Careers | Career Areas

How Optum supports physicians at every stage of their career journey

Key takeaways:

  • Optum fosters a collaborative culture focused on growth, innovation and mutually uplifting one another, enabling deep physician satisfaction.
  • Tailored development programs like Physician Pathways smooth the transition from training to practice with expert mentorship.
  • Physicians praise the supportive environment facilitating work-life balance, strong patient connections, and the ability to push care delivery boundaries.


Here at UnitedHealth Group, Optum and UnitedHealthcare, our top priority is delivering excellent patient care and outcomes through supportive provider relationships. We foster a collaborative environment where physicians and advanced practice clinicians can thrive both professionally and personally. More than 80,000 providers are aligned with our mission to redefine health care through innovation and teamwork.

Chief Behavioral Health Officer, Dr. Chris Dennis encapsulates our people-first mentality: 

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"The culture is when you're part of Optum, you're part of something larger. You're part of something greater. There's a singular focus in doing what's right for the patient and doing what's best for our teammates."

Read on for insights into our supportive community directly from Optum physicians themselves.

Cultivating meaningful mentorship and growth opportunities

We believe that investing in our providers and creating avenues for career development directly translates to better patient care. Dr. Arsalan Salamat, director of the breast care program in Las Vegas, Nevada, credits the mentorship he received in part for his positive work experience: "I chose to take this role at Optum because it provided me with the platform to excel and be able to make a difference in our patient's lives. And it also gave me a chance to be part of an organization that continually wants to improve the services that we provide. I'm certainly happy to be part of this organization, and I've enjoyed the mentorship that I've received from Dr. Allen, my mentor, and also from all the support that I've received from the staff that I work with every day."

We link rising talent with experienced physicians who are invested in their growth. Rather than being left to sink or swim after residency, our providers enter collaborative environments where they can continue honing their skills. As Dr. Salamat notes, 


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"The advice that I can share with aspiring medical professionals is to be fully dedicated to your training and choose a field that you love. Seek advice and mentorship from those who have gone to the fields that you may be interested in and choose to do what you love."

Easing the transition from training to practice with the Physician Pathways Program

Our physician-led Physician Pathways Program also smooths the shift from residency to independent practice. Final-year residents and fellows receive robust support through a paid mentorship with seasoned Optum experts. They learn cutting-edge value-based care delivery models that ready them for career success after training.

Program participants complete supplemental education during convenient times without impacting required clinical hours. We understand physicians need respite from medical environments to thrive long-term.

By choosing the Physician Pathways Program, rising physicians eliminate the stress of job searches before completing training. They gain early exposure to innovations in population health management and Quadruple Aim frameworks. We invest in our next generation of health care leaders.

Helping providers achieve better work-life balance

Practicing medicine need not come at the expense of personal health and happiness. We enable providers to find an optimal equilibrium between their clinical duties and personal lives.

Dr. Salamat has found a work-life balance caring for breast cancer patients in Las Vegas: "In terms of the work-life balance, I love living in Las Vegas 'cause it does provide us professionally with an endless amount of opportunity to excel and to improve the health care system, which may be behind some of the other big cities in the country. And it also provides us with a relief for whatever interests you may have, whether it be indoor or outdoor, or entertainment."

Forging lasting patient relationships

Our physicians cite the profound patient connections they form as central to career fulfillment. Working in tandem with our complete care management teams enables deeper bonds over time. As Dr. Salamat describes regarding his breast cancer patients, "We take care of breast cancer patients at a very vulnerable time in their lives, and we establish a good relationship with them and develop a trust that allows them to seek our help whenever they need it as they go through treatment and for several years afterward when patients become survivors."

By championing holistic population health initiatives, we afford providers continuous windows to positively impact community wellbeing. Our model fuels innovation that removes barriers to care and closes gaps for at-risk groups.

We foster a collaborative environment where physicians can thrive both professionally and personally. Senior Medical Director at Optum, Dr. Neil Gokal, encapsulates the meaningful connections our culture enables:

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"Each day I have the opportunity to connect with individuals, learners, mentors and patients to share our strengths, understand our stories, and be connected. Building these relationships is what I love most about my job."

Physicians are empowered to redefine health care

At Optum, we are fully committed to progress. We cherish growth; mentorship; balance across personal and professional realms; patient-centric care delivered through trust-based relationships over time; pushing new boundaries; and mutually uplifting one another.

These intrinsic values manifest in physician career satisfaction as well as patient care quality and outcomes. We aim to create one of the nation’s leading physician groups and ambulatory care networks. Together with tens of thousands of doctors and advanced clinicians, our forward-thinking providers are empowered to shape the medical landscape for the betterment of all.

Find your next clinician or physician opportunity here.

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