Monday, November 4, 2013

Medical Mondays- Negotiating for the Real Job

Time sure is flying this fall...I can't believe it's already a new month and time for another Medical Mondays linkup!


I have exciting news to share!  This past Friday we received the official offer from the place where we will hopefully accept Jeff's first "real" job post-training.  It was surreal to see all of the numbers for salary, vacation time, and little extras all laid out on a sheet of paper.  But excitement quickly gave way to anxiety as we realized we now had to hire a lawyer and do some negotiating. 

The starting offer we were given is good, but it's just that, a starting offer.  There are things we like in the contract, and things we aren't satisfied with.  It's easy to get stuck on that base salary number, but that doesn't give you the whole picture.  There are so many other things to consider.  For example: How much call will you be responsible for?  Will you get paid extra for call?  How much vacation time do you get?  Is there a limit to how many days in a row you can take off?  Do you get paid extra for RVU's generated over a certain threshold?  If so, at what rate are you compensated?  What about insurance (tail and malpractice)?  Will they give you money for marketing?  Loan repayment?  Will there be a signing or commencement bonus?  Is it enough to get you through several weeks to a month of unemployment after residency/fellowship before you receive a paycheck from your new job AND for a downpayment on a house?  Speaking of downpayments, what is the price of homes in that area?  You will need to factor in a 40% tax rate (yay) plus about $3000/month (for us) going towards paying back med school loans before you can consider what you need out of a contract.  As you can see, base salary isn't everything.  I'm sure these are only a few of the many issues we will have to consider. 

It becomes immediately clear why it's so important to find a lawyer who specializes in physician contracts.  There are so many issues that are unique to our situation.  Someone experienced in reviewing physician contracts can give you information of the typical salaries for doctors in the same specialty in a nearby area.  Offers and salary vary greatly by location, so this is a key piece to the puzzle.  It also doesn't hurt to talk to friends who have graduated a few years ahead of you.  In our experience, they are happy to share the details of their contracts with you to help give you a better idea of what you can expect in a good offer.  And interview at one or two places that aren't your dream job.  I'm so glad we interviewed at potential job location #1, even though it ended up not being the right fit for us.  Why?  Because we were offered a contract there so we now have something to compare this new offer to.  It always helps to have leverage!

So we're crossing our fingers over here that these negotiations are quick and painless.  Does anyone have any negotiating advice for us??


  1. new follower and reader here. found you with the medical monday blog hop! congrats on all your accomplishments so far. you two are good motivation for us all. my blog:

  2. Hooray for real jobs!
    I hope negotiations go smoothly.
    I am looking forward to a real job, but the whole trying to find one and negotiating and things is nerve wracking!
    Good luck!

  3. Good luck with the negotiations!! Hope they are painless and go in your favor. Exciting times!!!

  4. Thanks for linking up and congratulations on having an offer. You are right, a good lawyer is a must. Good luck as you go through the negotiating phase.

  5. Hello from Medical Mondays! You have lots of choices and things to think about with your first offer. I think we were lucky in that my DrH was picked up by a private practice right out of residency and we knew exactly what we were getting because he had worked with these guys for those few years before. Starting salary was higher than going with a hospital group, and now he is set to make partner next August. One thing we wished we had was a sign-on bonus. Would have been nice to put towards the loans. Love your Siamese!!

  6. We are going through this right now too. It's surreal that residency and fellowship end and real life can begin after being put on hold so many years. Don't be afraid to ask for what he wants-now is the time. We were able to get a signing bonus, loan repayment and relocation costs covered. Also have a trusted colleague or attending look it over as well to see if anything is missing or glaringly wrong. A second set of eyes can be helpful. Honestly though make sure the future employer is giving him what he has worked so hard for and don't settle. You need to make sure you're both happy with the contract as it sets the tone for his future there. Im so excited to keep following your journey and feel free to contact me w any questions since we just went though this process. Congrats :)

    1. Thanks Kelly! We have already had someone else look it over and now planning to send it to a lawyer. I agree, a second set of eyes is so important! Congrats on being done! I like to reply to posters via email, but it says you are a no reply blogger. You might want to google how to change that on your profile.

    2. Ok I went in and changed my settings so the email should work now. Thanks for letting me know-total newbie to the blogging thing. I'm looking forward to reading more posts from ya :)

  7. What an exciting time for you! Utilize an attorney and all the leverage you can!! Can't wait to hear where you end up! Good luck! And, as always, thanks for linking up with us for Medical Monday! :)


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