PracticeLink Magazine

SUM 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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52 S UMMER 2018 features the only reasons. Pinnacle Health Group conducted a survey several years ago to learn why physicians change jobs. We will look at some of the reasons they compiled as a way to prompt questions you should ask before accepting a job offer. No matter what questions you decide to ask, however, one thing is clear: The more questions you ask before, during and after the interview, the more likely you will be to find the right fit for you and your family. Compensation questions First on the Pinnacle Health Group survey on why physicians change jobs (or opt not to take them in the first place) is the need for a higher salary. "Of course, in a job interview, physicians are primarily focused on getting the job and how much the job pays," says Jeff Decker, division president, locum tenens for the recruiting firm A MN Healthcare. "Because of the debt level they assume while training, they're programmed to get out there and start working as soon as they can for as much as they can. If they're motivated to pay down debt, though, they can jump into a job too fast without taking other factors into consideration." But yes, he continues, salary is going to be a substantial part of any job interview. Before entering any interview, you need to determine your salary needs. There are other questions on this topic that you may want to ask: 1 DO YOU HA ve t H e re SOU r C e S t O M eet MY SALA r Y nee DS n O w A n D I n t H e FU t U re ? "Physicians who join a private practice may not be given as high a starting salary as physicians who are employed by a hospital or health system, but they may receive supplemental incentives, like relocation, student loan assistance and sign-on bonuses," says Chris Corde, system vice president of physician recruiting for OhioHealth. "However, physicians who enter private practice may have a greater long-term earning potential because they can have ownership or are able to retain a greater share of their work." Before your interview, consider your financial goals and make sure you learn about your long-term salary prospects from any potential employer. Allen suggests asking about the employer's overall financial health. "With so many mergers taking place and hospitals going under, you'll want to know what the employer's financial strength is," she says. Decker agrees. "Don't be afraid to ask these kinds of questions," he says. "Ask about the economic health of the business and ask if there are things down the road that could be problematic." You don't want to accept a job offer if the hospital is prepared to do lay-offs in the months ahead. 2 w HA t w ILL MY I n COM e LOOK LIK e I n t H e FI r S t Y e A r —A n D AF ter ? "Income guarantees" are becoming a thing of the past. "With this type of contract, the physician is assured a base income, usually for one or two years. But it is really a loan that has to be paid back," says Decker. However, the loan is usually "forgiven" in exchange for the physician staying in the community for a certain number of years. "In the early days, most of our contracts featured income guarantees. Now, it is about three or four percent, as almost everyone recruited today gets a salary," he says. "After a year or two that may segue into pure production, so you have to be prepared for that." If that is the case, Decker recommends asking during the interview what kind of loads other physicians carry. "You can deduct in your head the number of patients you will need to see to meet your compensation

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