When physicians prepare for their job search, one of the first objectives is to identify where you would like to land geographically. Once you select a target area where you’ll concentrate your efforts, your natural next step will be to familiarize yourself with the health systems and organizations that operate in the area. You can also take a very strategic step to set yourself apart from the competition: start developing ties to the area if you don’t already have them.
Physician recruiters and health care employers are looking for longevity in their physician hires. In the first three to five years of a physician’s career, there is a higher likelihood that he or she will change jobs. So if an employer has multiple candidates for a position, a candidate without ties to the area could be perceived as a slightly riskier hire. The employer may wonder, Are they going to like the area? Are they going to stick around?
In your cover letter, illustrate that you have a predetermined comfort level with the area or ties to the area that will keep you local longer. Ties or connections to the community makes you more attractive.
If you trained nearby, did any of your schooling in the surrounding areas, or have family in the area, definitely mention that in your cover letter or interview. Whatever your connection is to the area, bring it up so that your physician recruiter is aware. If something specific is attracting you to a community or employer, you’re likely to be a longer-term hire and view the opportunity as a place to put down roots.