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Preparing for Job Interviews

Tips and Questions for Cardiology Job Interviews

Before you schedule an interview with a group, do your homework! Find out who is a part of that particular group and read about them (certifications, subspecialist or not, research, publications, a good ole google search!). Ask people you may know (cousin’s best friend’s uncle’s secretary!) about that group…what’s there reputation? Don’t be afraid to call the hospital administrators where they practice and ask what there impression of the group is. You will be working for and with these people, so make sure you know what you’re getting into! 


  • In private practice, the outpatient center is called “the office”…not “the clinic”! 
  • When you get a phone call from Dr. John Smith and he says his name is John, you call him John…not Dr. Smith.  Remember, you are not his fellow and he is not your attending. 
  • Ask what your interview day will entail so you will be prepared for it 
    • I had interviews that were looooong (7:30am-9:30pm): Inpatient rounds in the AM, seeing patient in the office, lunch with a few members of the group, then tours of the various hospitals and offices, then tours of the area, then dinner with the entire group. 
    • I had other interviews that were only a few hours in the AM 
  • If at the end of the day this is your dream job, make sure they know. If its not, don’t tell them! Never burn bridges…you never know!

Practice Set-Up:

  1. How is time divided between inpatient and outpatient duties? 
  2. What hospitals do they cover for inpatients? 
    1. Find out what services are available at each hospital (for example, do they have an open heart program?...what is the open heart volume? they have a valve center? they have cardiac rehab? they have an LVAD/transplant program?, etc) 
    2. Find out the number of cardiologist on staff and how many different cardiology groups contract with that particular hospital 
    3. Find out what cardiac imaging and diagnostics (echo, stress echo, TEE, 3D echo, nuclear, cardiac CT, CMR, holter, telemonitoring, vascular U/S, etc) are available and how will you be a part of it (is there a daily/weekly reading schedule?, does radiology read cardiac CT and MR or can you participate?,etc) 
  3. Find out the culture of the hospitals you are working for 
    1. How do consults get placed? Do you receive calls from MDs, RNs, secretaries, etc? 
    2. What is the communication like between consultants and the primary team?  Are phone calls expected or is it just a “read my note” environment? 
  4. If you are doing general cardiology, ask about how you work with your subspecialist? 
    1. Does the group have interventionalists or do they contract with another group or hospital? 
      1. Ask the capabilities of the interventionalists whom you will work with 
      2. Good to ask if they do radial cases (a lot are just now learning) 
      3. Ask if they do peripheral interventions 
    2. b. Does the group have EP? 
      1. Ask the capabilities of your EP guys 
    3. Who does the group refer for cardiac surgery? (Important to research these folks and know there capabilities so you know what you’re patients are getting) 
  5. What is the call scheme for weekday, weeknight, and weekend coverage? 
  6. How is STEMI call arranged for each hospital? 
  7. Do they primarily consult on inpatients or do they also admit? 
  8. How many patients per day are seen on average on consults/inpatients? 
  9. How many patients per day does each physician in the office see? 
  10. How may office days or ½ days per week? 
  11. How many days per week do you round inpatient? 
  12. How long does it take to get hospital privileges? 
  13. Who is your patient population? What does the patient mix look like? 
  14. What physician extenders are available (ARNPs, PAs, RNs)? 
    1. In the office? 
    2. In the hospitals? 
  15. What diagnostic imaging is available in the office? 
    1. Echo 
      1. Do they do 3D, stain imaging, stress echo, TEE? 
      2. What software/program do they use? 
    2. Nuclear 
      1. May want to ask what protocol they use 
      2. Ask who their authorized user is and make sure it’s someone within the group 
    3. Vascular U/S 
    4. Holters/Event Recorders 
    5. Device interrogation – Is this done with a rep or not? Or is this referred to EP? 
  16. How are your physicians assigned to read/interpret these studies? Is there dedicated time (ie…Monday PM read echo/stress, etc) or is it “at the end of the day” on your own time? 
  17. How are in hospital procedures scheduled/set-up? 
  18. Do you provide your own moderate sedation for procedures or is this done with an anesthesia provider? 
  19. Where do they refer for procedures that you do not perform on-site? 
  20. Does the office have an electronic health record? 
    1. Is it integrated with the hospitals you go to? If not, do we have access to inpatient records from the office? 
    2. Is it available on mobile devices or tablets? 
  21. Who does the billing and how is the billing done? 
    1. Some groups use a service that will read all notes attached to your electronic signature and bill based on your documentation. Others will have you turn in billing cards. Others will have you do your own billing. Important to know. 
    2. Is there any training provided to you? 
  22. Do you perform any internal billing audits? 
  23. Are there any integrated academics within the practice or hospital (such as journal clubs, grand rounds, guest speakers, etc)? 
  24. Are there any teaching/academic affiliations? 
  25. Are there adequate non-cardiac specialists in the hospital/community to take non-cardiac referrals? 
  26. Do you have to live within a certain distance/time range while on-call for each hospital? Note: some will require you to live within a certain distance from the main hospital regardless if on-call or not.


  1. What is the base salary? (Year 1, year 2, etc) 
    1. Some groups will guarantee a base salary for 1-2 years while you build your practice and then your salary will be based on productivity/billing. Ask about this. 
  2. Is there earning potential above this base salary? 
    1. Are there productivity bonuses? How is that determined? Is it RVU based, etc? 
  3. Is there a sign-on bonus? 
  4. How often if your contract reviewed to alter your base salary? 
  5. How often are you paid? Bi-weekly, monthly? 
  6. What is your health insurance plan? Does it include dependents? Does it include dental, vision, etc? 
  7. What is your disability insurance coverage? 
  8. Ask what other “insurances” are offered (ex. Accidental Death, workers comp, life, etc) 
  9. Do they pay for your licensure or certification renewals? 
  10. Is there a 401k option? 
  11. Are there any retirement plan options or pension plans? 
  12. How many weeks of vacation do you receive? 
    1. Does that include CME time for national conferences? 
      1. Do they “sponsor” a national CME event per year? 
  13. How far in advance are there schedules made? 
  14. Is there a maternity/paternity leave policy? Obtain copy 
  15. Ask about malpractice coverage 
    1. Is there tail coverage and who is responsible for it? 
  16. Is there a non-compete clause (restricted period or territory) or range/time frame? 
  17. How financially secure is the practice? 
  18. Do you have a partner track?  If yes, what’s the policy to advance? If not, how do you advance in the practice or how does your salary increase? 
  19. Is there profit sharing within the group? 
  20. Do you get a company phone, computer, tablet, etc? 
  21. Ask where your personal office will be 
  22. Do you get a personal assistant/secretary?  


  1. Has your group ever been sued? What reason? Outcome? 
  2. Ask about the stability of their group. Has each person been there forever or has there been a lot of flux? Beware of flux and ask why people left. 
  3. Ask why there are looking to hire a new person to the group? Are they planning on expanding? 
  4. Ask about any changes to the group that they foresee 
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask if they are happy working for this group 
  6. Ask about negatives of the group and are there any plans in place to make changes.