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I recently graduated from a PA program and am wanting to work as a hospitalist PA. However, I am running into some obstacles and am hoping you all can give me some guidance. Here's the story: 

1) I have no experience (many hospitals seem to prefer hiring acute care NPs, or they want at least a year of experience in INPATIENT medicine, so I can't even go work primary care for a year to get experience. Also I didn't do any elective rotations in hospitalist medicine because I didn't figure out that's what I wanted to do until after my electives were already chosen. I do try to play up my inpatient rotation as much as possible but 6 weeks experience only goes so far.)

2) I have no connections. Because I went to school on the east coast and always planned on returning to the west coast I didn't do much networking (I know, dumb move. Live and learn). And because I worked in health education before PA school none of the contacts that I do have have any connections to inpatient medicine. Also I don't particularly want to stay in the state I am living in so that further narrows contacts.

3) There don't seem to be many hospitalist PA jobs? I am not sure if this is true or not but it seems like at least in the areas I am looking there aren't that many. I am willing to relocate within the western US so I figured there would be more opportunities but I am just not coming across many. Is hospitalist a pretty niche area? If I am trying to catch a unicorn then maybe I will refocus my efforts.

A few additional questions-

If I can't get a hospitalist position what other inpatient opportunities should I look for? (SICU and MICU tend to require even more experience so that's probably not an option either. I could do surgery but I feel like it would be crappy to do that for a year just to get experience so I could move on to what I really want to do).

Are there any buzzwords or anything I should be using to improve my CV? I always write individualized cover letters and do well with the few initial phone interviews with hospital recruiters that I get but then it seems to stall when they pass my info on to the supervising physicians. 

Any other thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

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Currently in Utah. I would like to do hospitalist medicine on a general med/surg floor, perhaps eventually moving into micu/sicu, or critical care if at some point I feel I need a new challenge, which I expect will be at least a few years. I find that I like helping people through the acute phase of illness so I tend to gravitate towards inpatient medicine vs outpatient. 

Prior to PA school I worked as a health specialist in a birth to 5 program, so I mostly did health screenings  (vision, hearing, some blood tests, developmental screenings, etc). I also worked as a patient navigator at a cancer hospital and a medical interpreter. 

I would love to end up in northern California or Oregon, but I am willing to relocate other places too, with a few exceptions (sorry Dakotas and Kansas).


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So, join the state AAPA chapter where you want to end up; they will have a job board.

Network like your career depends on it!  Medical associations, specialty organizations, find places you can go and meet people who might need new PAs.

Cold call, send out resumes... low yield, but sometimes it works.

Be willing to take pretty much any specialty at this point, including primary care.  Overall, you're in a bit of a weird, underprepared situation.  I have no idea how licensing in UT works, so no idea if you can get an unrestricted license without a practice plan.  If you can, get that ASAP, and don't expect your employer to help pay for it, just do it to make yourself a more attractive candidate.

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Fellow (soon to be) new grad here

Lots of good tips have already been shared.

+1 for the big contract companies. They all tend to have an APP recruiter ... try and communicate with that person directly.

I initially tried using indeed, but had very little success.  On the flipside, I've had success with practicelink and PracticeMatch.

If you're able to secure an interview/site visit that involves extensive travel, ask abt travel reimbursement. 

It helps greatly that you are flexible with location. You may also want to consider 2 or 3 other areas (primary care, UC, etc) that interest you and apply for those as well.

Keep leaning in, and eventually the interviews/ offers will start to appear. 

Good luck.

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