Your before, during and after moving guide

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>>Click here to download this checklist as a PDF to print or share.<<

Relocating can be overwhelming, but by planning ahead and breaking it down into manageable tasks, you can assure a smooth transition into your new home.

• When getting quotes, show the representative from the moving company everything that will be moved including items in the attic, basement, garages, storage areas, sheds, etc.

• Once you have chosen your carrier, obtain and read the three “premove required documents” from your carrier. These documents include your “Rights and Responsibilities” and Ready-to-Move brochures. These are required documents for every interstate shipment.

• Take an objective look at what you own. Decide what must go and what can be left behind. Books you’ve read and will never read again? Do you really need the pan with the broken handle or the children’s long neglected games? Remember: extra weight costs more money.

• Carry valuable jewelry with you. If you’ve hidden any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving.

• Animals cannot be moved in a moving van. If you’re not taking your pets by car, make other transportation arrangements. Because some states require up-to-date health certificates and rabies inoculations, it’s a good idea to take your pets to the veterinarian prior to the move to ensure that you have the proper documents.

• Leave your plants behind. state laws prohibit the entry of house plants, and most plants will not live through being transported in the moving van. Consider giving your plants to a friend or a local charity if you cannot transport them yourself.

• Send change-of-address cards to national newspapers and magazines. Cancel delivery of local newspapers, and settle your accounts.

• Make final packing decisions. Clean and clear your home, including closets, basements and attics. Check with your carrier representative for a complete list of items not to pack.

• Transfer all current prescriptions to a drugstore in your new town.

• Check your safety deposit boxes. You also should call your bank to find out how to transfer your accounts.

• If you plan to pay for your move by credit card, you must arrange it with your carrier representative because authorization is required prior to loading the van.
_____ Schedule to have your utilities (electric, gas, phone, etc.) disconnected or transferred to the new owner the day after your
scheduled move-out.

_____ Empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer and clean your stove—all at least 24 hours before moving to let them air out.

_____ Prepare a “Trip Kit” for moving day. This kit should contain the things you’ll need before your belongings arrive at your new home. Some suggested items are soap, toilet paper, travel alarm clock, snacks, bottled water and a first aid kit.

_____ On move-out day, be on hand when the movers arrive. If you are not able to be there, it’s important to have a trusted adult on hand who will authorize decisions about your move. Let your carrier representative know the name of the person who will be there on the day of your move. Be sure that the spokesperson you have chosen knows exactly what to do.

_____ Provide your new phone number and make sure to bring your carrier representative’s contact information. The driver will contact you 24 hours prior to their expected arrival.

• Be sure you are there when the movers arrive. You or an adult representative will need to be there to accept the delivery and pay the charges. You will be asked to note any changes in the condition of you goods indicated on the inventory at the time of
loading and to note any missing items at the time of delivery.

Inventory of Goods: This document is a description of the condition of your belongings. You’ll be asked to sign it to acknowledge receipt of your goods upon unloading.

Bill of Lading:
This is the shipping document that establishes the legal terms of your moving service.

Additional Services Performed: This is used to verify the services the carrier performed other than loading and transporting your things. Please examine it carefully before you sign, making sure that you understand what you’re being charged for.

John Boozer ( is director of corporate accounts for Nilson Van & Storage/Mayflower Van Lines.


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How to avoid a relocation nightmare

Seems like everyone has a horror story about moving. Make yours a happier tale.

By Therese Karsten, MBA, CMSR | Job Doctor


Relocation is like childbirth: a) it’s painful, and b) total strangers feel compelled to regale you with their own irrelevant, traumatic and scary stories to make sure you approach the experience with an appropriate level of abject terror.

Sometimes, though, tips from the collective experience of those who’ve run the gauntlet before you can save you time and money. Here are a few thoughts for physicians from my “lessons learned” across hospital, corporate and private practice recruiting environments.

Get a copy of the employer’s relocation policy early in negotiations
Many employers provide an allowance on a “use it or lose it” basis with a deadline for getting your expense report completed. They pay a mover directly (or reimburse you based on receipts) and reimburse you for specific expenses associated with getting you and your belongings from point A to point B. The IRS rules drive most relocation policies.

