Choosing a Hospital Job: Physician Contract Mistakes to Avoid
By: Varun Verma, MD
Published: Nov 18, 2022
📂 Physician Perspectives
✅ Early Career Physicians
✅ Mid Career Physicians
✅ Established Professionals
Here are the top ten pieces of advice from physicians for avoiding big mistakes when taking your first hospital job:
1. It is important to know your market value and what you are worth on the open market.
Know your worth by calculating your RVU production and compare it to comparable markets. There are a number of free and easy to use websites and apps that will help you do this such as RVUcalc.com and the NPS Calculator.
2. Review your contract carefully with an attorney before signing.
Hire an attorney that specializes in healthcare employment contracts. This is a worthwhile investment and will save you a great deal of money and headache in the long run.
3. Negotiate for a sign-on bonus and/or relocation allowance.
Make sure these items are clearly spelled out in your offer letter and/or contract. Do not take the first offer given to you. Employers expect you to negotiate and if you do not, you may be leaving money on the table.
4. Have a clear understanding of the Employer’s Benefits package and how it works.
Review the benefit package offered to you and make sure you understand all the details. If you do not, ask for clarification. This is important because the benefit package can have a significant impact on your overall compensation.
5. Make sure you understand the compensation model and how you will be paid.
This is often a complicated topic and one that you should fully understand before signing an employment contract. Make sure you know how you will be paid (i.e. salary, production, etc.) and what the formula is for calculating your compensation.
6. Understand the call schedule and how it will impact your life.
This is an important consideration, especially if you have a young family. Make sure you know what the call schedule is and how often you will be expected to take call.
7. Understand the partnership track (if applicable)
If you are considering a position with a group that has a partnership track, make sure you understand the requirements and timeline for becoming a partner.
8. Make sure you understand the details of the malpractice insurance
This is an important consideration, especially if you are moving to a new state. Make sure you understand the limits of the insurance and what, if any, tail coverage is provided.
9. Consider the location of the position and what it will mean for your lifestyle.
This is an important consideration, especially if you have a young family. Make sure you consider the cost of living in the area, the quality of schools, and the recreation and entertainment options.
10. Make sure you are comfortable with the people you will be working with.
This is an important consideration. You will be spending a lot of time with the people you work with, so make sure you are comfortable with them. Ask around and get a feel for the culture of the organization.
The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a perfect job. However, if you take the time to do your homework and understand your options, you can find a position that is a good fit for you and your family.
Varun Verma, MD ⇨
Dr. Varun Verma, a seasoned internal medicine physician, embodies a passion for public health advocacy and a deep-seated knowledge of the trials encountered by medical professionals. His expansive experience spans 14 renowned hospitals, including UCSF, the Brigham, Jefferson, and Bellevue. Alongside his wife, a dermatologist, Varun champions the physician-patient relationship and fosters community and solidarity among physicians.
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