PracticeLink Magazine

FALL 2017

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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Page 21 of 95

22 FALL 2017 ▾ T HE CON T R AC T S & COMPENSAT ION ISSUE D E P A R T M E N T S Financial Fitness BRUCE ARMON 4 bases to cover in your compensation arrangement Your employment contract will spell out your base salary, bonus opportunities, loan repayment and noneconomic benefits. It's up to you to understand them. "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore." –Yogi Berra YOGI BERRA WAS A GREAT CATCHER FOR THE NEW YORK YANKEES. He was an 18-time all-star, a 3-time M v P, won 10 World Series, and was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. He was the ultimate winner in a team sport. Most physicians, too, are valuable players on their teams. And for physicians, the most significant way to be rewarded for a job well done is through their employment contracts. If you have a great year, there are upside opportunities that can be included in your contract to reward those successes. And just like a major league baseball player who has a guaranteed contract, a physician with a multi- year deal may have protections in an "off" year as well. The four bases (baseball pun intended) of a physician's compensation arrangement are base salary, bonuses, loan repayment (particularly for more junior physicians) and noneconomic benefits. Base salary "You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." –Yogi Berra For most physicians, the base salary — the amount you're paid annually over the contract term — will be the predominant source of income communicated in the employment contract. Before signing a contract with a base salary included, make sure you understand how the salary was determined. Is there independent verification of its appropriateness? When (if at all) will the base salary change, and under what circumstances? How frequently will you get paid: weekly, bi-monthly, monthly? No physician wants to be or believe they are not being paid as competitively as their peers in the same geographic region with comparable experience and job responsibilities. Independent salary statistics, such as those from the Medical Group Management Association ( or the Association of American Medical Colleges (, can help you get a ballpark figure.

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