If you could deduct the expense on your personal income taxes, it’s likely to count as an allowable expense under a physician recruitment relocation allowance. Discuss options with the hospital or group if you think your expenses will be unusually low. During the negotiation phase, they may be open to shifting funds earmarked for relocation toward education loan repayment or sign-on bonus.

more »


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How your spouse can help with your job search

By Therese Karsten, MBA, CMSR | Feature Articles | Summer 2011


One of the fundamental rules of successful recruiting is that practices recruit the spouse as well as the physician.

James Lopez, M.D.

James Lopez, M.D., and his wife, Melissa, a critical care RN, ranked each of their top 10 needs in a post-residency opportunity. Criteria included proximity to family, cost of living and nights on call. The exercise helped them determine if a job would meet their family’s priorities.

Hospitals and practices expect to interact at some point with the spouse or significant other who will be making the relocation decision with the physician. That interaction can shape the hiring authority’s perception of the candidate’s fit with the practice and community. The spouse has an opportunity to help or hinder the chances of landing the right job offer.

These tips will help your spouse help you.


Edit the CV and cover letter

The majority of physicians interviewing today have been immersed in a heavily science-oriented curriculum since 5 minutes after birth.

Spelling, grammar and graphic layout are not usually on the same gene map that leads to highly competitive MCAT scores. Luckily, physicians often marry people whose natural gifts complement their own skills.

If that describes your spouse, give your spouse sample CVs and cover letters to work with so that the final product has the right structure and components. Take the resulting draft to physician mentors or peers known for good written communication.


Get the word out that you’re looking

Your spouse can help you set up your online search. Create a job-search email account and keep a master list of sites where your CV is posted so that you can remove or edit as needed.

Your spouse can copy, paste and adapt your cover letter and CV to use on major job-search sites—like

After registering on a physician job bank, you may get a call to gather more information about what you’re looking for in a practice. It’s fine to have your spouse respond, as long as you have agreed on the key messaging points. more »


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Rural Communities—The call of the small

Community health centers and rural locations can provide an enviable pace of life.

By Eileen Lockwood | Live & Practice | Summer 2011


Eric Sandefur, MD, Baker City, Ore.

"For a town of about 10,000, I stay busy all the time and have a full-time assistant as well."

A nightmare episode has forced Dr. Martin Ellingham to give up a successful vascular surgery practice in London. He has developed a pathological fear of blood. As the recently arrived PBS series begins, “Doc Martin” has relocated to a tiny coastal town in Cornwall. He’s obviously less than thrilled with his assignment. Yet no matter how hard he tries to keep patients and neighbors at arm’s length, the people of little Portwenn insist on being friendly. That’s the way it is in small towns.

Meanwhile, in an equally tiny, far-northern Maine community, real-life nephrologist Jenie Smith, M.D., can’t help making the comparison: “(Portwenn) is Eastport,” she says. “I feel like I know every one of those people.”

But there’s a big difference. Smith is delighted to be near the ocean and to associate with people in a tiny island community on Cobscook Bay. There, she spends two days a week with patients at a dialysis center in Eastport, Maine, where she’s the director. Her delight at being near the ocean more than makes up for the some 200 miles she drives from Auburn, where she lives, and Lewiston, where she’s in a group of five practitioners. Her husband, a choral and orchestral conductor, often rides with her to Eastport, and they spend relaxing time at a beachfront cottage. But, she adds, “Wherever you go in town, you can still see water.”

After only one visit to the coast while in medical school at the University of Minnesota, Smith says, “I knew I wanted to be in Maine.” Thirteen years later, “I convinced my now partners that they needed me more than they knew.” more »


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Ithaca, N.Y.: Mini-metropolis of the Finger Lakes

Ithaca, N.Y., features exquisite natural beauty, an off-the-beaten-track location, world-class universities and a growing populace attracted to “the simple life.”

By Eileen Lockwood | Live & Practice | Spring 2011


You could say that Ithaca is Exhibit A for the kind of society envisioned by America’s founding fathers. “People here are engaged,” reports Phyllisa DeSarno, the city’s deputy economic development director. “Everybody comes to city council meetings. There are all different kinds of opinions.”

