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How Do You Negotiate Salary For New Physician Jobs?

Tips To Help You Negotiate Maximum Compensation

Congratulations! You have been offered the physician job you wanted. There’s one problem. The salary. You were hoping for more. Should you try and negotiate?

Few candidates negotiate a salary offered to them. While most senior managers expect candidates to negotiate, only around half do. Why wouldn’t you negotiate your compensation? If you accept an offer that is too low, you may regret the decision later.

Here are our tips to make sure you are rewarded adequately, and nothing is left on the table.

Know Your Worth

Before entering salary negotiations, you should know how much physicians in your location are paid.

According to salary.com, the average salary for generalist physician jobs in the United States is around $211,000. However, there are factors that could push this higher (or lower). These include:

  • Specialization
  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • Seniority
  • Location

When added together, the effect of these could be dramatic. At the low end of the pay scale, the bottom 10% average $157,140 per year. At the top end, the top 10% average almost $260,000 per year.

The key to learning what salary should be your target is to do your research. There is a wealth of information about physician jobs on the internet, including compensation. Speak to your colleagues, too, and read industry publications on the subject. Of course, your best source for salary numbers will be a specialized staffing agency that regularly recruits for physician jobs.

Don’t Stop At Salary

The economy has been hit hard by COVID-19. This includes hospitals and healthcare providers. Finances have been hammered, and many hospitals are restricted in how much they can negotiate on salary. This doesn’t mean you can’t push your compensation higher, though.

Often, a hospital’s hiring manager will have some flexibility in the total package they can offer. What you should do is figure out what is most important to you and negotiate on benefits and perks. Here are a few you may have success with:

·      Flexible Hours

The opportunity to work flexible hours could be the most important factor for you, especially if you have responsibilities that drain your time outside of work. You may have children to care for, older parents who need your support, or have outside interest to which you want to commit (community coaching, for example).

You should also ensure that you understand your new employer’s policies regarding paid time off.

·      Student Loan Forgiveness

It is possible that a new employer could offer student loan repayments as an incentive. Usually these will be tied to length of service, but they can work out to be extremely valuable.

·      Additional Paid Time Off

You may be able to negotiate a few extra days of paid time off (PTO), and you should also ascertain if your PTO includes sick days and your continuing medical education.

·      Health Benefits

Most hospitals provide health cover, but it is something that you should confirm. Does the employer provide cover for health, dental, and vision? Is the cover extended to direct and dependent family members?

Health insurance is expensive, and the more comprehensive the health cover you are offered, the more it will save you.

·      Retirement Benefits

You should be offered retirement benefits such as a 401(K). The better the benefits you agree, the earlier you may be able to retire.

·      Stipend

If you are relocating, you may be able to negotiate a relocation stipend. Other stipends include:

  • Vehicle and travel, helping to pay for fuel and maintenance and travel for work
  • Housing, especially if you are required to live near to the hospital
  • Leadership, to reward you for extra responsibilities

If you do discuss potential stipends, you should be aware that they may have tax implications for you.

·      Bonuses

You could negotiate bonuses, such as a quality bonus paid according to your patient satisfaction scores, or a performance bonus based on satisfactory paperwork.

You may also consider asking for a signing on bonus, commencement bonus, or retention bonus.

If bonuses are offered, ask about how they are currently administered and how they have been paid in the past. Bonuses that sound great but are unachievable should not be measured when you reflect on the overall compensation package.

The Keys to Successful Salary Negotiation For Physician Jobs

Before you start negotiating an offer, make certain that you know what you want to achieve from the negotiations.

It is also important to be realistic, and to start negotiating when you receive a letter of intent (don’t wait for the contract).

Always look at the big picture. Negotiating extra benefits and perks could be more valuable than a few thousand on your salary.

There will, of course, be some give and take. You will need to be flexible to arrive at a mutually agreeable package.

At Palm Careers, our goal is to get you the right position, with the right employer, and the right compensation package. We will help you negotiate a fair salary with competitive benefits and help you to maximize your career development in our specialist field of staffing for physician jobs.

For more information and a confidential discussion about your career options, contact a physician matchmaker now.