I Wish I Had Known: Finance
When I first started looking for a position after residency, I wish I had known that the most lucrative financial offer was not necessarily the best offer. Fortunately for myself, I did not make my decision based on financial parameters alone. But I did spend a lot of time evaluating and considering positions in which I would have been very unhappy. Ultimately, I chose to enter academic practice upon leaving residency. This gave me a solid base upon which to build my career, prior to joining another like-minded dermatologist in a private practice/clinical research center.
The best advice that I can give to young dermatologists leaving residency are to prioritize their first job choice using the following criteria:
- Be honest with yourself and your spouse/partner. Decide what type of practice (academic, lab research, clinical research, private practice, group practice, solo practice, etc.). It will give you the most fulfillment and pursue only those types of positions that fit your comfort zone.
- Choose a geographic location in which you (and your spouse/partner) will be happy.
- Screen future associates for honesty and integrity. Make certain that they do not have a history of employing young dermatologists for a few years. Then finding new young associates without successfully integrating them into the practice long-term. If there have been other dermatologists who have worked at, but not joined the practice, contact them and find out why.
- Screen the practice for the quality of medicine and dermatology that is practiced. Medical compatibility among associates is exceedingly important to long-term successful partnership.
Note that none of these criteria involve the financial reimbursement that will be received by a young associate. Remuneration is important within a certain range. But long-term happiness in a business relationship is often dependent upon non-financial factors.