The hospitalist position has only been around for about 20 years, but it’s one of the fastest growing jobs in the medical industry. Hospitalists are responsible for the care of hospitalized patients and must be able to adapt to constantly changing situations. Unlike general practitioners, hospitalists often deal with patients at every stage of the healthcare continuum.
If you’re thinking about becoming a hospitalist, ensure you are prepared for your interview by studying these three important questions:
1. What advice would you give residents about patient interactions?
Over the course of a 12 hour shift, hospitalists will spend time with dozens of patients, which can make it difficult to forge meaningful relationships. This question is designed to discover what you find to be the most important aspect of patient communication. If you can, point to specific instances in your career when you needed to deliver bad news. How did you handle the situation and what could you have done better?
2. How would you handle a conflict with another physician?
As a hospitalist, you will be a part of team consisting of other physicians, nurses and administrators. As in any team scenario, there’s bound to be conflicts. Again, the best way to answer this question is to draw on examples from your residency or previous work. If you were to disagree with the diagnosis of another physician, how would you assert your own opinion without causing an interpersonal conflict?
3. Why are you interested in this position?
This is another deceptively easy question. Saying you’re most motivated by money isn’t a good response, but neither should you feel awkward about mentioning compensation. Try to strike up a balance between personal and professional goals. Tell the interviewer about what made you passionate about studying medicine in the first place, then consider giving examples from your residency that point to your continued interest in helping patients. Similarly, use examples from your previous work to create strong parallels to the typical tasks a hospitalist must perform every day. Use these to answer more specific questions later in the interview, as well.
When the conversation turns to the subject of compensation, make it clear that you’ve done your research and you understand what a competitive salary looks like. If you’re moving to a new city or state, tell the interviewer what appeals to you most about the new environment.
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