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Getting a job as an (academic) plastic surgeon. Ivan Hadad, M.D. Disclosures / Background. Faculty at Indiana University August 1, 2013 G eneral surgery training at the same institution. Timeline. Penultimate Year: Figure out who you are (and want to be…)

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disclosures background
Disclosures / Background
  • Faculty at Indiana University
    • August 1, 2013
  • General surgery training at the same institution
  • Penultimate Year:
    • Figure out who you are (and want to be…)
    • Decide where you will focus your efforts
    • By AAPS (April), have your CV and cover letter done
    • Try to meet people at AAPS
  • Chief (or fellowship) year:
    • August and September:
      • Send out letters and applications
      • Set up ASPS interviews
    • ASPS (October): First stage interviews
    • November: Thank you letters and follow ups
    • Winter: Invited interviews at institutions
    • Feb/March/April: Weigh job offer(s) and decide
    • Spring: Accept an offer / negotiations
    • Paperwork (a 3-4 month process)!
  • Get to work! (August?)
location location location
Location, Location, Location
  • Narrow focus, narrowed opportunities
  • Less jobs on the coasts
  • Less jobs in big cities
  • More jobs in smaller cities
  • More jobs in the midwest
  • But if you need to be somewhere, go there…
fellowship or job
Fellowship or job?
  • Only do a fellowship that you want to do!
  • Don’t do a fellowship to compete for a job you don’t want
  • Recognize that a fellowship may paint you as more specialized than you want to be…
  • Microsurgery fellowships are the new commodity for academic plastic surgery
  • Private practices are much more flexible
fellowship or job1
Fellowship or job?
  • Only do a fellowship that you want to do!
  • Don’t do a fellowship to compete for a job you don’t want
  • Recognize that a fellowship may paint you as more specialized than you want to be…
  • Microsurgery fellowships are the new commodity for academic plastic surgery
  • Private practices are much more flexible
curriculum vitae
Curriculum Vitae
  • Make it clear and well organized
  • Sections should be in chronologic order
  • Probably don’t mention anything pre-college
  • Don’t lie!
  • Have it looked over.
curriculum vitae1
Curriculum Vitae
  • Sections:
    • Education
    • Post Doctoral Training (residency & fellowship)
    • Honors and Distinctions
    • Research Experience
    • Research Grants
    • Publications
    • Presented Abstracts
    • Organizations
    • Volunteer History
    • Board Certification(s)
    • Medical Licensure
    • Personal information
      • Country of Origin, Citizenship, Date of Birth, Birthplace, Languages Spoken
cover letters
Cover Letters
  • Addressed to Program’s chief
  • Make a stock version
    • Have a few people review it!
  • Tailor to the program
  • 1st paragraph:
    • Who you are
    • Where you trained
    • When you want to start
  • 2nd paragraph:
    • Sell yourself
    • Note areas of strength and interests
    • State your career goals
    • Mention research if relevant to career goals
cover letters1
Cover Letters
  • 3rd paragraph:
    • Sell why you are interested in that program
      • Clinicals strengths
      • Previous encounters
      • Location
  • 4th paragraph:
    • State that you are including your CV
    • Name your references
  • 5th paragraph:
    • Thank you’s
    • Willingness to offer more info
letters of recommendation
Letters of Recommendation
  • You will be asked for these at some point
  • Get 3 letters early
  • Plenty of people here to choose from
  • Get them on letterhead
  • Get them signed
  • Try to get a “To Whom It May Concern” version as a PDF that you can send out
  • Have one folder with EVERYTHING
  • Dropbox is great
    • Always accessible
    • Synced
    • Sharable
  • Scan all documents
  • Include:
    • CV’s
    • Cover letters
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Spreadsheets / To do lists
    • Image of Passport, Diplomas, Drivers License, Medical Licenses, any other applications!
  • Spreadsheet
finding advertised listings websites
Finding advertised listings (websites)
    • Most institutions determine their funding for new employment in September
    • Check all your resources q 2 -4 weeks
    • The ASPS website
    • Registration required
    • Job Opportunity Board
    • Post your CV (Useless)
    • Career tips
finding advertised listings websites1
Finding advertised listings (websites)
    • The American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS)
    • All academic listings
    • Focused towards more experienced surgeons
    • Fellowship listings
finding advertised listings websites2
Finding advertised listings (websites)
    • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium
    • Very good listings
finding advertised listings websites3
Finding advertised listings (websites)
    • Scours a number of job websites and periodically emails you results
    • Only physician listings
    • Sends tailored email results by region
    • Lots of wound care jobs
  • Plastic Surgery News
  • Michele Barnes & Bernie Lee
finding advertised listings websites4
Finding advertised listings (websites)
  • Note:
    • Listings may be sham listings
      • Program already has an internal candidate
      • Some H.R. protocol states that the job must be advertised publicly (“equal opportunity”)
finding unadvertised jobs
Finding unadvertised jobs
  • Low yield, but necessary effort
  • Focus on your “must-have” job locations or interests
acgme plastic surgery residencies
ACGME Plastic Surgery Residencies
    • Search by Plastic Surgery
    • Gives addresses & phone numbers
    • Unfortunately, only lists Program Directors
    • So…
    • Go to the residency’s website
    • Figure out who’s the chief
    • Go to
    • Look them up
    • Get their email & phone numbers
finding unadvertised jobs1
Finding unadvertised jobs
  • Create “personalized” cover letters
  • Email your CV and cover letter to the Chief or whoever makes decisions there
  • Some people say real mail is better
    • I disagree
  • Try a “follow up” message, just prior to ASPS, to ask if they would like to get together
  • Be assertive
    • Not pushy!
    • Not pathetic!
  • Plastic Surgery: The Meatmarket
  • PSA: Senior Residents Conference is mixed into it now
  • Lots of speed dating
  • Get as many interviews as possible scheduled
  • Keep it positive
  • This a much more adult process
    • There is no pimping
    • They won’t ask “What’s your greatest weakness?”
                  • “I care too much!”
  • Other tips:
    • Know their program before (have questions ready)
    • Take notes right after
    • Collect business cards
    • Wear a suit everyday
    • Be prepared to drink a lot of coffee!
    • Don’t ask about call (He’s lazy!)
    • Don’t ask about salary (He’s greedy!)
    • Seriously: Don’t ask about call or salary!
    • Don’t be hungover!
visiting interviews
Visiting interviews
  • They will pay to fly you out there
  • Meet the partners
  • Know who you are
  • Know what you’d like your practice to look like
  • Know what you bring that would be unique
  • Know your 5 year plan
  • Ask about they will help you grow your practice
  • Now it’s ok to ask about call responsiblities
  • It’s ok to ask about “areas for improvement” or “challenges”
  • You can ask about how to achieve partnership
  • Still don’t ask: “How much money???”
job offers
Job offers
  • (Hopefully) you’ll get a call and an offer letter
    • Will state your salary
    • Various other aspects of your responsibilities and benefits
    • Not an exhaustive document
  • Everything is negotiable
  • If you don’t ask, you don’t get
  • Less flexibility with university jobs
  • Academia doesn’t necessarily mean lower pay
  • Don’t get hung up on what the salary is, but rather what it could be
  • Don’t try to “nickle and dime” your future employer!
  • This is a massive topic!
  • “A contract is only as good as the person who offered it.”
  • The job hunt is nothing like the Match
  • Start early
  • Be organized
  • Be assertive
  • Have faculty mentors to coach you along the way
  • Talk with your fellow job hunters
  • Hit up your contacts and prior staff!
    • YOUR relationships are the key