It’s always nice to be wanted….right?
I suppose your average fugitive on the lam might disagree with that statement, and I’m starting to think that most 3rd year family medicine residents would tend to side with Bonnie and Clyde on the issue as well. It’s one thing to be competitive for a job, and quite another to be thinking of switching your cell phone number to avoid hearing about yet another “outstanding” job offer.
In the beginning I enjoyed the recruiters calling me to describe some of the opportunities currently available; I felt appreciated and at least a little important. But lately, things have became absurd. This is the text of an actual letter I received in the mail, and in red, I’ve put my thoughts as I read the note:
Dear Dr. Secretwave101 (always a bit creepy that they know my name and I have no idea who they are)
We have been extremely impressed by your accomplishments in family medicine (uhhh, WHAT accomplishments? A fledgling blog? That I have thus far escaped academic probation? No lawsuits?). The commitment and dedication you apply to your field is truly remarkable (yes, yes, thank you, I do show up for work most days…even as early as Oh600) Doctors of your caliber (ummm-hmmm, top of the pile, that’s me) often gravitate to our excellent clinic (guess you couldn’t say you work at a “pretty crappy clinic where we’re all packin’ heat and imbezzeling from management”) where we practice with state-of-the-art electronic charting and billing (gag me. Is there ANYone besides the in-orbit U.S. Government who actually likes EMR’s? Not a selling point, folks, even though you spent a fortune on it). We have on-site Xray facilities (ho-hum, arguably unethical) and access to an array of specialists (these days, everywhere but South East Nimba Minor has specialist “access”). Additionally, our community is safe and affordable (how many times have I heard this…do recruiters share lines?) with outstanding schools (so where ARE all those “failing schools” I keep hearing about?). Nearby outdoor opportunities abound (another canned line…I immediately stop paying any form of attention as soon as I hear the word ‘abound’), from hunting and fishing to golf and tennis (you have tennis here?…sounds like paradise!). We offer a competitive salary with excellent benefits (this statement has no meaning whatsoever). The position is a full-spectrum FP with or without OB and call is 1:7 (the only tangible, real statement with possibly-usable information). Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all that we have to offer (right after I’m done changing the number on my cell phone).
Blah, of Blahblah
These letters are so disingenuous that I can either become jaded to what really is one of the greatest parts of family medicine (high demand for my “product”), or I can make fun of the more silly aspects of it. The process of finding a good job that suits me has so far been flattering and enjoyable. In particular, the individual doctors who take the time to explain their practice to me and then graciously ask me to consider working with them as their partner have been a highlight. This exchange often involves a rather nice meal, too, often including my wife.
So, all recruiters take note…dinner and a warm handshake go much further than goofy letters with no basis in reality…unless, of course, I really HAVE accomplished something in residency and I just don’t know about it yet.