Page 26 - Delaware Medical Journal - February 2017
P. 26

Apples & Oranges — How to Compare Job Offers
 Bruce Armon
During the course of your career,
you will make many changes:
  organization, switching jobs, moving to a different town or, eventually, retiring.
You may initiate many of these changes. Family situations may cause some.
Your employer may precipitate others. Still others may result from mergers,  as health care continues to evolve. Regardless of the cause of a change,
when it is about to occur, you will need to evaluate and compare multiple opportunities.
Comparing opportunities by weighing

is critically important. And crucial to

understanding of what is most important and viable to you in both the short- and long-term. Which job will protect your  you need for the next opportunity you’ll pursue down the road?
Weigh It: Familiarity
The road through residency and fellowship can be long and winding with an uncertain future. After finishing training, you might weight the option of staying at the same academic medical center.

environment: continuity, familiarity, and the opportunity to teach junior residents whose strengths and weaknesses are
known. There are also potential costs to staying at the institution where you trained. You may struggle to be seen
as a peer rather than a trainee. You  in a crowded division or department. And you may be more accepting of
less compensation in exchange for the comfort of staying at a familiar institution.
To Help You Evaluate
If you’re considering whether to stay in your current program or not, ask yourself:
• What is my relationship like with my mentors here? How long will they practice here?
• What are the growth opportunities?
• Will I always be viewed as a resident or fellow, or will I be able to be viewed as a colleague?
• Would I be better off in a different environment that would broaden my professional experience?
Caren Kirschner, MD had three primary considerations when comparing opportunities after completing residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia: geographic location,  equal priority, and more important to her than other criteria such as starting salary or advancement opportunities.
Kirschner chose to join a private practice, but familiarity still played a role. “I grew up in the Philadelphia
area and went to medical school and completed my residency in Philadelphia. I knew I wanted to stay in the immediate Philadelphia area, and I really wanted to avoid an unpleasant commute,” she says.
Weigh It: Geography
As in Kirschner’s case, geographic location is a top consideration for many physicians comparing job options. Geographic preferences are mostly personal, but there are also practical and legal issues regarding the area in which you choose to work.
Professional liability insurance costs vary among regions largely because
of each region’s reputation of being provider-friendly in legal matters
and because of its history of suits, judgements, and settlements. If the cost of professional liability insurance is  than another, that may affect the salary that can be offered by an employer – and your choice to practice there.
Noncompete clauses prohibit physicians from practicing within a certain distance from their previous employer for a certain amount of time after
they leave that employer. A clause’s scope may vary depending upon your specialty, employment setting, and the competition in an area. If you know you want to be in a specific community for a long time, a noncompete stipulation may be the most important section of your contract. In states that prohibit noncompetes, you may find that employers include a liquidated
Del Med J | February 2017 | Vol. 89 | No. 2

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