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Cover Focus | July/Aug '21

Visualizing the Job Hunt

Insights into the ideal timeline and the interview process



  • Specific location (cold-call offices and speak with the practice administrator)
  • Association career websites (AAO, ASCRS, ASRS, AGS)
  • Networking with colleagues and at national meetings
  • LinkedIn and Doximity
  • Recruiters or consultants who specialize in ophthalmology


The Steps

Step 1: Initial phone screen (usually with a recruiter or practice administrator)

Step 2: Phone interview with managing partner(s)

Step 3: References request

Step 4: On-site interview (usually 1 day, may include a tour of clinic, observation in clinic/surgery center, interviews with physicians, dinner with physicians/physician spouses/administrators, tour of homes with realtor)

Questions to Ask

  • What is the history of the practice?
  • Who manages the practice?
  • How is the partnership or ownership set up?
  • How many patients do you expect me to see in a day, a month, and a year?
  • What type of support staff will I have?
  • How will you promote me as the new doctor?
  • Where are the surgeries conducted?*
  • How equitable is the allocation of duties?*
  • What would my call schedule be like?* (Do not assume your responsibilities will be equal to other practice physicians’.)
  • Where is my primary clinic location? Are there evening and/or weekend hours?*
  • Where will my patients come from?* (This question refers to the allocation of public assistance patients or those whose clinical cases may be less desirable.)
  • How might I qualify for future ownership in the practice?*
    • Key issues:

      • When will I be eligible?
      • What percentage will I be offered?
      • How will income be distributed among owners?
      • How are ownership interests redeemed?

    *These questions are vital. Be sure to inquire and ask for clarification as needed.


    Intuition is a valuable ally when judging a potential opportunity. Watch for red flags, and strive to make all decisions rationally rather than emotionally. Any indications of problems should be resolved and not ignored. With the proper preparation, the job hunt can be an enjoyable and exciting path to the start of a long and fulfilling career.

    Jill Maher, MA, COE