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Help Regarding Contract Renegotiation

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  • Help Regarding Contract Renegotiation

    Just started my second year as an IR attending in radiology private practice. I feel like I’ve been tricked and am quite upset.

    I’m currently salaried at 250k (below average for my region) for 2 years. My agreement for partnership is 80% for first year, 90% for second and full partner salary my third year of partnership. I agreed to this structure understanding that the historic partner salary has been around 500k. I was told this directly by my group President when offered the job. Was willing to take a low starting salary for a promise of a reasonable one in a few years.

    Fast forward one year into being with the group. Job is going well, but I’m realizing we are having a hard time filling a vacancy in our group. I asked one of the partners why this is and I’m told it is because of our low partnership salary. Well it turns out partners actually make around 350k.

    When I took the job, I was operating on the information I was told.  Im very upset that new candidates are getting this info and I was blatantly given false info about salary. For what it’s worth, our candidates thus far have not been as attached to this location as I am.

    I decided that I need to renegotiate my contract. One of our partners is leaving which means I will have to take more call (Q4 now, about to be Q3). Regardless of what I was told about partner salary, I feel I should be paid more for having to take more call.

    Having brought up my concerns regarding call compensation (I haven’t brought up being lied to-figure that’ll just make things ugly) I have been offered a 50k increase in associate pay and change from 80% partnership salary to 90% my first year as partner and 100% my second year as partner. 300k is what they are offering new applicants.

    The job is in a LCOL area that’s good for my spouse and I. I wiped out our 100k student loan burden in 8 months. We have a 50k emergency fund, 250k in Roth and our only debt is our mortgage at 200k 3.6% interest. We save about 70% of our take home pay. My spouse is a surgical resident with several years of training left.

    The job is far from perfect, but it’s tolerable. I probably would not want to be doing this for the rest of my life, but I can deal with it until my spouse completes training. I feel like I’m being used because my group leadership realizes that I am somewhat anchored to this area because of my spouse (I moved cross country for this opportunity). I’m not excited about being increased to the pay of what they’ve offered new applicants (including reapplicants I beat out for the same spot a year ago). I’m also not excited about a graduated path to partnership when the partner salary is significantly below the average for my region. I also feel that I am above average in my line of work and have accomplished a lot more in one year than a typical new grad would. I unfortunately have a very restrictive non-compete in place which kills any chance of taking another job in my area. I also have a very strict moonlighting restriction which hinders my ability to earn more money on vacation weeks.

    In short, I want to be paid what I’m worth, but I feel my group is low-balling me. Even worse, I was lied to and have a real sour taste in my mouth. Part of me is hesitant to enter into a potential partnership with people I can’t trust. On the flip side, having been long distance with my spouse during training, this location works for us. Not really sure what leverage I have. I am interviewing for other jobs in the region (would require me to move if I took one of those opportunities about 2-3 hours away). What would you do? Suck it up and be grateful for the opportunity? Be more aggressive in negotiation? Threaten to leave? Leave and do locums? Take another job in my market and fight out the non compete?

    Im on good terms with my group leadership even though inside I’m livid. It upsets me that physicians would lie to other physicians like this. Curious what you all think I should do. Thanks




  • #2
    "When I took the job, I was operating on the information I was told."

    So, you didn't understand the contract and/or didn't ask thi see firm written numbers for current compensation for partners. Lesson learned.

    "It upsets me that physicians would lie to other physicians like this."
    Lied? You signed the contract, are you saying they've violated the contract? Or, you didn't fully read or understand the terms.

    If partners are only making $350k salary in a PP radiology group, either someone is skimming money or your practice is woefully managed.

    Bet you'll do better due diligence on your next contract. Sorry you had to learn the hard way.


    • #3
      it sounds like you are not committed to the practice long term (spouse has intermediate term obligations).  given that, i would negotiate hard for temporary significant increase in pay.  i wouldn't care what happens in partnership because i wouldn't anticipate needing that.   if you truly believe that they are dishonest, you shouldn't become a partner there.  agree with ZZZ, if that's what they are making, then there is something really wrong-either they have way too many partners or they are billing incorrectly or they are lazy or someone is taking money disproportionately.

      i'm not sure what the locums market is for IR.   i would guess it's hard to find reliable work in a specific area, but don't really know.  that would certainly inform some of the other options.  i would simply get more pay right now.  when spouse is ready to leave, i would find a new location.    money isn't going to be your problem with your good financial start and given you are going to be two specialists in highly paid areas.  trying to find hospital that can accomodate both jobs is going to be your challenge.  likely it's going to be a bigger system, and then you won't have to worry about specifics of contracts as much since they will be more boiler plate.

      no job is perfect.  this fits your needs right now.  negotiate some more money, do good work, and just remain an associate.

      good luck



      • #4
        I almost can't fathom how only $350k is the best a private practice radiology group can do. Something seems amiss there. With that said, it sounds like you've lost trust in your group.


        • #5
          Thanks for your thoughts. Definitely a lesson learned. I'm told salaries are low because of payer mix. Group only collects professional component. No equipment ownership. Still seem off despite that?


          • #6

            I almost can’t fathom how only $350k is the best a private practice radiology group can do. Something seems amiss there. With that said, it sounds like you’ve lost trust in your group.
            Click to expand...

            My thought also.  Is this intervenional only?  Are you busy?


            • #7
              About 70% IR. Bread and butter community hospital IR (drains, biopsies, central lines). Few embolization procedures here and there. Decently busy procedure days. Busy diagnostic volume.


              • #8
                WCICON24 EarlyBird
                Dude. I’m an academic ER doc and I make more than you. You’re group is either awful or someone is taking home 7 figures on the backs of the MDs.

                Agree with above. Your goal now is to provide for your family and maintain your skill set while your husband or wife finishes training. Your current job does that. Negotiate for more cash now, then leave as soon as your spouse is done on good terms and go back big bucks somewhere else.