Brian Bollo, M.D. and Family

The Bollo family moved to Ithaca from the New York City area—and gained hours back in family time each week that used to be spent commuting. I "wanted to be in a hospital and more involved in a place where I could serve people instead of scrambling for patients," says Brian Bollo, M.D.

At the Chamber of Commerce, membership services and public relations director Rob LaHood echoes the thought. “The thing that strikes me most is how everything is a big decision. Everyone chimes in on everything—and all these people have something to say.” In other words, it’s hard for a few politicians to foist unwanted laws on these engaged townspeople.
Sometimes, though rarely, a public meeting becomes the best show in town. DeSarno cites the legendary night when city officials were pondering an extensive upgrade to the road system between the main city and the hospital on the west side of the Cayuga Lake inlet. The proposed new road would have created faster access to the hospital and alleviated heavy traffic on another city street.

The project became “extremely controversial,” recalls Matthys Van Cort, then the city’s planning and development director. Environmentalists were especially concerned about damage to wooded land along the way. “Altogether,” Van Cort says,  “there were too many meetings to count, maybe more than a hundred. This thing got argued to death.”

The most dramatic moment, though, was the arrival of a woman costumed with perky ears and big bushy tail. Championing all furry forest denizens, she seized the microphone and barked, “Who will speak for the squirrels?”

(Bottom line: The squirrels’ land was mostly preserved.)

more »


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Tucson, Ariz.—America’s favorite sun

The great celestial body is a magnet for many a Tucson newcomer, but the city’s unique ambience, informality, outdoor activities and job opportunities are equally enticing.

By By Eileen Lockwood | Live & Practice | Winter 2011



Eric Sipos, MD and family in Tucson, Ariz.

The following account is essentially true, according to the Arizona History Museum in Tucson. In 1880, when the railroad finally reached the boom city of 7,007 inhabitants, Mayor Bob Leatherwood was so proud that he sent a telegram to the pope in Rome, rejoicing that Tucson was now connected with the Christian world. Who would think that His Holiness, thousands of miles away, would respond? Thanks to a few of the mayor’s wise-guy friends, he did—sort of.

The telegram the friends concocted read, in part: “Congratulations…but where the hell is Tucson?”

Not a question that ever occurred to internist and pulmonologist David Engelsberg, M.D., but southern Arizona’s biggest city did seem far, far away to a born-and-bred New Yorker. “When I was a kid,” he says, “I thought this was a place where they had cowboys.”

Then, with a degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, he signed on for training at the University of Arizona, arrived in town “and immediately hated the place.”

But things changed. “After I spent my first year in a pulmonary fellowship, I got to like the place, and after two years I didn’t want to leave. And I guess I still don’t want to leave.” In fact, “We don’t intend to move after I retire.”

He lists several reasons for staying. First, the obvious: The weather is “absolutely fantastic.” Because of the almost perpetual sun, Tucson is “a great place for doing outdoor sports. I hike, play tennis, fish and ski. We have all of that stuff in and immediately surrounding the city.”

Second: “Tucson is a real community and a unique community.”

Third: “I like the medical community. It’s collegial.”

Engelsberg currently cares for patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital, part of the Carondelet Health Network. more »


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Akash Sharma, M.D.

By PracticeLink Staff | Snapshot | Winter 2011


Akash Sharma, M.D., with his daughters

Assistant professor, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

MEDICAL SCHOOL: Ross University School of Medicine, West Indies
RESIDENCY: Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn.
FELLOWSHIP: One-year fellowship in nuclear radiology after general radiology residency

Married with three daughters, including a set of twins. Hobbies include travel, photography, reading, being a tech junkie and studying. Sharma just finished an MBA program and plans to study finance and writing next. more »


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Dr. Obinna Egbo

This physician’s job-search advice? Make sure you make the effort to really understand your job description before accepting a position.

By PracticeLink Staff | Snapshot


Practice group leader for IPC at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Practice group leader for IPC at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Honored as a Hospitalist of the Year in 2009.

