Relocating isn’t something to be taken lightly.
It’s a complex process that requires a lot of heavy lifting, figuratively, and literally.
Where will you live? What about your family? How will the move affect your finances? And then there’s the physical act of packing and actually making the move.
Where to begin … .
Thankfully, many physicians have set off in search of greener pastures, and much has been learned from their experiences. Here’s a look at five things those physicians wish they’d known before taking their talents to new towns:
When it comes to location scouting, too much is never enough. Sure, a city might seem like the perfect relocation destination during your initial visit. After all, you’ve just been wooed by a healthcare system that seems to desperately want your services.
And they’ve probably done a pretty good job of selling the city and all it has to offer.
But what will you see when you start driving the streets, sipping coffee at the local cafes and sampling the cultural offerings–without the benefit of a tour guide? More importantly, what will your family see and feel?
The more scouting trips you take, the more you’ll have a feel for the flavor of the new area, and the more you’ll be sure it’s a good fit.
Not all tax codes are created equal, and the taxes collected (or not collected) can have a major effect on your present and future quality of life.
Before you accept a job offer that requires relocation, make sure to meet with your financial adviser so you have a clear understanding of the implications–good or otherwise.
When it comes to relocating, the job is only one part of the equation. Quality of life matters as much and perhaps even more.
After all, if you’re paying exorbitant taxes, living in a state that doesn’t value health care, worrying about high crime rates, or spending entirely too much time thinking about what’s wrong with the schools, government or infrastructure, you’re probably not going to be all that inspired at work.
So take a long, hard look at the community’s quality of life before you accept the new position.
Some jobs look better on paper than they do in person. Hospitals always put their best feet forward when they’re recruiting. Your job is to figure out how much of what they’re saying is marketing and how much is reality.
One of the best ways to figure out what the day-to-day grind will look like is to stop by the unit and see for yourself. Take a look at the pace, how people communicate and how patients are treated.
Then ask for a list of references–current and former physicians–who can tell you about their experiences.
The last thing you want to do is wind up with a job that leads to burnout.
Some things simply can’t be measured. They are your personal interests, the things for which you have the most passion.
It could be access to world-class skiing in the winter, fishing in the spring and places to hike and bike in the summer and fall. Maybe it’s proximity to large cities, fine dining or theater. It could be opportunities to lead in the community.
Make a list of the intangibles that matter most to you and then compare them with what is available in the community to which you’re considering relocating.
Greener pastures are out there–and it’s up to you to find the one that’s the best fit.
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