12 Jan Questions Physicians Should Ask During Salary Negotiations
Medical school prepares doctors to perform their role in the medical field, but contract negotiation is something physicians must often learn independently. Before signing your next physician contract, make sure you understand all aspects of the agreement and consult a legal professional if needed.
Here are some tips for making the most of physician contract negotiations:
Know your worth. There is a wealth of knowledge available about salary trends and market value in nearly every profession these days. Doing basic research can help you set realistic expectations for the role and avoid leaving money on the table or negotiating yourself out of a great opportunity. Many factors can influence compensation, including:
- educational background
- geographic location
- type of practice
Get to know the potential employers before talking about salary. Money can be a tricky subject and many doctors struggle with the best way to approach the topic of salary. If you bring it up too early in the discussion, you might come across as greedy, making them less willing to compromise later in the process. However, you don’t want to get too far into the process without discussing your compensation needs. Allow some time to get to know your potential employer and consider discussing other contract terms before addressing money. This will allow you to show commitment, patience, and dedication to hammering out mutually beneficial terms.
Ask questions. To prevent momentum-killing back-and-forth, have your list of questions ready, and be willing to compromise on details that aren’t dealbreakers for you. Here are some things you might want to put on your list of possible questions:
- Will I be able to accept locum tenens work? Many physicians enjoy the benefits of locum tenensIf you plan on exploring opportunities to earn a second income, make sure that option is specified in your contract.
- What happens in the unfortunate (and hopefully unlikely) event of termination? It’s essential to understand what will happen if a physician is fired and what rights remain after a contract is void. Physician-favorable contracts include a lengthy notice and a sizable severance package.
- Is there a non-compete clause? If you plan to settle in the area and are considering opening your own practice, make sure the time limit and geographic radius of a non-compete clause are acceptable.
- Does your group have long-term and short-term goals for the organization? What are they? Before signing on the dotted line, it’s nice to know what might be coming down the pike. Some organizations might not have answers to these questions, but the ones that do will give you information that might help you make a decision.
Consider the benefits. Sometimes base pay isn’t the most crucial consideration for the job. Perhaps the role is incentive-based and will offer increased pay for high productivity. Maybe the opportunity for career advancement or improved work-life balance tips the scales for you. Look at the big picture of the offer and consider all aspects.
Know the negotiation process. It’s a good idea to seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in healthcare during the negotiation and contract review process. Pick someone familiar with the geographic area and the fine points of physician contracts. Often the negotiation process follows this pattern:
- Potential employer’s proposal
- Your counter-proposal
- Back-and-forth negotiation
- Acceptance or a polite refusal
Looking for the best contract terms for your next physician role?
Annashae offers clinicians competitive compensation, competitive compensation packages, and perks you can’t find anywhere else. Our dedicated physician recruiters will find personalized options to match your medical specialty, answer all your questions, and help you make a move to a short or long-term role. Be your own boss with Annashae!