Contract Diagnostics was selected by the American College of Cardiology to be official provider of contract review services.

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In the spirit of the holidays, I invite you to join me in a tradition beyond the typical end-of-year celebrations – a tradition of reflection and planning. This season, as we gather to express our gratitude for the year’s gifts, let’s also turn our attention to an often overlooked but crucial aspect of our lives: our professional journey in physician compensation. A physician’s journey is marked by significant investments – in our education, homes, and families. We navigate these choices with a wealth of information at our fingertips, enabling us to make informed decisions. However, the path is less clear when it comes to understanding and negotiating our professional worth – our compensation and contracts. It’s time to change that.

Unpreparedness is Unacceptable

Don’t remain passive or assume your physician contract is set in stone and beyond negotiation. Remember, you always hold leverage, particularly before the contract is signed. Whether you’re walking into a negotiation or contemplating your next steps, it’s crucial not to sit idly by. Reach out and take proactive steps to understand and negotiate your contract effectively.

You need to ask yourself, what is my value? How much are other physicians being compensated in similar situations?

Physicians have traditionally had limited resources to answer these two critical questions, particularly if they are considering a job change or have not had a raise for a while. But times have changed.

Equipping Yourself with the Right Knowledge

Understanding your physician contract and its potential is akin to a medical diagnosis – having the information is just the beginning. Just as knowing you have high cholesterol isn’t enough without a tailored plan of action, whether through medication, diet, or exercise, the same principle applies to your career. Raw data on physician compensation is valuable, but the strategy and customized solutions genuinely make a difference. Each physician’s situation, like each patient’s health, is unique and requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. At Contract Diagnostics, through our Compensation Rx service, we don’t just provide up-to-date industry data; we specialize in crafting personalized strategies that are far more specific and relevant than generic comparisons like ‘a cardiologist in Illinois.’ Our goal is to equip you with information and actionable insights tailored to your career goals and contract needs. Signing up with us is not only straightforward and affordable but also a step towards a customized, strategic approach to your professional journey.

Connecting with the Right People

Knowledge begins with putting the right people in the right places. As physicians, we all use this strategy in our clinical practices. With the right staff, we can do our jobs effectively. When faced with taking a new job or renegotiating an existing position, all physicians must know that help is available. Knowing the right people to call is about establishing relationships and making stuff happen. Experts can provide information and insight into what is out there regarding reasonable salary and benefit expectations. You don’t have to do this alone. Thinking prospective physician employers are working entirely in your best interests may be shortsighted. They want to make money for their institution or practice, first and foremost. In the not-too-distant past, physicians have tried to ask other physicians what they bring home or struggle through meetings, wondering if a colleague sitting at another table is better off than they are. But other physicians are notoriously tight-lipped about their salaries. You no longer need to rely on anecdotal evidence or hearsay.

Connecting with the Right People

Knowledge begins with putting the right people in the right places. As physicians, we all use this strategy in our clinical practices. With the right staff, we can do our jobs effectively.

When faced with taking a new job or renegotiating an existing position, all physicians must know that help is available. Knowing the right people to call is about establishing relationships and making stuff happen.

Experts can provide information and insight into what is out there regarding reasonable salary and benefit expectations. You don’t have to do this alone.

Thinking prospective physician employers are working entirely in your best interests may be shortsighted. They want to make money for their institution or practice, first and foremost.

In the not-too-distant past, physicians have tried to ask other physicians what they bring home or struggle through meetings, wondering if a colleague sitting at another table is better off than they are. But other physicians are notoriously tight-lipped about their salaries. You no longer need to rely on anecdotal evidence or hearsay.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

The trick is understanding that your economic value as a physician is not necessarily the same as your market value, particularly in certain locations. A hospital administrator may be willing to place a higher value on your services, but you need to know how to ask the right people the right questions. You have a 100% chance of getting nothing if you fail to raise your hand.

The Right Process Matters

Process means having the correct information available at the right time and understanding how to use it. As physicians, we are busy taking care of patients, so when do we have the time to search for salary data? I know I never did.

