Salary Advice for Physician Job Search

When on the job search, salary is often foremost in a job seeker's mind. But it might feel as if there's no good time to bring the topic up. MomMD interviewed experts for salary advice in our series on the physician job search.

"You should always be prepared to discuss salary," says Rebecca Dallek, M.Ed., ACC, CPCC, about physicians on the job search. "Make sure you've researched market standards and write down your own bottom and top numbers. Practice saying your top number until it does not feel awkward."

Dallek cautions that unless the interviewer asks directly, there is no reason for job candidates to bring up salary discussions during the interview. There is a time and place for everything, and that's not it.

"The idea of the interview is for the company to want to hire you, even if you don't want them," says Dallek, a career and leadership coach. "After they express strong interest or make you an offer, then it is appropriate to discuss salary."

Salary advice: How high? How low?

She says salary negotiation is all about knowing your top and bottom.

"If you take a job and are resentful about the salary offered, no one is going to be happy," she says. "Practice negotiating with a friend. Understand your bottom line and think about how quickly you are willing to go there.

"If the company is firm and says, 'This is the salary and there is no negotiation,' then you can decide when you are willing to walk away."

Dr. Koushik Shaw advises waiting until a second interview before discussing salary range.

"If they are serious, they will put a number forth," he says. "I always recommend a second interview before signing. This is a time to discuss salary. Make sure the fit is there first, then salary."

But he says to pay attention to the long-term potential in a job, as well as the immediate numbers. "Although the initial salary is important, more so are the 5-, 10-year, and longer-term outlook for salary, partnership. These can be discussed in depth once fit is established for both parties."

More about physician jobs

Next >>> For physicians on the job search, what do you look for? How does anyone find a job that provides the right work-life balance?

Do med schools prepare students for actually finding the right physician job?

What's most important for MDs to consider in a job search?

Common job interview mistakes made by MDs.

The gender salary gap continues in most every occupation, and MD pay is included.

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