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NCS Currents June 2016

The Neurointensivist Job Search: Tips from ICU Directors and Graduating Fellows By Saef Izzy, MD As the new recruitment season is speedily approaching, many of my co-fellows who are applying this year are very interested in learning about the job search process. To answer some of their key questions and to orient the readers about this process, I interviewed Neuro ICU directors who recently interviewed fellows for faculty positions. I also reached out to senior fellows from the University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard neurocritical care programs to tell readers about their perspectives on the recruitment process. I hope this article helps fellows to learn more about the job search process. The NCS Resident and Fellow Taskforce will be organizing a pre-conference Professionalism and Leadership seminar as part of the Future Leader’s Forum at 2016 NCS Annual Meeting. It will include workshops covering many of the recruitment topics as well as contract negotiation and will also be an excellent opportunity to network. Carmelo Graffagnino, Chief of the Division of Neurocritical Care and Vascular Neurology, Duke University We are an academic focused program and our approach to faculty recruitment has always been to bring talented new neurointensivists into our practice that offered a unique and complementary addition to our program. Most faculty members have multiple subspecialty training in addition to neurocritical care, covering the following areas: vascular neurology, neurophysiology, palliative care, neurotrauma, neuroanesthesia, translational lab research, and education (fellowship and residency programs directors). Fellows should present themselves to a prospective program by offering unique but complementary skills that the program of interest is seeking. First and foremost, we expect strong neurocritical care clinical skills but then afterwards the candidate needs to offer the program something that others in the practice are not already doing thus strengthening the program. My advice to junior fellows is to work with your fellowship directors from the very start in structuring your training such that you have that special skill set that sets you apart. Productivity in terms of research, publications, and presentations at meetings is one of your best ways to advertise your special interests. Keep in mind the best place is in-person at the NCS meeting while presenting your work or giving talks. Getting to talk to you in person is basically your first interview. Be honest about your goals in life. Don’t promise to be a great researcher (everyone promises that) unless you already have something to show for it. If teaching is your passion, what have you achieved as a resident and fellow in terms of teaching recognition, papers on education (yes teaching research is a viable pathway)? Kevin Sheth, Director and Division Chief, Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology, Yale School of Medicine For the fellows who are applying for jobs this year, I think the NCS website and the job listing page in Currents are both excellent resources to search for jobs. The key step is to touch base with your faculty mentors and ask them to help you identify contacts in your cities and programs of interest. To find out about private practice jobs, recruiters will start sending you emails and reaching out to you in the next few months, but you could also contact recruitment firms and find out what jobs are available out there. The best time to reach out to ICU directors is variable. As a matter of fact, there is no good or bad time. ICU faculty positions are often in flux and maybe there are openings even in centers that are known to be fully staffed. Dynamic factors like medical school, department, and hospital finances always play a role in creating new positions when the right candidate is interested and available. My advice is to contact your programs of interest on the earlier side to express your interest and always follow up with the director throughout the process. During the interview process, my advice to all of you is to be knowledgeable about what kind of career you would like, as this will make you more thoughtful about your job decisions. There are many other essential factors for applicants like location and income, but mentorship and research resources might be of high value for other applicants who are interested in academics. My advice is to be flexible and honest with yourself on what is important to you and respectful to programs during your communication. Deepa Malaiyandi, neurocritical care fellow University of Pittsburgh Medical Center The prospect of finding one’s first job often conjures a mix of apprehension, excitement, and uncertainty. After years of preconditioning to accept, as fate, the wisdom of the match, the possibilities can overwhelm. I found nothing more valuable than the team of invested mentors I was fortunate to have. The information below is a compilation of their wisdom and my experience. An organized approach can alleviate much of the angst. I started by surveying the NCS website as well as Currents in the fall of my junior year. This was mostly to identify centers by region and Carmelo Graffagnino, MD Kevin Sheth, MD Deepa Malaiyandi, MD FELLOW’S CORNER 20


NCS Currents June 2016
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