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Relocation 101: What kind of assistance can I anticipate?

Read PracticeLink articles by Alexandra Cappetta
Alexandra Cappetta

Table of Contents

Relocation is more than a career change; it can be a lifestyle adjustment. When making the decision to start practicing at a facility in a new community, it helps to have the support of those welcoming you to the area.

In this three-part relocation series, we’ll be covering the must-knows about relocation, what kind of assistance you can expect, lifestyle considerations and how practice type makes a difference.

First, let’s start with some relocation basics and the assistance you can expect to receive from your new employers.

Forms of assistance

While a relocation package or relocation bonus is not always a guarantee, it is commonly included for physicians when the job requires a move. A typical relocation package may include:

  • Financial aid to help cover the expenses of moving
  • Suggestions or recommendations for necessary services
  • Information to help you get to know the new community
  • Details about getting your license and credentials in a new state
  • Relevant resources to help accommodate you and your family

If not receiving relocation assistance is a deal breaker for you, make sure you establish that it will be available before accepting an offer.

Relocation averages

According to a 2019 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiter Incentives by Merritt Hawkins, 98% of positions include some sort of relocation bonus. The average figure offered to relocate was $10,393 for physicians.

This total can be helpful for covering several aspects of relocation, such as:

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Hiring movers
  • Transportation for you and your family
  • Temporary housing while you become more familiar with the community
  • A Realtor or house-hunting tour

If financial assistance is offered, keep in mind that your recruiter or new employer may not coordinate each of these services, but they may provide suggestions for which will be the most reliable during your move. Don’t hesitate to use them as a resource and ask for more recommendations if you need them at any point in the process.

Navigating negotiation

Relocation assistance is not one size fits all and can depend on a few factors, such as where you’re relocating from and to, whether you’re moving with family or a spouse, and other details like the cost of living in your current and new locations.

To determine what’s fair and reasonable to request, consider the average figure previously mentioned as a benchmark. Start assessing which resources will be necessary and outline the expenses. If the assistance offered won’t cover what you’ll need to successfully integrate into the new community, it’s time to factor in what you’re willing and able to pay out of pocket or negotiate.

Come prepared with the list of services and budget you’ve determined is necessary, as well as any research you’ve collected about what’s typically offered in a physician relocation package. The more detailed information you provide, the better. Your negotiation efforts will go further when your employer can tell you’ve taken the time and initiative to think through what you need to get settled and thrive during your transition.


Ultimately, your employers want you to feel prepared, enthusiastic and optimistic about beginning your journey at their health system. Use your role as a new hire to your advantage and be specific about the help you need – and expect – to start your new role with confidence.


Be on the lookout for part two of the series next week!

If you have questions about relocation assistance, what to expect, or how to negotiate what’s included in your package, we’re here to help. Contact us at

Read PracticeLink articles by Alexandra Cappetta

Alexandra Cappetta

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