Be true to yourself


By casually looking at job opportunities and talking to other physicians, you are starting to get an idea of what you are looking for in a practice and a community. Take all the information you have gathered and define your search goals. Write it down – it helps to get it on paper.

What is important to you? What is important to your family? What type of practice do you want? Where do you want to live and work? Keep in mind that the answers to some of these questions might change what your CV looks like. That’s OK – remember, you want your CV and cover letter to be relevant to the job you are looking for. The biggest mistake most residents make when they start their job searches is not wanting to rule anything out, then tightening up their parameters only as their job search continues. Try reversing this trend and turn that funnel upside down. Start out being very picky. You have given yourself enough time for your job search, so you have time to open up your parameters if you don’t find utopia right from the start. Your time will be better spent on jobs and areas that really fit you instead of trying to fit yourself into any available job.


Minimizing your stress during your job search is important for your own well-being – and the health of everyone around you. As you investigate your goals and priorities, ask yourself questions about the following:

  • Your life purpose. What gives your life meaning? What inspired you to go into the field of medicine, and what do you wish to be remembered for?
  • Beliefs and values. What scruples do you live by? What are and aren’t you willing to compromise? Do you feel like you’re honoring your values? What would you change?
  • Mistakes and successes. What errors linger in your memory? What do you most regret? Where have you succeeded? Of what accomplishments, professional or otherwise, are you most proud?
  • Short-, medium- and long-term goals. What does your ideal life look like? What steps are required to get you there? Specificity is key.

– Excerpted from Keeping burnout at bay.