Author Archives: Muhammad Akbar M.D.
Though physician compensation is something you don’t want to bring up in an interview until appropriate, it’s a subject you need to broach eventually. In order to make sure a hiring organization is a good fit, you need to be sure you ask the right questions about this topic.
Frankly, physician compensation models and structures can be confusing, which is why you need to be as educated as possible. In this post, I’ll cover nine questions you can ask to get a better grasp of whether a compensation plan meets your needs.
When it comes to the physician job search process, there’s a lot to stress about. Finding a practice that’s right for you, doing well in your interviews and negotiating a salary that meets your needs are just a few of the major stepping stones on the road to success.
However, there’s one major decision you can make that will help the other pieces fall into place much more easily. The sooner you make it, the easier your life will be.
I’m talking about location — where you want to live and practice.
Here’s a figure that you’ve probably seen a zillion times: 79% of graduating medical students carry at least $100,000 in student loan debt, and 59% of those graduates carry over $150,000 in student loan debt.
Those numbers are hard to swallow, but they’re also easy to ignore.
Here’s a figure that I like better: Monthly student loan payments of more than $3,000 are not uncommon for medical school graduates.
It seems counterintuitive, but your biggest frustrations now can actually make life after residency better.
No matter where you’re at in your program — whether you’re in your first or fourth year — it can feel like it’s never going to end. You’ve been in school for the majority of your life, you’re working long hours and you’re under constant evaluation. Talk about an instant recipe for stress!
Instead of just stewing in anger about all of your current frustrations, you can actually make them work for you by examining them a little closer. That way, when you’ve graduated from residency (and have a more flexible and autonomous life), you’ll have a better idea of things you can do to eliminate these types of stress.
If applying to jobs and interviewing isn’t stressful enough, there’s another task that might prove to be even more difficult: weighing offers and choosing the right job.
Your first job out of residency will set the tone for your entire physician career. Some of us get lucky, and the choice is crystal clear: we get offered our dream job, or the benefits of one job clearly outweigh another offer.
But for others (and maybe yourself), that decision is much more complicated. Weighing the pros and cons might not be easy, and it might be hard to determine what you should prioritize.
I graduated from residency over 10 years ago, and I still remember it as one of the most exhilarating times of my life.
More than anything, I was ready to start practicing and making a difference in my patients’ lives. But in addition to my excitement about work, I was thrilled about the new life ahead of me.
Finally, I’d be able to afford all the things I had to sacrifice through residency. I could get a nice car, take my family on vacations and send my kids to excellent schools.