When and how do I start looking for my first attending job

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psychaccount101

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Hi all, rising PGY4 here. My program has given us fairly little information on the job search process. When should I start looking? And how exactly do I go about looking? I know the location I want to be in, but I really just have no idea where to start. Any advice?

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Do you know what your ideal job looks like? How much you want to be working? Patient population? Etc?

Location is probably the biggest decision in a lot of this so great you already know. I would reach out to hospital systems in the area (if you're interested in inpatient, CL, ED) and avoid recruiters unless you absolutely need them. If you're interest in PP, send emails/call office managers to express interest. You're in the drivers seat and are generally in high demand so go into this knowing what you want!
 
Hi all, rising PGY4 here. My program has given us fairly little information on the job search process. When should I start looking? And how exactly do I go about looking? I know the location I want to be in, but I really just have no idea where to start. Any advice?
If you’re moving to a different state you should start looking now. Hiring can take a few months and licensing and credentialing can take another 2-6 months. If you’re staying in state you have a bit more time
 
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Start looking at job postings now if you want to start July or August 2025. Reasonable to start interviewing Oct/Nov. It takes 3 months (at absolute best) to 6 months or longer to get someone onboarded. Very normal to hire someone who will not start for 6-8 months.

Linkedin has jobs listing. Practicelink is another site. If there is a specific clinic or hospital you are interested in, contact the medical director directly even if a job isn't posted, often jobs can be created if a good candidate is available.
 
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Start looking at job postings now if you want to start July or August 2025. Reasonable to start interviewing Oct/Nov. It takes 3 months (at absolute best) to 6 months or longer to get someone onboarded. Very normal to hire someone who will not start for 6-8 months.

Linkedin has jobs listing. Practicelink is another site. If there is a specific clinic or hospital you are interested in, contact the medical director directly even if a job isn't posted, often jobs can be created if a good candidate is available.
Thank you. There are some hospitals I’m interested in that don’t seem to be hiring. I’m not sure how exactly to get in touch with the medical director- there’s no public email address listed.
 
Thank you. There are some hospitals I’m interested in that don’t seem to be hiring. I’m not sure how exactly to get in touch with the medical director- there’s no public email address listed.
Call the hospital main number, ask for the nurses station for the psych unit, tell the nurses station you’re Dr. xxxx and are trying to get in touch with the medical director about a job at their hospital. Leave your cell for a call back.
 
Call the hospital main number, ask for the nurses station for the psych unit, tell the nurses station you’re Dr. xxxx and are trying to get in touch with the medical director about a job at their hospital. Leave your cell for a call back.
I really like this approach. It's a bit aggressive, but not really likely to upset anyone. Worst case, you get no phone call back. This is not to say any given place is definitely hiring (the country is at a near record high employment rate), but they are PROBABLY hiring. Postings are a horrible way of tracking actual job openings. They often aren't placed when needed or pulled when filled. usajobs.gov is slightly better as the postings are usually pulled when someone is selected, but definitely not always. And RNs, NPs and MDs can be hired outside usajobs.gov too. Assuming you are staying in state, you need to have a job selected by roughly March to complete credentialing by July.
 
Call the hospital main number, ask for the nurses station for the psych unit, tell the nurses station you’re Dr. xxxx and are trying to get in touch with the medical director about a job at their hospital. Leave your cell for a call back.
Absolutely, when I was having to move to a small rural area for my SO's job, I cold called the state mental health hospital nearby and just gave them my info. No listed job but they were absolutely hiring (although I went with a different job). I have cold called on several occasions including when I was looking for moonlighting jobs, it's a much better experience than you might imagine. Many people will be thrilled to hear that you've called, it's not like you are selling some MLM skin care product to them.
 
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Absolutely, when I was having to move to a small rural area for my SO's job, I cold called the state mental health hospital nearby and just gave them my info. No listed job but they were absolutely hiring (although I went with a different job). I have cold called on several occasions including when I was looking for moonlighting jobs, it's a much better experience than you might imagine. Many people will be thrilled to hear that you've called, it's not like you are selling some MLM skin care product to them.
You do get brownie points if you can get them higher up the pyramid though!
 
