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NCS Currents June 2016

to ascertain the type and number of opportunities available. By midyear, I had created a list of key factors by which I would define my search. These might include geography, a spouses’ career, research funding, open versus closed unit, practice environment, school districts, etc… Also, I started to refine my 5-10 year career goals, including future projects, and determined how many weeks of service and what combination of practice would allow me to achieve those goals. Once you have determined the above, approach your mentors at the start of your second year as they will often be able to contact colleagues at various institutions. I found places were interviewing as early as September, keeping in mind that private practice tends to interview earlier than academia. Reaching out to unit directors at least one month prior to the NCS Annual Meeting allows you to schedule sit-downs with prospective employers. Before your interviews, make sure to have created a “list of asks” that is prioritized. Try to get a sense during the interview, of what your worth would be to that department to determine if it would be a mutually beneficial opportunity. Shreyansh Shah, neurocritical care fellow Harvard Medical School Fellows entering their final year of training will soon start the daunting task of finding that perfect job. While the task in hand seems intimidating, there is no dearth of good opportunities. Some introspection in the beginning to identify essential qualities you want in that job will go a long way in narrowing down the choices. Getting a taste of what different settings have to offer is not a bad idea either as I did before deciding on academics versus private practice. Remember that many of the openings are already claimed before they are publicized and instead of waiting for a job announcement, cold calling by emails to department chairs and ICU directors is completely OK! The NCS Annual Meeting offers a great opportunity for networking. Make sure that you plan well in advance through emails to confirm meeting times with the faculty members. It was at the NCS meeting last year where my program director introduced me to the director of the Neuro ICU where I eventually ended up – Duke University. For the interviews, keep in mind that potential employers are most interested in knowing what your long term plans are and what additional asset you will add to their department. Pravin George, neurocritical care fellow Johns Hopkins University Like so many transitions in life, the evolution from neurocritical care fellow to neurocritical care attending happens in almost the blink of an eye. Start early, no time during your fellowship is too early. Looking back through my own experiences with the process, one of the most important pieces of advice that was offered to me was to put together a “checklist of wants.” If you are applying with a spouse or significant other, ensure that they also go over your checklist prior to your first interview. At the conclusion of each interview, put together the program’s answers to the checklist together on a spreadsheet. This helps tremendously with your final decision. Next, consider whether you would want to be in an academic or a private position. Each has their advantages. Completing a research project, working on a K grant or towards an R01, and teaching new fellows and residents in a well known academic position can be rewarding, but so can a very healthy paycheck from a private group. Create a professional CV and constantly update it during your fellowship. Pick a location. If you know your ideal location, learn about the programs in that area and try to set up an interview while at the NCS Annual Meeting. The NCS meeting is one of the better recruitment opportunities for fellows. Generally, the NCS website, the program’s website, or your own institution’s faculty may have contacts and connections that can help you. Shreyansh Shah MD Pravin George, MD FELLOW’S CORNER 21


NCS Currents June 2016
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