How do we get past paywalls? I have paid for data thinking it would help, only to discover my credit card was charged for old, useless information that only applied to surgeons in downtown Los Angeles when I lived in the Southeast.

Contract Diagnostics provides both internal and external knowledge for physicians using real-life examples. They have over a decade of experience in metrics and reporting relevant data even through the worst pandemic. They have timely compensation data for specific specialties in specific locations beyond nationally reported data sources such as MGMA.

Early in my career, I made a career change without the availability of this process. I relied on taking an informal survey among my colleagues and other practices about what I should be paid. There were no up-to-date analytics available at that time. The result was mediocre because I didn’t use the proper process. Don’t fall into the same trap I did.

Why Should You Evaluate Your Physician Compensation?

Here are several scenarios when considering whether physician compensation evaluation is not just beneficial but crucial:

  1. Considering a job change or renegotiation: When contemplating a career move or contract renewal, understanding your market value can empower you during negotiations.
  2. No modification to your comp structure is >2 years: Regular assessments are vital to ensure your compensation keeps pace with industry changes, especially if your compensation structure has not been updated in over two years.
  3. Moving from a hospital to a private practice or vice versa: Transitioning between these settings can bring significant differences in compensation structures. It’s essential to comprehend these variances.
  4. Looking to benchmark compensation against industry standards: Benchmarking is critical for career planning. Annual or biennial evaluations help you stay competitive in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape.
  5. Experiencing a significant increase in workload: Changes in workload can directly affect your compensation. Be prepared to discuss pay adjustments when your responsibilities change.
  6. Needing guidance on bonus or incentive structures: Bonus and incentive structures can be complex. Understanding them is crucial to maximize your earnings.
  7. Beginning interviews in a new geographic region: Starting a job search in a new region presents unique challenges. Compensation data can guide your decisions during this transition.
  8. Finding out what new hires are making: To ensure you’re compensated fairly compared to new hires, access to compensation data is invaluable.
  9. Researching compensation in a new location: If you’re considering a move to a different location, understanding how it affects your income is vital for sound financial planning.

The Strategy for Success

Part of the help you need in negotiating compensation is a solid strategy. While we develop clinical strategies daily, our career strategies are too often left to the wayside.

Compensation Rx from Contract Diagnostics allows physicians to set goals and measure performance with an introductory 30-minute negotiation strategy call.

Here is a sampling of what your call may look like.

  • Help create your mission, including your goals, values, and objectives.
  • How to translate your mission into a vision of the future
  • What will I ask for when negotiating?
  • What will be my long-term plan?
  • Introduction to the best approach for executing your strategy
  • Organizing your tactics–initiatives, proposals, or work parameters

Key Takeaways

  • Level the playing field when negotiating your physician compensation and benefits.
  • Compensation Rx from Contract Diagnostics provides the tools to stop leaving money on the table in contract negotiations.
  • Compensation Rx provides real-time data, high-quality analytics, strategies, and customized feedback.

As you enjoy the warmth of the holidays with loved ones, I encourage you to also reflect on your professional path and the steps you can take to ensure it aligns with your true values and aspirations.

Sometimes, all it takes to ignite change is a catalyst. If you need that spark, consider setting up a complimentary 15-minute phone call with one of our experts. This conversation is an opportunity for guidance and inspiration, free from pressure and filled with ideas to help you move forward. Let’s turn this reflection into action.

About The Author:

Dr. Drew Sutton, MD, has walked the long road of a successful medical career, amassing invaluable insights and expertise. With a wealth of knowledge derived from his time in the trenches, he understands the myriad challenges and opportunities that come with physician contracts and compensation. Dr. Sutton does not just share theoretical knowledge; he imparts lessons from his hands-on experience in the medical profession. Dr. Sutton has been where you are, and he’s navigated the path to where you want to be.

Do Not Settle for Less Than What You Deserve

Imagine what a 10%+ increase in your compensation could mean for your financial future. With just a simple conversation with our team, you could be on your way to securing the salary you deserve. Our team can help make that a reality. Schedule a FREE 15-minute evaluation with us now, or click on one of the options below to learn more.

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