The decision to leave your job is sometimes easy and sometimes not. Either way, before quitting your anesthesia job it’s important to know what you’ll have to do to make the transition smoother.
You can’t just roll up one day, stand in front of the OR board, announce, “I am quitting!” and then leave. As amusing as it would be, the bridges burned and the possible breach of contract would not be worth the stories told about your legendary departure.
Remember you’re not the first one to leave a job. So take a deep breath, relax, follow these four steps, and you’ll be fine.
Check Your Anesthesia Contract
Before even thinking about accepting your new anesthesia job, check your employment contract for the terms of Notice of Resignation. Anesthesia contracts can vary, but they will state how much advance notice of your last day you need to give the group.
Medicine is different from the rest of the world where everyone else can get away with giving two-weeks notice. Anesthesia groups and hospitals generally require 30-120 days notice. I recently saw a contract that included a 180-day notice!
Understanding this will help you not only determine when you can tell the new anesthesia company when you can start, but also when you need to let your current group know you are leaving.
This might be the most nerve-wracking part about leaving a job, but you need to sit down with the Chief Anesthesiologist and let them know you are resigning. It can’t be done by email or by text. A key to not burning bridges is how you deliver this conversation.
Don’t wait for the last moment before sitting down with anesthesia leadership to decide what you are going to say. Take the time and practice the conversation you will be leading. You don’t want to be stumbling over your words.
Keep the conversation professional. Be brief about where you’re going and why you are leaving. You want to be honest, but you don’t have to divulge all the awesome reasons you are leaving, and don’t use this as an opportunity to vent. Make sure to offer gratitude for the time you spent with the anesthesia group.
Lastly, be prepared how you want to answer a counter offer.
Letter of Resignation
HR and administration require a letter of resignation to be on file. It’s simple enough but important to do it the right way. You never know if it’s an anesthesia job you might want to come back to in the future.
Keep it simple. Include the position you are leaving with the anesthesia group, the date of your final day, and finally, express gratitude.
You can check out our article How to Write a Letter of Resignation to see an example. Feel free to copy and use it as your own!
The big question to answer is will there be a gap in between coverage? An anesthesia employer has the option to continue healthcare coverage until the end of the month or end it the day you leave. Contact your benefits department to find out how they handle it.
If there is any gap you can sign up for COBRA. COBRA allows you to continue your current health insurance coverage. The catch is now you are responsible for paying the portion your former employer contributed.
Another option is to buy your plan through a Health Insurance Market. Whatever you choose, make sure to investigate your options before leaving your job.
Lastly, talk to your new employer about when medical coverage will kick in when you start. It’s not always on day one. Some anesthesia groups don’t offer coverage until the first of the following month after starting. So if you start on April 1, health insurance starts May 1. So be prepared.
Whatever your reason for leaving, you don’t want to go into it unprepared. Most importantly, continue to approach each shift with the same professionalism you did before deciding to leave.
How you leave doesn’t have to be legendary, but it should be the right way.