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Contract Renegotiation in middle of the term

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  • Contract Renegotiation in middle of the term

    I am a private practice anesthesiologist, now employed by one of the large AMCs.  I am in the middle of a 5 year ramp up, at the end of which I will become a "partner" in the group and receive a base pay around 400k + bonus. In the contract I signed, the ramp up started at 200 and increased to 300 over the course of the 5 years.  I found out early on that people hired before me were on a higher pay scale, but held my tongue.  Recently I found out people hired after me were also hired on a higher ramp up (approximately 25k/yr more).  I sent one email listing my concerns to the corporate manager and why I thought it was poor form to hire people doing the exact same job at different rates -- but it fell on deaf ears.  I know I obviously don't have much bargaining power unless I am willing to leave the group.  We like the geographic area we are in currently but I still have started applying to other jobs to potentially use as a bargaining chip.

    Does anyone have any experience in dealing with something like this, trying to renegotiate a signed contract after new information became available?

    Thanks so much,


  • #2

    You hit the nail on the head - its all about leverage.  That being said, it doesn't hurt to ask (so long as you ask nicely).  My recommendation is you set a meeting with the physician owner or functioning physician administrator (not the HR person who could not care less) and talk to the girl/guy who will be making a little less by paying you more.  Have a face to face so the powers that be has to say no directly as opposed to by email or through a third person.  Personal accountability will be the only way to win a "fairness" argument.  Since this is a deal point, I also believe you will be best served handling personally, as opposed to hiring a representative.

    If you care to discuss, call me.  I do not charge for consults - 516 747 6700 x. 302.



    Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

    (Healthcare Attorney)


    • #3
      5 year to partnership in anesthesia?  Where do you live?  My anesthesia group currently has a 2 year track.  If we can get pediatric anesthesiologist it will be only 1 year.

      There has to be one of the managing partners or departmental head you can talk to.  Be very professional and gently explain the inequity of your position.  They probably already know they are screwing you, but letting them know YOU are also now aware may get things moving in your favor.  If you are truly a valued member of the department, I can't imagine they will continue to treat you unfairly.

      My first group (almost 20 years ago) offered me a 5 year partnership and I turned them down.  They came down to 4 years and I signed with them. Jobs were fairly scarce back in '97, but even then I wasn't willing to serve 5 years to partnership. After ~2 years they lowered it to 3 years.  I had an ally on the executive committee who fought for me.

      Having someone else fighting for you is probably your best bet.  Ultimately, your leverage is a willingness to leave.