Key Questions That Have Nothing to Do With Practicing Medicine

Once you’ve created or edited a LinkedIn profile that allows physician recruiters to find you, you’ll start hearing all about “dynamic practice opportunities” and ways to “advance your career.” Fielding all of these emails is not worth the expensive time in a physician’s day. Being desired and pursued for impressive positions should feel like flattery, but it can also overwhelm you and turn you off in the process. Within your saturated mailbox there is almost guaranteed to be gold. If you want that – and who doesn’t – these tips will help you sift the nuggets from the sand. Here are three ways you can make the most of the physician recruitment process:

1. Scrutinize the Recruiter’s Ability to Represent You

Question any recruiter who sends what feels like copy-paste or automated email. Does it represent an actual position with detail or is the message just trolling for more CVs? Remember that the communication skills of your recruiter are often the difference between a higher or lower salary, as well as how seriously you are taken as a candidate. If the recruiter took time to make reference to specific information on your profile, and spun that information into an attention-grabbing email, that is a very good sign that you have an opportunity for effective representation.

On the other hand, if you get the impression that the recruiter is just playing the numbers, searching for a volume of candidates to hit a quota of CVs and can’t fit you into actual positions in a thoughtful manner, be very skeptical. Ask a lot of questions should you get on the phone with them. Your first call is about assessing the recruiter as much as or more than the opportunity represented.

2. Determine if the Recruiter Cares About Cultural Fit – and You

Most of your initial questions to a recruiter should center NOT around the name of the employer, or obvious information about the company that hired the recruiter to fill a position. Even clinical details are secondary and can wait for detailed materials, as often the recruiter knows little about medicine and how it is practiced. Rather, you are best served asking as much as possible about the company culture at this prospective employer. This serves several purposes:

  • It tells you whether the recruiter really is connected with their client
  • It tells you whether the recruiter cares about filling a specific position
  • It tells you if the recruiter is in their line of work only to push numbers
  • It tells you if the recruiter cares about the client’s well-being, and by extension yours

3. Research the Recruiter’s Legitimacy by Inspecting Their Brand

One of the best ways to know how real a recruiter is being with you is to really investigate their brand. Start by digging through their website. Is it full of testimonials that sound specific, not fictional?  Knowing that the company has served others well in the past, on both your side and side offering you the opportunity, is key to assessing your recruiter. Pay attention to the company’s marketing prowess. If their site and materials look good and works well, it’s a sign that they are successful enough to invest in looking successful.

Also, do they have a great many job orders, and are those job orders attractive rather than off-putting? The last thing an urbane doctor who has expressed specific locations for work wants is to hear about are the ten opportunities you represent in places very distant and different than what they want. If your recruiter tries to pitch far-flung locations to you, that could mean they aren’t invested enough in the regions you do care about.


Keep these points in mind when talking to a recruiter, because if the only questions you ask are about medical practice, you’re setting yourself up for wasted time. Go deeper than just practice details and your search will more likely be the success you want and need.