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First attending job gone bad - What to do next?

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  • #16


    non compete is for a year only. It shouldn’t be hard to find another job in the area in my specialty.
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    Depending on your specialty, that non-compete may be very hard to enforce and may not be worth it for the group to try to enforce it.

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    • #17
      Can you tell us your speciality?  It sounds like a bad group and I agree that you should leave.  I feel like this is a common issue my residents and younger colleagues face with the first practice, as it is typical to start with a low salary with the promise of becoming partner.   That partnership offer then either never happens or the buy-in is so high that it is not worth it..   I'm hoping that if we know the speciality you can get more specific advice from members in your field on your options after leaving the group.

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      • #18
        Don’t be terrified, no reason to be. The fact that you are asking random strangers for advice suggests you already have somewhat made your decision. Trust your instincts, more often than not they’ll get you where you need to be.

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        • #19




          Just be glad you are not a lawyer. Many law firms hire associates as slave labor and only the cream of the crop make partner. If you don’t make partner in a certain time frame you are gone to make room for the fresh meat. Those that think they still have a shot and kill themselves trying.

          Professional partnerships are designed to benefit the partners, not employees. Some take it to greater extremes than others. Compared to law firms, some medical practice partnerships almost seem altruistic.
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          This is what is supposed to separate us from other professions.  Using law firms as a measuring stick is a horrible norm.  I put it right up there as running the clinic strictly as a business with our 'customers'.

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          • #20
            OP you could ask them to “put it in writing”. As in, a +/- on partnership offer by a certain date. Or are you even interested in being there long term?

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            • #21
              I've heard non-copmpetes are rarely upheld and if the group really wants to sue you over that it makes them look worse in my opinion.

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              • #22







                Just be glad you are not a lawyer. Many law firms hire associates as slave labor and only the cream of the crop make partner. If you don’t make partner in a certain time frame you are gone to make room for the fresh meat. Those that think they still have a shot and kill themselves trying.

                Professional partnerships are designed to benefit the partners, not employees. Some take it to greater extremes than others. Compared to law firms, some medical practice partnerships almost seem altruistic.
                Click to expand…


                This is what is supposed to separate us from other professions.  Using law firms as a measuring stick is a horrible norm.  I put it right up there as running the clinic strictly as a business with our ‘customers’.
                Click to expand...


                Yet there are some very very bad practices out there that absolutely eat the young.

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                • #23
                  DTM, in my mind there is no forever job. Just like there is no forever house. It's just a job or a house.

                  This is a bad turn of work events though and you could be dealing with a bunch of a#$holes.

                  I got kicked in the nuts when I was a 2 years out. I got back up and it made me more the wiser.

                  Hopefully with you too.

                  Maybe look at locuming options more.

                  All the best.

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                  • #24


                    As many people do, I moved to a new state to take this job. We absolutely love the city, we love our neighborhood and all the activities we have available to us.
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                    If you still live where I think you live... There should be plently of other options. If it's bad, its OK to leave. But this is sage advice:


                    The expectation is that the non-partner/employee on the partnership tract pays his/her dues. That is non-negotiable. It is also the expectation that the partnership tract employee gradually assumes the roles and responsibilities of the partners. The length of the partnership tract, if promised either contractually or as a handshake deal, may NOT change, and that is also non-negotiable. If that is being changed against your wishes, you may be getting let go, but they are doing so in a manner that is not transparent. What your friends earn in other jobs, in other locations, may or may not be relevant. (Plus, people talk and the reality might be different than what they say.) No two jobs are alike. If you want to work like your friends and earn what your friends are earning, join their practice. The advice from here depends a lot on what specialty, what are the job prospects in the area, etc. If you can easily slide into another job in the area, especially if you already have friends working there, I would strongly consider it. If you are 6 months away from partnership at the current position and believe things may turn when you become a partner, it might be worth staying and seeing what that is like.
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                    Keep thinking. Keep discussing. Going through real numbers and a pro and con list can help.

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                    • #25


                      I’ve heard non-copmpetes are rarely upheld and if the group really wants to sue you over that it makes them look worse in my opinion.
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                      This is very state specific.  Non-competes for rank and file W-2 employees typically won't hold up in California.  The same non-compete might be ironclad in another state.

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                      • #26
                        Verbal agreements are very tough to enforce. If it's not in writing, it may as well not exist. Not having a duration of the pre partner track spelled out in writing is a mistake hopefully you won't make again.

                        If this is a PP group, what administrative duties specifically are you being asked to perform? For the group itself, or outside committees (eg "the hospital says one of us has to sit on this useless committee, you're it!"). The former is normal, the latter is scutwork.

                        If multiple other people have jumped ship already, I doubt very much this is just about you.

                        Many, many groups eat their young. My experience has been that these groups are located in big cities with easy access to training programs with fresh grads who think geography>everything else, so the groups try to work them to death, knowing that every time one leaves, there will be a replacement available.

                        Read your contract extremely carefully regarding noncompetes. IIRC, California, ND, and Oklahoma are the 3 states where noncompete clauses are unenforceable by law. The other 47 states allow them and specifics are based off state law. If it's not obvious whether your new gig is in compliance, hiring a lawyer to review ahead of time is a lot cheaper than hiring a lawyer to represent you if you get sued.

                        Leaving your first gig isn't the end of the world, it's just business.

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                        • #27
                          The first group I joined out of residency was an eat your young type of practice.  The best thing that ever happened to me was leaving that practice.  It seemed bad at the time but in the end I prospered.

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                          • #28




                            Locums could probably increase my QOL and family time as I could work 7-9 days a month and make more than I currently make now (working 20 days a month) non compete is for a year only. It shouldn’t be hard to find another job in the area in my specialty. I know this will be a tough decision and as I said before, I am terrified of making the wrong one. Thank you all again for your thoughts; I’ll sleep on this one for a few weeks!
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                            From the tone of your comments, it does not sound like you would really want to be a partner in this group. Would you want to recruit the next new attendings under this set-up? Unless you impressions are way off basy, it's time down the drain in your career.

                            1) Consult an attorney.

                            2) Find your next employer.

                            3) Use locums for a year if you have to do it. Even an non-compete is negotiable.

                             

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