5 Tips for Starting the Job Search

So you're training to be a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and looking ahead to identifying a job. Where do you start looking for posted jobs and how do you find jobs that aren't posted? What personal and career preferences should you consider when choosing candidate positions? For these answers and more, read on!

1. Discussions with your partner/family
  • Where does your partner/family want to live? Where do they not want to live?
  • Consider your partner’s career. Will they have to change or leave their job? Can they work remotely? Collaboration with your partner is going to be key for a successful relationship
  • What type of schooling do you want for your children? Public or private? Some cities have excellent public options, but others do not.
  • Is it important for you to be near you and/or your partner’s extended family?

2. Critically think about goals for your career
  • It’s not necessarily academic vs private to consider. Many private jobs now allow for teaching and research, whereas many academic jobs are primarily clinical care. 
  • Is research and/or teaching important? This will help you decide if you want to be at a program with a residency or fellowship. To be successful with research you will want to be in a practice where you have research assistants. As your practice gets busy you cannot be doing the “grind” of research but rather need to be focusing on research ideas, research design and data interpretation.   
  • General pediatric orthopaedics or subspecialty? Some practices are only looking for subspecialists, however, others will specifically NOT want you to be doing certain types of cases.  
  • Are you going to work full time or are you looking for a job that allows for more flexibility?
  • How much call do you want to take? Adult and peds call or just peds call?

3. Identify posted jobs: utilize POSNA / AAOS Job Boards
4. Probe for unposted jobs: Direct outreach to groups you would be interested in
  • Send emails to division heads at the programs where you would like to work. Keep these messages brief and professional. Describe your background and why you are interested in working at their center. Include a short version of your CV and offer to send the full CV if requested. 
  • Even if the places you send messages to don’t have a need, they may provide networking to other open jobs they are aware of.
  • Professional society meetings and courses are great places to personally introduce yourself to faculty at programs you are interested. Be confident, polite, and professional. Don’t be intimidated to introduce yourself – pediatric orthopaedics is a fun profession and almost all of us love our jobs. We enjoy meeting the next generation of pediatric orthopaedic surgeons. 
5. Leverage your fellowship director and faculty, and other peds ortho mentors
  • Within a month or two of starting your fellowship start discussions with faculty at your program with regards to points 1 and 2 above. Their networks may identify jobs not publicly posted. 
  • Once you do start interviewing and get further into the process you should again debrief with your mentors. Once you identify your #1 job prospect politely and confidently ask your mentors to provide support for your application with emails and/or calls on your behalf.