Med school: College of Medical Sciences and Dentistry, University of Nigeria
Residency: University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital
In practice since: 2005

Married with five children, and living in Phoenix. Hobbies include soccer and watching all sports on TV, reading and travelling.

What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?
Before beginning a job search, take the time to assess the type of medical practice that will suit you. Think about the potential long-term consequences of your choice, and decide if you will thrive as a hospitalist, outpatient clinician or in a traditional practice that combines both. Regardless of what type of practice that you choose, a basic understanding of the business aspect of medicine will be invaluable—so, make sure that you have it. more »


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Will work for travel

Looking for a unique experience? International intrigue? Consider locum tenens opportunities both home and abroad.

By By Karen Edwards | Fall 2010 | Feature Articles


David Rideout, MD

During their stay in New Zealand, David Rideout, M.D., and his family visited many of the sites from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy—including Mt. Sunday, pictured here. Although a gigantic castle had been built on this mountain for the filming, Rideout says there is no longer any trace of it.

There are plenty of reasons physicians pack their bags and head overseas to practice medicine. Some have charity at heart, rushing to aid the earthquake victims of Haiti, for example, or to Third World countries where doctors and modern medicine are desperately needed. Others are seeking thrills or experience on a locum tenens basis, an opportunity to travel and work in other locations or with people from other cultures.

Many physicians looking for a chance to practice in an international environment generally head for one of two locations: Australia or New Zealand. Both countries welcome American-trained physicians, and both offer a rich, culturally diverse environment with a common language and a familiar healthcare system.

That’s not to say other practice opportunities don’t exist, however. Amy Griffin, director of the international division of recruiting firm VISTA Staffing Solutions, currently places physicians in Bermuda, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, with plans for expansion.

Recently, the United Arab Emirates—especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi—also has opened its doors to American physicians. There, new hospitals are being built at a rapid pace, says Steve Frank, a senior search consultant for the Missouri-based recruiting firm Enterprise Medical Services. “Some adventurous American physicians decide to go there, looking for a challenge,” he says. For the most part, though, physicians immigrating to the Middle East are originally from that part of the world and are heading back to be close to family.

In New Zealand, however, International Medical Graduates (IMGs for short) are increasingly becoming the norm. Ian Powell, executive director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, recently told a reporter on New Zealand’s TV One that more than 40 percent of New Zealand’s specialist physicians are IMGs. more »


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Seattle, WA – The Emerald City

Seattle lures physicians with excellent research opportunities and reasonable living costs—and stuns them with its accessible natural beauties.

By Eileen Lockwood | Fall 2009 | Live & Practice


The shimmering downtown area of Seattle is bordered on one side by the city’s chief harbor—Elliott Bay, an inlet of Puget Sound.

The shimmering downtown area of Seattle is bordered on one side by the city’s chief harbor—Elliott Bay, an inlet of Puget Sound.

The mention of Seattle conjures a near-torrent of associations. The short list includes coffeehouses, Cobain, Chihuly, Boeing, Microsoft, Pike Place Market, Space Needle, ecology, Ichiro, island living, ferries—and rain, rain, rain. This is a mere introduction to the many 20th century “faces” of Washington State’s largest city.

The grunge style that made Kurt Cobain famous co-exists comfortably with the violin-flute-horn extravaganzas of the “centenarian” Seattle Symphony and a plethora of other genres. Glass art masterpieces seem to be everywhere, thanks to the unmistakable creations of Dale Chihuly and his followers. And coffee lovers find 256 havens in the downtown area alone, many of them sporting the familiar Starbucks logo.

Some two dozen eclectic neighborhoods add to the mix that has charmed newcomer Nicole White, MD, of Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, among others. White revels in her small community,  Wallingford, because of its neighborly business area and unusual restaurants. The adjacent Fremont charms with its lingering bohemian ambience. Nearby islands are a draw for other Seattleites, including Benjamin Starnes, MD, whose choice is Mercer Island, in the middle of Lake Washington to the east. He crosses an historic pontoon bridge on his way to work at Harborview Medical Center. With 24 vessels plying 10 routes, the nation’s largest ferry system provides convenient transportation to other islands. more »


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