The second in a NetDoc.com series on Transitions in a Physician's Career
Physicians just finishing their residency and entering their professional fields may wonder what they have to offer compared to other physicians who have more experience and patient loyalty. This lack of confidence can end up costing them the positions and salaries they want simply because they don't recognize how much leverage they actually have in the negotiations.
In this article, we're going to look at some the advantages you have when compared to your most experienced competition so you can feel confident about your chances of obtaining a desirable position and so you'll know how to best sell yourself.
Medicine is one of the fastest changing professional fields. New tests, new drugs, new diseases – all of these things are being discovered, studied, and applied regularly in order to provide the most state-of-the-art care for patients.
Unfortunately, many physicians who have been in the business a long time don't keep up on these changes. Even if they do read about them in a medical journal or attend a seminar about them over a weekend, they will still lack the knowledge of these techniques that you gained during residency.
Your current knowledge of up-to-date procedures and treatments is a definite advantage, especially in hospitals and medical facilities that pride themselves on providing the highest level of care for their patients.
Stark II Laws
Whether you're going into solo practice or group practice as a new physician, you'll also benefit from the Stark II laws passed in 2004 .
For example, if you have been practicing for less than a year and have set up a private practice, then you can benefit from hospital recruitments but you do not have to be restricted by them. Before the Stark II laws, hospitals could recruit doctors but demand that they refer patients only to their hospitals, base their compensation on the number of anticipated referrals, and prevent them from have duties at other hospitals. Under the revised laws, hospitals can't srecruit established physicians into affiliated practices unless they meet very specific geographic and demographic criteria. Hospitals, however, have fewer restrictions on recruiting new physicians, expanding the job options for new physicians.
The Stark II laws will also benefit you if you decide to join an existing practice.
First, any recruitment money paid to you by a hospital goes directly to you, not to the practice itself. The practice is only allowed to keep a portion that would cover their costs in brining you into the practice, such as the expense of hiring a recruiter.
Second, if you are guaranteed a salary by a hospital, then your expenses within the practice must be directly related to you joining the practice. For example, if the practice had to hire a new receptionist as a result of bringing you into the practice, then the cost of having the new receptionist would be something you'd be partially responsible for. On the other hand, if the same receptionists had been there since the practice started, then you are not responsible for those expenses.