PracticeLink Magazine

Winter 2018

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 37 of 91

38 W INTER 2018 ▼ CV T HE Qua L I T Y of L I f E ISS u E D E P A R T M E N T S Job Doctor M e G a N K i MB al How to negotiate time off Maintaining a healthy work-life balance means allocating time for life — away from work. o N e of t H e M o R e i MP o R ta N t t H i NGS to C o NS i D e R WH e N e V aluati NG a P ote N tial J o B o PP o R tu N ity is the amount of paid time off you'll receive. Vacation time is usually forefront on most people's minds, but it is also important to consider paid time off for continuing medical education (CM e ) courses and medical mission work. These items have a direct impact on your work- life balance. Clarify "paid time off" Does the language of your contract clearly define the amount and allocation of the paid time off you will receive? Many physicians assume that the paid time off listed in the contract is a non-negotiable part of the benefits package, but that is not always the case. Aside from the amount of time offered, what is offered and/or how it is structured can vary by employer. For example, you may notice that some employers offer both vacation and CM e time off separately. Others combine them into one "paid time off" pool. It does not matter exactly how it is structured, as long as you are aware whether or not CM e ti me of f is i ncluded. You ca n then attempt to negot iate for add it iona l t i me i f desi red . Assign a priority to vacation time Before going into a negotiation, it is crucial that you develop a strategy aimed at getting what you need above what you want. Rank your priorities in order of importance. This will serve as a visual reminder while you are in negotiations of where you should stay focused. Once you see how your paid time off is allocated, you'll have to determine if an opportunity's vacation time fulfills what you need to maintain a healthy work-life balance. If not, what might you be willing to give up to get more? If vacation time is more important to you than a higher salary, for example, make sure you prioritize vacation time above salary during your negotiations. Failure to prioritize weakens your position in the negotiation process, wastes valuable time, and may ultimately leave you with an unsatisfying contract. On average, most physician employees get three to four weeks of paid vacation time. Address CME time The cost and timing of CM e courses should be discussed when negotiating your paid time off. The CM e credits required differ by state. Before you enter into negotiations, know how many hours you will be required to complete. More employers are now combining CM e time, vacation time and sick leave

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