Hospitalists are in high demand. Given the physician shortage, new and experienced hospitalists alike are in a unique position to hold out for opportunities that deliver strong leadership, better work-life balance, and a cohesive team.

While compensation and location are often primary drivers in deciding where to practice, you should weigh an organization's culture just as heavily as it could have the greatest impact on your long-term career satisfaction and success.

The key to finding the perfect fit is a thorough vetting of every opportunity, and the best time to do that is during the interview process. Knowing what qualities to look for and questions to ask can help you separate programs that deliver the greatest satisfaction from inflexible, ineffectual programs that will leave you frustrated and unhappy.

Here are four critical factors to consider, along with what questions to ask:

1. Medical Director Leadership

Perhaps no other person has more influence on the hospital's...