6 plus years. Kaiser had a couple of bad hires in the past so they decided to go the per diem route to better evaluate how well people fit in.

    Housing prices are still through the roof in the proper part of Los Angeles. My brother just brought a home near seal beach (like 3-4 miles away) and it still cost him 1.7 million.

    It's crazy. 9-10% state income taxes. 9% sales taxes. AMT (alt min taxes for our salary range). Car taxes, etc. Bad public schools for the most part.

    Think about how bad you want to live in Southern California especially if you do not have any family ties.
  11. ssmallz

    ssmallz California Dreamin 7+ Year Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    Prices in cali really aren't that bad. Anyplace worth living is expensive. I grew up on long island and most of the housing prices out here are similar to the ones back home. Very similar prices to the good parts of CT, Chicago, and most other major cities equal to LA. If you want to live in the middle of no where you're gonna pay less. If you wanna live an hour away from a major city in cali, it's very reasonable as well. Bottom line is that you pay for 300 sunny days a year, winter temps in the 60s and summer temps in the 80s. Is that worth it? Only you can decide.

    BTW, your bro sounds like he's got a really pimp place. 3-4 miles from the ocean is pretty sick :thumbup: and you're definatley gonna pay a premium for that. If you're willing to live further from the beach the real estate prices will drop dramatically and you can still enjoy most of the benefits of living in SoCal
  12. CornDoc

    CornDoc New Member

    Aug 30, 2004
    It's depressing to hear about all the disadvantages of moving to SoCal, but it's where my family decided to settle so I'll just have to go with the flow.
  13. aneftp

    aneftp 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2010
    Like I said try Kaiser. I know they don't hire full time off the bat there. My friend at Kaiser says they had a couple of bad hires recently so Kaiser's unofficial policy is to make you do per diem (like 40 hours a week per diem).

    I think the going Kaiser per diem rate is $130/hr (Kaiser obviously pays all your malpractice). But than someone else said Kaiser may only be paying $100 an hour. I think that's up to negotiations. Either ways, it's pretty low anyway you look at it.

    City of Hope had like 6-8 slots a year/year an a half ago. My buddy jumped all over that. Totally chill employee based 350K, 8 weeks vacation. But those jobs are few and far in between.

    There is no "in between 45-50 hours a week" full time job that pays well (aka over $300K after expenses). Most places you are going to be working close to 60 hours a week. You will make 400K plus. But 60 hours a week.

    You can work 40 hours a week outpatient but the salary dives down to the low 200s.
  14. drfeelgood

    drfeelgood Born-again Baseball Fan 10+ Year Member

    May 4, 2002
    Southern California
    Corndoc... PM me your CV... We may have a Spot this summer for a 14th anesthesiologist in our group. It's in the inland empire 1 hour from the beach. (when highway 91 doesn't slow to a halt) It's an in between job 40-50 hours a week, high 300 to low 400s for partners. The group offers many incentives to stay in for at least 10 years..... real estate LLCs that are paid for by the pay the taxes....but vesting period is 10 years for example. All benefits paid including ASA membership, malpractice, umbrella insurance.... KP
  15. CornDoc

    CornDoc New Member

    Aug 30, 2004
    KP - It would be fantastic if you can mediate a job connection for a newbie like me who has no connections in SoCal.
    I am still amazed by how much advice you can get from people in this forum.
    Thanks again everybody!!!
  16. BookeUAAI


    Mar 15, 2012
    CornDoc - If you are still looking for a job in SoCal a friend of mine works as a headhunter for CRNAs. She probably can help you. Here's the company she works for, give them a shout.

    Good Luck!
  17. cincincyreds

    cincincyreds 5+ Year Member

    May 9, 2010
    CRNAs in the next town from me are getting $100/hour. Holy cow.

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