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Sample Interview Questions

When considering your first job in emergency medicine, there are many factors to take into account and you'll want to be as informed as possible. Below are some sample questions to learn more from your prospective employer.

General

  • How many positions do you have available?
  • Full-time only? Are part-time options available?
  • What are you looking for in a candidate?
  • What is your timeline for hiring? When will you make your final decision?

Practice Environment/Consultants/Transfers

  • % Trauma? % Peds?
  • Stroke? Trauma Center?
  • ICU/Peds/PICU/NICU?
  • 24h MRI? CT? Sono?
  • Cath lab? Stress tests? 
  • Psych? (liaison/transfers?)
  • OB/L&D?
  • Availability of consultants?

Support Resources

  • Nursing? – Stability vs. frequent turnover? Relationship with MDs? Scope of practice?
  • Translators?
  • Child life?
  • IV Techs?
  • Respiratory therapy?
  • Scribes?
  • EMR?

Group Structure

  • Percent men/women? What does it mean (if anything)?
  • How long have most people been here?
  • Primary reason for leaving? Can you speak to people who left recently?
  • Are there PAs? How are they staffed?
  • How long has hospital contracted with this group? When is next renewal?
  • How is your group involved in the hospital?
  • Relationship with hospital? Private staff? Consultants?
  • Partnership track?
  • How do bonuses work?

Practice Environment/Responsibilities

  • Who writes floor holding orders?
  • Who responds to hospital code blues?
  • Is bedside ultrasound available? Encouraged?
  • Is boarding an issue? Who takes care of boarders?
  • Other on-call responsibilities?
  • Are there other responsibilities outside of current practioner’s comfort zone?

Extra-Curricular Responsibilities

  • Required?
  • If desired, can you get them?
  • Type? i.e., admin, teaching, organized EM, hospital leadership?

Resources

  • CME funding?
  • Time for CME?
  • State license costs?
  • Study time for Board Exam?
  • Any online clinical resources available? (i.e., Wiki, Best Practice guidelines?)

Shift Information

  • Shifts/Full-time Equivalent? (i.e., 36/wk  (146/mo) 1800/year vs 30/wk (122/mo) 1500/year)
  • Shift length?
  • Average number of patients per shift?
  • Hours staying after sign out?
  • Any single coverage?
  • PA and resident supervision?
  • What site would I work at? Required travel/on-call for other network hospitals?
  • How is the schedule made? Nights? Seniority? Vacation? Holiday? Conferences? Maternity? Sick?

Follow-up questions, or for discussion with other current group physicians

  • Your pay – Understand it. (Salaried vs. Salaried with productivity incentives vs. All RVU-based)
  • Non-compete clause – Make sure you understand this clearly.
  • Malpractice insurance – Who pays the insurance tail when you leave?
  • How satisfied are people with their shifts and vacation schedules? Is everyone treated fairly?
  • Anything they wish they did differently in the negotiation process?
  • How accommodating is the group with family/maternity/paternity leave?
  • How does the department manage conflict? Does the chairman stand up for you? Is the hospital supportive?

 

Author: Teresa Ross, MD, AAEM/RSA Past President
Edited by Stephanie Gardner, MD, AAEM/RSA Vice President; and Leana Wen, MD MSc, AAEM/RSA President