How to Resign from Your Hospital Job (and Keep Your Medical Career)


In the medical field, job change is a regular path to promotion (or at least getting out of an unsatisfactory situation).

Before you waltz out the door, though, it’s essential to have a positive exit strategy. Your last impression in your current job can impact your career prospects for years to come.

Organize your work space

Whether in a clinical or office environment, leave your work area in good shape for your successor.  Tie up all loose ends and make your files easy to understand and locate.

Also, as with any workplace exit, be sure to delete personal files and emails from your computer, along with your browsing history, cookies, and saved passwords.  And make sure you have contact info for people you want to stay in touch with.

Get the details

Check your contract with your hospital/clinic HR about proper resignation procedure; you may be required to provide a specific length of notice beyond the standard two weeks.

Also, find out what employee benefits and salary you are entitled to when you leave, such as continuing health coverage, unused vacation and sick pay, and rolling over 401K.

Write a professional resignation letter

Here’s where the KISS principle applies – keep it super simple.  Along with your name and title, give plenty of notice and include the date your resignation will be in effect.  If realistic, offer to help during the transition.

But most importantly, avoid any negativity. Your resignation letter could be included in your employment file and shared with future employers.

If you end up moving to a different team within the same hospital or in other medical corporation, this is even more important.

You don’t want any nastiness to get back at you down the road, so before venting any frustration, remember what Moms around the world have at least once told their children: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.

Ask for a reference

Before you leave the hospital, ask for a reference or letter of recommendation from your house supervisor, chief nursing officer, attending, department chief, etc…

Such a reference documents your credentials for future prospective employers, whether they’re within the same organization or a new hospital or clinic.

Say goodbye

Take time to send a farewell message to co-workers and attend any farewell gathering that might be planned for you. (This sounds like a given but it’s important to do this, regardless of the relentless pace of most medical jobs, right until you clock-out for the last time).

Give out contact info if you wish to stay in touch.

Take time out for you

Lastly, keep in mind that any job change can drain you of mental, physical, and emotional energy.

Take time to recharge your batteries so you can be energetic and enthusiastic in your new position.