PracticeLink Magazine

Spring 2019

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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76 S PRIN g 2019 PracticeLink.com features Making your decision (residency, winter of year 3) P h YSI c I a N If you started your job search a year in advance, you should have an offer by January at the latest, says Barr. But before you can accept a job, you have some decisions to make — especially if you've received multiple offers. "Most in-house recruiting professionals would expect that candidates are looking at other opportunities," says Gleason. "It's perfectly acceptable to let organizations know you're looking at other opportunities and to ask for their timeline." This will let you know how long you can safely delay your decision. But organizations have their own timelines for considering candidates for positions, which means you may or may not have as much time as you think. Effective communication and long-term decision- making may be better tools for negotiating offers than pitting employers against each other. According to Gleason, if physicians falter at the finish line, it's typically because of one of two reasons: compensation expectations or contract negotiation parameters. "A physician going into a job search should research what factors play into their particular personal family needs and practice setting type and location," she says. "Understanding a potential compensation model for a future position and what is reasonable for their geographic setting and practice type is highly important." She adds that many organizations have standardized contacts. "It's not uncommon for only a few components of the agreement to actually be negotiable," she explains. "An interviewing physician would do well to understand this aspect as he or she begins discussions." When you're presented with a contract, Rodriguez says, "The first person you negotiate with is yourself. Are you happy with the terms? Then sit down with your spouse and discuss it together." Only after these steps should you negotiate with an employer. SP o US e As your spouse makes career decisions, it's reasonable for you to weigh in. "You're in a partnership with your spouse, but the job will be just as much a partner in your relationship," explains Angeli. "This is something you need to be involved in." McElderry says asking your spouse questions can help him or her make a decision. For example: Are there good mentorship possibilities at the facility? Does the workplace culture seem like a good fit? Will he or she enjoy the coworkers? How is the salary structured? "I think it's helpful to talk with the spouses of physicians who work there," she adds. "They may give you a better idea of what kind of relationship your spouse plans to enter into." Your own career may affect your spouse's choices. "My wife's biggest priorities were location and job opportunities," recalls Wilson. "Thinking back to medical school, there was a particular residency program that I loved but ranked low because I knew my wife wouldn't be able to easily find a job there." However, according to Barr, these roles are often reversed. In a two-career marriage, the non-physician spouse often makes the professional sacrifices during residency because of the match. "When it comes time to finding a job, that's where I think the physician spouse might want to give the non-medical member of the marriage a bit of an edge," she recommends. No matter where you land, you and your spouse should base your decision on the jobs and lifestyle you feel are right for your family. And if you end up relocating, Gleason says it's best to have all hands on deck. Help your spouse with relocation planning and transitioning your children to a new community and school. Throughout the job-search process, a spouse is often part of the decision-making. And that's as it should be. That's why Gleason recommends that physicians include partners in their research, thought processes and decision-making from the very beginning. "This will reduce any additional delays in deciding on an offer," she says. "Talk to each other even when you've made the move," adds Kavitha Thomas. "Know things will change. If that happens, begin the process again — knowing you can make it work." Win! Find your next practice—and enter to win a $500 gift card—at PracticeLink.com/Win.

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