Going to hop in this thread. I am in the exactly same position but I have a very specific situation. I cannot work in the state I live in, so I need a tele-psych job or I can also work at the VA. VA around here seems to be horrible and I would like to avoid that if possible.

Does anyone know a good tele psych job? I may have to go to Talkiatry or something similar. Don't have that many options for now. I would love to do PP in another state and just do tele. If someone has a clinic and wants to expand, I would be down with a split. I am comfortable not getting a fixed salary (maybe for the first few months only since I would potentially not have any patients).
 
Going to hop in this thread. I am in the exactly same position but I have a very specific situation. I cannot work in the state I live in, so I need a tele-psych job or I can also work at the VA. VA around here seems to be horrible and I would like to avoid that if possible.

Does anyone know a good tele psych job? I may have to go to Talkiatry or something similar. Don't have that many options for now. I would love to do PP in another state and just do tele. If someone has a clinic and wants to expand, I would be down with a split. I am comfortable not getting a fixed salary (maybe for the first few months only since I would potentially not have any patients).
I really am interested in what makes any given VA "horrible," particularly when viewed by an applicant from the outside, but I know that's off topic. What's on topic for you is that if you've seen one VA, you've seen one VA and if you're looking for 100% telepsych jobs, they do exist in the VA and obviously they don't have to be affiliated with the VA you live next to (and statistically probably aren't). These jobs are very competitive and popular. Most employers want some on site time and most employees want 100% telehealth. Obviously not the case on either side for everyone. However you can always look on usajobs.gov
 
Also going to jump into this thread as the question and answer may be useful to others looking for jobs. Typically when do you negotiate salary? I've been through the process of getting hired for moonlighting and know there's several steps typically before being hired from the call with a recruiter, interview with important people (CEO, medical director, HR, etc), and then getting a contract. Is it during the meeting with the CEO/HR? I've started looking for jobs and with some conversations with recruiters, know they are low-balling the base salaries but am unsure if I should bring it up right then and there or wait for the next step.
 
So for some jobs, like those with the government, you do not negotiate salary. It's set hundreds of miles away by people who never have and never will meet you. When it can be negotiated, I would say as early as possible. You're not going to be able to negotiate exactly with a recruiter, but you are going to be able to tell them that the salary isn't acceptable for a given job.
 
I really am interested in what makes any given VA "horrible," particularly when viewed by an applicant from the outside, but I know that's off topic. What's on topic for you is that if you've seen one VA, you've seen one VA and if you're looking for 100% telepsych jobs, they do exist in the VA and obviously they don't have to be affiliated with the VA you live next to (and statistically probably aren't). These jobs are very competitive and popular. Most employers want some on site time and most employees want 100% telehealth. Obviously not the case on either side for everyone. However you can always look on usajobs.gov

I am going to send you an inbox, not to dox myself or my program.
 
If it's helpful, my own experience as I was coming out of training: I couldn't find THE job I wanted when I was finishing up my fellowship--not that I was looking for perfection, but at the time, I wanted a pure CL job in northern NJ or the DC area. I was also trying to coordinate with family job search efforts to land something that worked for both of us geographically. I did eventually find what I was looking for, but since I wasn't set up with it yet at the time of graduation, I got credentialed and did some moonlighting in an ED to tide me over until I found the job I wanted. It worked quite well as a stepping stone, helped me get my feet wet feeling like an attending and so was confidence-building. It also kept me with an income in the meantime. I found moonlighting to be a GREAT option if you need something to hold you over while you look for something more substantial that works for you.

The advice here is that you could POTENTIALLY get credentialed for moonlighting somewhere as a backup if you want more time to look. You should start getting credentialed for this well before you graduate so that it's done in time.

I will also second cold-calling any hospital in the right geographical area. I got one job offer from simply contacting a psychiatry chair at a hospital that was in the right location for me. He set up an interview and they offered me a job on the spot. I know of others who did the same thing. Recruiters can be a little annoying, but if you give your name to a recruiter, they will provide you with a constant stream of possible jobs. The annoying thing is they will keep sending you that stream for the next decade plus--but I suspect they do that even if you don't give them your name.
 
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