These are some really EXCELLENT questions! My PA program tried pretty decently to guide us and ready us for graduation and the job hunt real world medical board stuff and I still was like a lost puppy after stumbling out of the testing site for the PANCE…
In my situation, I wanted to work in a hospital doing internal medicine or critical care. Didn’t matter too much where, and I couldn’t be too picky as a new grad. But my hubs wanted to be a little closer to his family so I limited my search to a 6 hour driving radius from there. This crossed multiple states unfortunately, which brings me to my first lesson. Get your medical license crap taken care of in all of the states where you are seriously looking before you even have the job offer. In my case it was 2-3 states. This was expensive, but what’s even more expensive is trying to stretch out your student loan money when it was supposed to have run out 3 months ago all the while knowing you have a signed job contract but CAN’T START until some committee reviews your paperwork in a month and then meets again a month later to decide you aren’t a total wreck and can have your medical license. And if you miss a deadline (or your PA program adviser’s letter of recommendation gets lost in a snow storm like me) you may have to wait another 2-3 months beyond that for the next lame meeting.
I searched high and low over the internets for jobs. They say personal connections are the best way to a job. Well, I didn’t have much for local connections since I’d moved away from my PA program. I put my stuff out there for recruiters and made a profile on LinkedIn. This is for good and for bad. The private recruiting companies will HUNT YOU GOOD. Even after you have a job somewhere else. I am STILL getting emails and calls asking if I’m interested in another job they have. For me it was worth it. One got me a really great offer. If you value your privacy, don’t go that route.
Oh, and speaking of privacy, it doesn’t hurt to anonymize your FB and Pinterest and politically charged Twitter pages. Better not have that friend of a friend share something unsavory to the person who was supposed to be hiring you for your dream job. As my luck would have it, my maiden name was very unusual and a surprising google search told me that the one chick in the world who had my same first and last name also happened to slightly resemble me and had public MySpace and FB pages with pics of her in bikinis lamenting about her baby daddy cheating on her… Aw nawww! And I got hired anyways… there’s hope for us all!
These are the sites I used:
You can also search the job sites or listings provided by your PA program, google all hospitals and health systems in your area to find their websites.
I found the app JobAware pretty useful, too. I think it led me to the job I eventually took.
Also keep in mind that even if you get your medical license squared away, if you plan to do inpatient work hospitals have their own anal-retentive credentialing system to make sure for themselves you’re not a total wreck and won’t practice sketchy medicine, and this usually takes a month at the best and could be as long as 2-3 months. And don’t plan on using that time to get your medical license because they typically can’t start the process until they have your license on file. Wahhhh!
Hope these help!
Reblogging for the other PA-s people that are taking the PANCE and getting big kid jobs soon. This is GREAT advice that I will definitely stash for later!