Top 12 Questions to Ask at Your New Registrant Interview

So, you kicked butt in Normal Childbearing, wowed them in your clerkship year, and nailed your finals. The day has finally come--you're interviewing for a New Registrant position. You feel prepared, but when they ask you the inevitable, "Do you have any questions for us?" what are you going to say?

It's important to be prepared for this moment, and not just so that you sound knowledgeable about the life ahead of you. It's actually critically important that all prospective new registrants are armed with this information so that you understand clearly what you're signing up for.

So here's a list of the top 11 questions you should ask at your interview:

  1. Do you have an approved new registrant spot? (Often the answer will be “not yet.” See here for more information on the timing of this process.)
  2. How do you structure your clinical model of practice to ensure continuity: primary care? Shared care? What is the on-call schedule and how many clients are you responsible for when you are on call?
  3. What is your partnership model: solo/growing? new/established? How does the decision making work?  Is there the possibility of you joining the practice after your new registrant year is finished? How soon do they invite newer midwives to become partners?
  4. What should be expected in terms of compensation?
  5. Do you have administrative staff? Receptionist, office manager, book keeper, accountant, cleaners etc?
  6. Can I see some of your clinical policies and protocols? (The objective here is to give you a sense of how the practice works.)
  7. What is your catchment area? (Does a rural practice extend into any urban areas, or vice versa?)
  8. Tell me about your client populations.
  9. What is the timing of compensation? (NRs may not be able to bill for births for the first few months of client care, so the objective is to find out when you can expect to start being compensated for your work.)
  10. How much support are you able to offer me? Will there be regular check-in meetings? Is there someone available for me to page with questions? (Hint: don't feel guilty--supervising midwives are compensated through caseload variables.)
  11. How will caseload be allocated? Will I have a full caseload (40 primaries + 40 back-ups per year) when I join the practice, or will I have to build up my own caseload?
  12. Will you have a written contract for me to review? (And then when you're offered the role, let them know: "I need to have my lawyer review this--I can get this back to you in X days.") Read more about signing a contract.

If you feel like you need more information, use a follow-up conversation with the practice to get clear on any aspect of the work that is not clear.

For a list of things to think about during your orientation, refer to the AOM Template Orientation Protocol (under Human Resources).