One of the goals of a practice search is to obtain an offer. An offer can be in verbal form, a letter of intent or an agreement. A verbal offer should always be followed-up by a written offer. The letter of intent is often a brief summary of the terms of employment to include the benefits. If this is acceptable to both parties, then an agreement typically follows.
You should expect to receive an offer either at the end of your interview(s) or shortly after your interview(s). However, if the hiring entity is interviewing several doctors, it could be months before an offer is extended. It is not forward to ask the hiring entity where it is in the search process so you can have an idea as to when a decision will be made.
Don’t be surprised if it takes awhile to receive the agreement. The hiring entity often seeks legal input to prepare the agreement and this adds time to the practice search process. Again, ask when you might receive it and use this time frame as a benchmark. If the time to get the agreement goes past the unreasonably past the benchmark time, then you should further engage discussions with the other practice opportunities you’re considering.
Once you have an offer, ask for some time to consider it. Be open with them about any other interviews you might have planned before you make a decision so they also have a time frame. If you decide against accepting the offer, do it graciously as possible as rehab is a small world and, who knows, you might find yourself working with the practice in the future!