radoncfirst

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Dec 26, 2008
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This is a complicated situation, and I'd appreciate any advice please. I'll be done my residency 1 year before my husband finishes his general surgery residency. He'll then be applying for a 3 year fellowship in a surgery subspecialty. Obviously, we have no clue where he'll end up for his fellowship (until May of my final year) although we're hoping he'll get matched where he's currently doing his residency. If that's the case, then I can stay at the same institution/clinic for at least 4 years.

However, if he ends up being matched elsewhere, I'll be just working at a place for 1 year, and then moving with him. I'm still undecided with regards to private practice vs academia, but will I be able to find a job/sign a contract just for a year (and if he matches in the same city, renew the contract)??

Thanks in advance!
 

bobloblaw

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Nov 8, 2005
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I think it is possible to find a position for just one year, but both private and academic practices are likely to be more interested in finding someone who will be a more permanent "fit." I guess a notable exception would be the so called "predatory" private practices that turn over new residents every 2-3 years so that they do not have to make their new hires into partners.

If you are upfront about your intentions with potential employers, that may decrease the risk for complications down the line. If you are at an academic institution, they may even have some influence with the department your husband is applying into for fellowship (to try to retain both of you). One other option is locums.

Either way, I would definitely pay attention to malpractice insurance tail coverage issues when negotiating your contract. i.e. If you leave after one year, who pays the tail coverage? Depending on the local malpractice climate, the costs may be substantial (tens of thousands of dollars - and that's out of pocket after tax money). Some practices will split the cost with you, some will pay for it all (even better) and some will try to stick you with the bill. Same thing for retirement benefits - it would be important to know if there is a vesting time period (i.e. will you lose your employer retirement contributions if you do not stay there a certain amount of time?).

good luck.
 

IndyXRT

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Mar 17, 2004
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If there is an academic program that you like locally, you could explore job opportunities there. I would be up front with your situation. If they are unwilling to hire you on a short term basis, they might consider a fellowship, with a permanent position if your husband can stay locally. Either option would likely leave future job opportunities wide open.
 
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radoncfirst

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Dec 26, 2008
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Bobloblaw and IndyXRT, thank you very much for your advice! I am planning to do an elective at the academic program I might be interested in to increase my chances. I guess for private practice, there's not much I can do to increase my chances. My husband is doing his residency in a different city than I am, so I am really hoping I can get a job/fellowship position where he is (for us to finally be together). When would be the best time to do my elective? Towards the end of my PGY-4 year in May/June (since a previous thread by stephew suggests to start applying in July/Aug)?

Thanks again!
 

IndyXRT

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When would be the best time to do my elective? Towards the end of my PGY-4 year in May/June (since a previous thread by stephew suggests to start applying in July/Aug)?
That sounds about right. You want to give yourself some lead time in case you don't like it and have to explore other alternatives.
 

bobloblaw

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Nov 8, 2005
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I agree that earlier is better.

I'd also say it would be good to let them know that you are interested in coming to the area to be with your husband. At least they will know you are motivated to relocate. And, if they don't have a position they may know of other positions elsewhere in the same city/location.
 
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