I have been looking for a primary care physician job since December 2007.
How can that be? Some may ask. I guess my only response to that is that 1) No, I'm not an ex-con and I don't have any dings on my permanent record... that I know of... 2) I'm picky, have been, ever since I was 5 and didn't drink all my milk, and 3) Job hunting is still job hunting. No one's knocking down my door to hire me, except the hospitalist recruiters from Texas, Wisconsin, and Alaska. Not that I would not consider living in those beautiful places, and they are truly beautiful, but hospitalist? Not for me.
I have been job hunting for a while now. I've had 5 deeply inquisitive interviews, some of them lasting days at a time, and even with that particular interview parade, I did not get an offer. This particular job was for an academic clinician educator position at an impressive university medical center, so perhaps I was not what they were looking for. Or they sensed vice versa. Two physician recruiters later-- one mysteriously resigned 2 weeks ago without telling me-- leaving me to think I was a lost cause? -- I have gathered the fruits of a couple of job offers. Yay! Not a lost cause after all. And now I am faced with the awful truth...
Some may say, that's impossible. You're going into primary care. Why would you go into primary care if you care about money?
I realize that money is not the first best thing to matter. It should be family, love, friends, God, self, core values. But once they FedEx that job contract and you're looking at a number, and then you're looking at your educational loans and debt number, and then you're looking at the offer number again, then you start to realize you feel sort of unsettled.
And then you scold yourself and say, We didn't go into this for the money. We never did. We love our job. We love the fact that practicing medicine isn't a job for us. I like giving myself that pep talk. Sometimes, it works.