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The Keys to Successful Emergency Medicine Physician Interviewing

Posted by Lori Carlyle, Associate VP of Recruiting

12/2/14 8:30 AM

The Keys to Successful Emergency Medicine Physician Interviewing | Questions to Ask

Last month EMrecruits discussed the importance of Face-to-Face Interviewing by offering the Do's and Don'ts of interview etiquette.  The next step in our 7-Step Guide to Successful Interviewing takes the face-to-face interview process even further: Questions to Ask.  

Step 6 | Questions to Ask: Interviews Are Not One Sided

emergency medicine physician interview questions to askUse your own judgment on which questions to ask based on your previous contact with the group/organization.

Strategy / Philosophy

  • What kind of practice is it?
  • Does it have academic affiliations of any kind?
  • What is the history of the group?
  • What is the philosophy of the group?
  • What is the medical character of the practice?
  • What are the short and long-range goals of the group?

Clinical Physicians

  • What are the backgrounds and interests of the physicians I'll be working with?
  • Is the group cohesive? Are their practice styles similar to mine? What's their malpractice history? Is the philosophy compatible with my workload and responsibilities?
  • What prompted the need for an additional physician in the group?
  • What is the expectation for average patients per hour?  Average “door to doc” time?
  • Is there a Hospitalist group/service? What are the expectations from the group?
  • What is the future growth plan regarding additional physicians?
  • What is the relationship like with the Administration of the facility?

Academic / Education

  • What seminars/journal clubs are conducted in the group?
  • Does the group encourage attendance at annual specialty conferences?
  • Does the group encourage CME, teaching, hospital staff, and medical society activities?
  • How difficult will it be to get a license in this state? Are there any special requirements?
  • Is there a medical school nearby? If not, where would I find some CME and a good medical library?


  • Are members of the group active in the community?
  • Will you be permitted to be active in the community? Politics? Moonlighting?
  • What role, if any, do the physicians' spouses play in the conduct of the group?


  • Does the practice use automated or manual system for scheduling, billing and
  • /or insurance filing?
  • What system is used for filing charts?
  • What is the group's payor mix?
  • How is day-to-day management of the practice accomplished?

Personal Issues

  • How is scheduling determined? Is it reasonable?
  • How many nights and weekends are you expected to work?
  • What are the fringe benefits, including insurance (health, life, disability, and malpractice), 401(k), CME, and vacation time?
  • What are the hours?
  • What are the responsibilities of your position?
  • What other duties will you have (administrative, managerial)?

Compensation and Benefits

  • What is the compensation plan structure?
  • How often are increases made?
  • Are you an employee or on partnership track.
  • What expenses are you responsible for, and what is covered by the group/hospital?
  • What is the malpractice insurance and who pays the premiums?


  • Does the group provide ED coverage within multiple facilities?  Would I work out of more than one facility?
  • What technology support is available?
  • What is the typical support staff structure?  Do you have scribe support? 
  • Does the group utilize APP’s in the practice?  If so, how do they use them?

Housing and Family

  • What are the percentages or rates of state and local sales and income taxes?"
  • Are there sufficient cultural and recreational opportunities such as museums, symphony, opera, and theater?
  • Are there major league or college sports?
  • What is the average cost of housing?
  • Are there good public schools? Are private schools available? What about colleges and universities?
  • What kinds of health care services are available?
  • Do the local religious options fit my needs?

Above all, be yourself.  Take a breath, feel confident that you have prepared, and answer honestly, genuinely, and concisely.  You should walk away feeling good about the answers you provided as well as the information you obtained during the interview.

Next Time - Post Interview Communication: Don't Delay

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Topics: Career Advancement