Within the next few months, many of you will have a new job as an attending hospitalist. As daunting as that may seem, now is the time to think about what you can do to ensure a smooth transition and successful beginning to your career.
Although residency prepared you to face the medical challenges ahead, here are 10 pointers that may help as you move to the next stage of your professional life.
1) Familiarize yourself with the licensing/credentialing process: Do not underestimate the amount of time it takes to get this paperwork approved—up to six months in some cases. Many new hires’ first days on the job are delayed because they didn’t complete this step. Check with state licensing boards for special requirements unique to that state. Also, every hospital has its own gauntlet of infectious disease, HIPAA, and information- technology hoops to jump through. Getting your applications in as early as possible puts you in position to begin on your planned start date and prevent last-minute catastrophes for your new program.
2) Gain valuable insight through observation: Study your current hospitalist group to gain perspective that will help in your new setting. All programs and hospitals operate differently and have room for quality/process improvement. Interview hospitalists, ask questions, and observe the workflow in your current hospital(s) to help in your new job.
3) Contemplate your career direction: Think strategically about your strengths and plans. Although you will learn an incredible amount about hospital medicine careers after you begin, having a sense of direction will help your new group and its leadership get you where you want to be. Making connections and making your goals known within your new program before you start will put your new career on the right path.