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Applying For Jobs Without Your Boss Finding Out

How Apply For Other Jobs Unbeknownst To Your Current Employer

As employees we don’t have a whole lot of say when it comes to our income. Most larger medical groups will try to keeps things fair and base your pay on seniority and specialty. This can make it hard to stand out or to increase your revenue by outperforming your colleagues.

Applying For Jobs

I’ve made it a habit to apply to various jobs every few months to see what else is out there and in order to keep myself competitive. My first priority when searching is to look for a work environment which I enjoy, if I’m not happy it doesn’t matter how much money I’m paid. Next, I focus on the income. Medicine is very lucrative for business owners and competitive enough that companies will pay more for doctors who can generate more revenue.

The easiest way to do is to look at specific medical groups in your area and contact their HR department. Even if they don’t have jobs available it doesn’t mean that you can’t interview with them or at least submit your resume.

What is it you look for in a job?

Take some time and write down the aspects of your job which are working out really well:

  • great hours
  • cute nurses
  • amazing benefits
  • very good support

Also write down what you wish you had more of and what might be missing:

  • patient volume too high
  • no opportunity to practice your eastern, feng shui, leeches, cupping medicine
  • not enough OR time
  • no administrative positions within your medical group
  • no residents or medical students to teach


As a family doctor the most money I made in one year was $430k, that was in 2012. So don’t ever sabotage your income potential with your limited thinking. Just because every orthopedist you know makes $500k doesn’t mean that there aren’t those making $5 million a year.

Certainly, the Chief Medical Officer at Apple, Michael O’Reilly, didn’t think that his salary was capped as an anesthesiologist. He isn’t the only example and he isn’t even on the high-end of doctors who have drastically increased their salaries.

What Are Your Skills?

It’s important to be realistic about what we are good at and we’re not so good at. If you are liked by your staff, by colleagues and patients then you are probably in the 90th percentile. If you have better patient outcomes than those around you and are able to do the same using less resources then you are in the 99th percentile.

If you have such skills then the biggest problem you will have is marketing yourself. It seems that many of my posts these days come down to marketing and sales. Your chief might know you are good but he/she may not want to give you up to some admin position or to a higher paid position in your organization – you may have to look outside of your organization or at least overcome the local barriers.

So if you have the skills to be in the 90th+ percentile you likely would be wasting your talents and hurting your top-end income potential by staying at an organization that pays their physicians a salary based on an equitable system. Consider applying to private groups or to different positions outside of your medical group, what do you have to lose?

Conversely, your own medical group will have ever-increasing salaries the higher up you go. Many of these positions have impressive base-salaries and even more impressive bonuses based on the money you save or generate for the organization.

Keeping It Confidential

Most HR departments are sensitive to and aware of the confidentiality regarding your job search in order to prevent your current employer from finding out. When you are asked for references who are supervisors most competent HR staff will allow you to leave that blank or use colleagues who are in the know.

Once you are ready to interview for the job and be considered for employment that’s when you will need to make the call. Even there you can find wiggle room. The HR person or medical director will hold off on contacting your chief or supervisor until you are considered a full potential hire. You would be hired contingent upon your final supervisor reference.

Making The Switch

A good buddy of mine recently made the switch from a large medical group in SoCal to another group in AZ. His pay is higher than before, his state taxes dropped down to half, and his living expenses are lower so he is able to buy an affordable home for his family.

Never burn bridges. You can walk away throwing up your 2 middle fingers but what’s the use in that? That buddy of mine left with a good reputation and I left my old medical group in the same fashion. I still get occasional “what’s up emails” from my ex-chief who recently took on an even more influential role.

Once you’ve made the decision to switch jobs ask to meet with your medical director and chief, explain to them why you are leaving. Don’t tell them all that is wrong with your current job, focus on what you need and don’t make it all about the money, that’s petty.

Just like when you’re about to break up with a girl/boyfriend, do it nicely. Tell them it’s you, that you just need something different, that the moments you guys had together were absolutely fantastic and that you’ll never forget them. Mention that you learned a lot and that you will speak quite highly of them to any future prospects.

Always be ready for that last-minute hail mary they’ll throw your way. Stand strong, you aren’t interested in higher pay but you really appreciate it and you aren’t interested in a 3-some but you’ll get back to them should you change your mind. Finally, be sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s before making the exit.

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