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Taciturnu's avatar

How do I approach my doctor about working for him?

Asked by Taciturnu (6040points) April 5th, 2011

My doctor advertised a need for help. I love him, I love his family, I love the practice and employees. I firmly believe he is the best of the best or I wouldn’t be seeing him. He’s very personable, treats his employees very well and I think it would easily be a place I could call “home.” I am more than qualified for the position.

The problem I have is that I don’t want to make things uncomfortable. It’s a very small practice and I have a relatively personal relationship with him. (He’s invited me on trips, for example.) I’m friends with one of his employees that I met there. Of course, whenever you apply for a job there’s always a chance someone would be a better fit to the position and in this case he may want to avoid the doctor-patient relationship becoming a doctor/employer-patient/employee relationship.

How can I approach him in a professional manner letting him know that I am the best candidate for the position, but if I were not hired, I wouldn’t take offense?

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17 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You can assume that the patient relationship will END. You cannot mix all that together.

Make up your mind – - patient / doctor or employee / employer.

nicobanks's avatar

I would tend to agree with @Tropical_Willie: I don’t think you can work at a medical office – and have access to the confidential medical files of the patients – and be one of those patients yourself. I’m not knowledgeable on medical ethics, but it just sounds wrong to me, like a conflict of interests.

But, like I said, I’m not knowledgeable on medical ethics: maybe this is actually an acceptable circumstance, what do I know? So, to answer your question:

I don’t think you need to let him know those things at all. He can safely assume that you believe you are the best candidate for the job: that’s what all people applying for a job believe, or at least what they’d say to the prospective employer. As for not taking offence, again, if you’re a reasonable person, and he’s a reasonable person, he can safely assume that you won’t take offence – and if there’s any doubt in his mind, it will be dispelled when, if you don’t get the job, you don’t change your behaviour with him – you don’t act offended.

What I do suggest you do is contact him now and tell him you’re thinking of applying for the job, but that you’re concerned about it being potentially awkward, considering the pre-established relationships involved, and ask him his opinion.

Edit: However, it sound to me like he’s already made his opinion known by not having told you of this opportunity himself. If you’re so qualified for the job, and he knows you pretty well, wouldn’t he know that you’re qualified and, if he wanted you to apply, wouldn’t he have invited you to do so?

missingbite's avatar

I’m not sure how you are so friendly with your doctor. My friend that is a doctor won’t “work” on any of his friends. Good luck.

bkcunningham's avatar

What is the position @Taciturnu?

Taciturnu's avatar

@missingbite He isn’t an MD, which I think changes things a little, in terms of friendship.

Taciturnu's avatar

@bkcunningham A receptionist. I have worked in healthcare for quite a while, but am trying to make a switch to the “paper” end of things.

Taciturnu's avatar

@bkcunningham Actually, I was thinking of leaving healthcare completely. This seems like it could be a good stepping stone, though.

nikipedia's avatar

I think something close to what you said here might be right on track—that you really respect him and his practice, which is why you want to work for him, but because you respect it so much you also don’t want to create any awkwardness. So, you’re giving them your resume optimistically but will understand completely if they find a better fit.

bkcunningham's avatar

I would just go into the office with my resume in hand with a big smile on my face, ask to see the doctor (who may not be conducting the interviews or doing the hiring anyway) and hand him my resume and tell him he doesn’t need to advertise the position any longer. Seriously, I would give them my resume and see what happens. I hope you get the job! It sounds like a perfect fit.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’ve known many, many people who found great jobs because they knew the owner of the business or they were friends with someone who worked there. That is a fantastic way to get a new career going.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I know many nurses and office staff that work for their doctors. Part of the paperwork when you get the job involves HIPPA and discusses how you can’t go into someone’s chart without a reason (like caring for them that day or booking an appointment for them). All of the people I know that work with their doctors love it.

If it’s something you want to do, just take your resume in and go from there. Good luck!

funkdaddy's avatar

“Hi, I heard you were looking for a receptionist, would you mind if I applied?”

I’m guessing “Sorry, you didn’t get the job” isn’t the worst news he’s ever delivered to someone he cares about. No need for it to be awkward on either side.

mrrich724's avatar

I work in healthcare. I don’t think it’s as complicated as it may seem.

Just ask! Especially if you have such a great relationship. Just be prepared to hear “no” without letting it affect the relationship.

But hey, you may get the job!

And personally, if you did, I wouldn’t let that affect you using him as a doctor as well…

dabbler's avatar

bkcunningham has the right idea. Do it like you mean it. Walk in there like any other applicant hand them a resume and ask for an interview. Insist on being put through the proper wringer. If you do that there won’t be any excuse for anyone to doubt your qualifications.
You also have to honestly consider the possibility that you don’t get the job for whatever reason and be ready for that possibility too and stay friends.

augustlan's avatar

I got a job working for my dentist. I heard he was looking, I told him I could do the job, and he hired me. He used to work on my teeth in between patients. I’d just follow @nikipedia‘s advice. Good luck!

mardie4fromsouthafrica's avatar

Depends entirely on your social and work relationships and whether you can handle them so close to each other.It sounds like you have a good understanding with your doctor and if he can provide you with the knowledge to improve yourself I don’t see why not.Good luck and be confident.

George_Roberts's avatar

I would definitely make sure that you are able to handle not being chosen for the job. He may feel that he would love to have you, but also worry about any issues that could arise. He may not hire just on that alone. Also, if there is someone better suited, and he picks them, try not to take that personally. But if he says YES and you get the job, then everyone wins!

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