How to Get Back Into Practice After Time Off Tips

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How can physician recruiters help me get back to work after time off?

Physician Recruiters Put You Back In Action

If you are preparing to return to physician work after taking time off from your medical career, the prospect of sorting through physicians listings in addition to dealing with physicians employment issues can be intimidating. Who has time for that? Instead, consider working with a physician recruiting company to help you sift through the options and find what's best for you at this point in your medical career.

A physician staffing consultant will ask you about your preferences for location, hours and salary. Are you seeking a part time physician job? Do you want to relocate to a specific area? Physician recruiting companies can help you navigate your way back to the workplace in the way you want.

Or you may want to re-enter the medical field in a part-time physician job. Physician recruiting companies that understand your specialty can identify the temporary physician jobs that suit your needs, and they can help with the logistics of temporary work, such as handling malpractice insurance.

Can online networking help me return to physician work after time off?

Online Networking Helps Get You Back To Work

In addition to using physician recruiting companies, online networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be useful resources when you are seeking physician employment opportunities, especially after taking time off. If you are already using these sites, that's great; but if you are using them for professional networking, be mindful of projecting a professional image. If you are new to online networking, you may want to start with LinkedIn, because it is more business-oriented and provides a simple template for you to present as much or as little of your professional background as you like.

Another advantage of LinkedIn is that if you include your undergraduate and medical school affiliations in your profile, you can see who else in from your school is also on LinkedIn, and you can contact people via the LinkedIn site.

Some people use Facebook for networking on a more casual basis, and the up-and-coming Twitter (a social networking site that limits blog-like updates to 140 characters) lets you post links to a personal or professional website as a way to reach out to a wider range of contacts and potential employers.

What are some tips for going back to work after maternity leave?

Managing Your Career After Maternity Leave

Getting back to work after maternity leave requires juggling many commitments, especially if you are returning to a physician position. Keep some of these tips in mind to make your transition smoother:

  • Organize: Make a daily to-do list. And make sure to note what's truly essential and what's not.
  • Have a backup: If you use a day care center or nanny, be sure you have a backup plan or two in case of illness or bad weather.
  • Phone home: Or phone the daycare center. It's OK to call once a day (or more, if you have a nanny at home) to see how your baby is doing.
  • Ask for advice: Talk to other working moms, and speak up if you feel sad, overwhelmed or guilty. All these feelings are normal.
  • Take care of yourself: Enjoy special time with your baby when you are home from work, and cut out any unnecessary commitments in the evenings or on the weekends so you can bond with your baby. Let friends and family members help with running errands or preparing meals.

How can I find out about overseas medical work?

Get Packing: Do Good Work In Overseas Medicine

Practicing medicine overseas is one of many choices of jobs for retired physicians who are seeking some adventure as well as career satisfaction. There are many organizations that provide medical care around the world, and they can always use experienced physicians. You don't need to make a long-term commitment to living and working overseas—many organizations arrange for physician part-time jobs that last for periods of weeks or months.

Think about areas of the world that appeal to you, and how your skills could be useful in helping medically underserved people in those areas.

In addition to creative Googling, some leads for overseas medical work include:

  • Religious groups: If you would like to practice medicine overseas as part of a religious charity organization, start by asking your local church for leads.
  • Nondenominational nonprofit groups: If you don't feel comfortable with a religious organization, there are many nonprofit organizations that provide medical care around the world.
  • University-based groups: Check with your medical school alma mater, or any large university. Many universities sponsor short-term medical trips overseas that include experienced physicians as well as students.

How can I stay qualified to return to physician work after time off?

Review Your Skill Set Before You Return To Work

When you embark on a physician jobs search after time away, start by reviewing your skills set. Depending on how long you have been gone, you may want to refresh your knowledge of what's going on in your specialty, if you haven't been able to keep up during your time away.

Try these ideas to reconnect with your specialty, and you'll be better prepared to tackle the physician listings:

  • Go to a meeting: You may need Continuing Medical Education credits anyway, and attending a medical meeting of your specialty organization in person is a great way to make new contacts, renew old acquaintances and get a feel for the hot topics and latest research in your area.
  • Check your tech: Find out about the latest technology being used in your specialty. Are more of your colleagues performing laparoscopic procedures? Are they using imaging technology in a new way? Look into workshops and other educational opportunities at your local hospital or university, even if you aren't yet employed.
Why should retired physicians consider volunteer work?

Retired Physicians Stay Connected With Volunteer Work

Many physicians want to continue to make a difference in people's health after they have retired from full-time clinical practice.

Volunteer work is one of the popular jobs for retired physicians. Organizations such as the National Association of Retired Physicians ( maintain lists of volunteer job opportunities in many locations, so it's easy to find one that's convenient for you. Volunteer options are available for occasional physician work or more structured part-time physician jobs, and they may involve work at hospitals, clinics, schools or any other setting in which health care may be provided.

Reasons to consider volunteer medical work include:

  • Staying connected to the current trends in your specialty
  • Sharing your knowledge and experience with younger physicians
  • Providing care for patients

Be sure to check with your state medical association about the details of volunteer medical licenses, which can be obtained when you no longer have a current license.

How can I get myself back on a work schedule?

By The Numbers: Use The Clock To Get Back Into Work Mode

When you are planning to return to physician work after time away for any reason, it helps to ease back into the habit of being on someone else's schedule. If you are searching for a new job after time away but you haven't yet found one, use this time to practice getting back on a workday schedule.

Try this tip to help you get back into work mode:

Set the alarm. Even if you don't have anywhere to go, plan a time to get up and plan a schedule for the day. Obviously, if your time away is because of small children at home, it will be harder to follow a schedule. But setting the alarm is still a useful exercise. If you will be taking children to daycare, start noticing how much time it takes for you to get kids up and ready to go. This will help you get a sense of how much time you'll need to allow in the morning when you return to work.

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Carma Spence-Pothitt