It is pretty typical for job seekers to try to anticipate what kinds of questions they will be asked during the interview process. But did you know that HR personnel have similar thoughts? They do, especially in the medical field. Recruiters go into every interview expecting certain kinds of questions.

As an emergency medicine physician looking for a new job, you will undoubtedly face multiple interviews before making a choice. Below is a list of five questions the interviewers you deal with are likely to anticipate. Don’t be afraid to ask them. You really need the answers and asking will not reflect poorly on an otherwise good performance.

1. Do you reimburse for CME expenses?

Continuing medical education (CME) requirements vary by state. Having said that, just about every emergency medicine physician will have to undergo continuing education in order to keep his or her license. Who is going to pay for that education? Any hospital that offers either a partial allowance or full reimbursement automatically has a competitive edge over other facilities that provide no CME assistance.

2. Do you offer any assistance with student loans?

The competition for new doctors is so stiff that hospitals are forced to come up with all sorts of incentives to attract candidates. In some of the most competitive markets, hospitals are willing to help new hires pay down their student loans. Don’t be afraid to ask this question. The worst answer you can get is ‘no’. On the other hand, you could discover that the hospital you’re interviewing with offers partial assistance or, better yet, a full student loan forgiveness program.

3. Do you offer signing bonuses?

Along those same lines, a lot of hospitals offer signing bonuses to new hires. Such bonuses may be offered in conjunction with student loan assistance or as a substitute thereof. Again, recruiters are expecting this question. They know the power of signing bonuses to attract talent, so you might find a recruiter chomping at the bit to tell you. You might not even have to ask.

4. How do you handle medical malpractice insurance?

Medical malpractice insurance is a big thing for doctors in the ED. If you have to pay it yourself, you’re going to immediately incur a substantial financial responsibility upon hire. Assuming that the employer does cover doctors by way of a group policy, make sure you fully understand all of the details of that policy before you agree to it. It is not unheard of for emergency medicine doctors to take a copy of an employer’s insurance policy to a lawyer for perusal.

What are your credentialing policies?

Hospitals have different credentialing policies to fit their own needs and circumstances. This is obviously something you need to know before you agree to take a position. In an ideal situation, you would be able to complete credentialing requirements in as little as a few days. But you may apply at facilities where credentialing takes weeks or months to complete.

One way that hospitals avoid credentialing issues is to link a new doctor’s official start date to the completion of credentialing requirements. This is something you would want to know beforehand. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a position of thinking you can bill for services only to find out that you’re not yet credentialed.

There’s a lot that goes into a successful medical job interview. In your search for your next job as an emergency medicine physician, be sure to maximize your interviewing opportunities by asking the right questions. The five questions listed here are good starting point.

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