Allergy practices commonly plan for new providers at least a year in advance. Making inquiries early gives both parties ample opportunity to make a good match.
Most physicians, as they work through residency and fellowship, have a good idea about where they would like to build their careers. Whether it's a hometown or favorite destination, the magic happens when that desire aligns with market factors and, ideally, a practice looking to add a physician to your timeline. Many practices have 3-5 year plans that identify key growth markets, as well as locations where a new physician should be added to keep up with demand or to replace physicians planning to retire.
In other words, your post-fellowship job might already be out there.
Start Looking for Allergy and Immunology Jobs
Ideally, you should begin reaching out in your first year or second year of fellowship, although there's no harm in starting to form relationships with your target practices even earlier.
- Start the conversation by attending Academy and College meetings and stopping by booths on the exhibitor floor. Practice representatives will be able to share early growth plans in the areas in which you're interested and can even put you in touch with physician ambassadors already in practice there.
- Attend virtual and in-person career fairs specific to allergists.
- Keep an eye on the Academy and College job boards and set alerts for your favorite locations.
- Search the internet and bookmark target practices.
- Follow practices on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
- Reach out to physicians that you know and ask them about their experience with their practice. Would they recommend it?
- Introduce yourself to physicians in your target area and ask if they'd let you shadow. Tell them your plans and ask for their advice. They might have plans to add a physician that matches your timeline.
Know the Timelines
The interview, negotiation, and contracting timeline varies by practice, but most would agree that a compact and meaningful process is best for all parties. You should expect a timely response from a practice with which you're interviewing but understand that the complexities of a larger practice might add to the turnaround time.
If you are applying for a job that has already been identified by the practice, the entire process should take about 8-12 weeks from the first conversation to a fully executed contract. Salary and other negotiations will add to this timeline. If you are reaching out to a practice early in your fellowship, you should expect to be in conversation with them for a year or more. However, once an opportunity has been identified, a practice may be comfortable signing a contract a year in advance of your start date. You can then focus solely on your studies for the remainder of your program.
Licensing and credentialing add a few months to the post-contract process. It's a good idea to apply for your state license while you're still in early conversation with a practice because credentialing with payors cannot begin until a state license is received and can commence only after July 1 following completion of your fellowship. From that point, the process takes 90-120 days to be fully credentialed with payors. That puts most physicians coming out of fellowship on track to start seeing patients about October.
Keeping in Touch
Larger practices will have a system of tracking candidate interest, but don't be afraid to check in periodically. If you're early in a search and your plans change, let practices with whom you've been in contact know that you are looking at different options or locations. They will appreciate the communication.
At Allergy Partners, our director of recruiting maintains a database that cross-references candidate interest with our growing footprint. We love to speak with Fellows early in their program so that we can identify and align potential synergies between candidates and our growth initiatives. In many situations, we're able to complete the interview process well in advance of graduation (as much as a year) so that you can focus your attention on your training, knowing you have a job waiting for you.