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It Doesn't Hurt to Ask (for more...)

May 14, 2024

One of the key mistakes that residents and fellows make when negotiating their first contract is not asking enough questions.

The idea that somehow they will give you everything that you want from the beginning is wishful thinking.

IMO, you should be spending 40-50% of the time asking questions during the entire process.

Don't let them waste time giving you information you don't need.


Ask for more help 

As you start evaluating your offers, remember that you don't have to go at it alone.

The terms are new, confusing, and honestly scary.

Get some help from people who are experienced in this process.

Get a healthcare lawyer (not your Cousin Vinny) who specializes in physician contracts.

They can offer tailored advice to your specific situation.

If you don't know something, or don't understand it, ask.

Ask every question that pops up.

And once you think you have all the answers, ask for more help.


Ask for more clarity

Contracts are filled with complex language and confusing terms, making it hard for non-lawyers to understand.

When reviewing your contract, circle any sections or terms that are unclear or confusing to you.

Ask for more clarity on these terms.

Understanding the finer details of your agreement will help you make informed decisions.

For example, if you come across terms such as "breach" (not the OB/GYN term), "merger/integration clauses," or "non-compete clauses," you need to stop and ask for more clarity to fully grasp their implications.

You need to have a clear understanding of what you're agreeing to before signing.

This way you avoid any misunderstandings or disputes in the future.


Ask for more money

Sounds simple and obvious, but when you see the amounts of $200,000 or greater, you will be nothing but grateful for 4-5x your salary.

This is when you forget to...

"Ask for more money!"

It's important not to undervalue yourself and ask for competitive compensation that reflects the value you bring.

No matter what they tell you about how much you will learn and grow, and how they will nurture you. You will still be bringing more income to your employer than the value of "their training."

You have already received decades of training for this moment.

Do not delay any more monetary gratification.

Get paid as much as you can, now.

Future raises will not keep up with future inflation.



You are likely not a lawyer.

Your employer got a lawyer to write that contract in your hand.

Balance the power dynamic and get a lawyer on your side.

If you do not understand something ask for more clarity.

If you do understand it but it is too vague for comfort, add specifics to the contract.

No matter what they are offering, they are low-balling you.

Ask for more money.


Start here.

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