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Friend and I joining same practice, but offered different salaries. What to do?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post
    I have a different take. The reason that it "feels strange and unfair" is that it is. It's brutal.

    In my practice, we always treated people coming in together equally, no matter the skill set or whether we needed/wanted one person more than the other, and always considered past practices and future practices when making these decisions. We know that people will talk to one another and never wanted to appear partial to one or the other new hire.

    Example, about 15 years ago, we were recruiting two rads doing fellowships in town: A with a less desirable skill set and B with a more desirable skill set at the time. A signed first, and B was waffling, and we upped B's offer. B accepted, and we went back and increased the starting salary of A. Fast forward 15 years later and A is the outgoing Chairman of the practice, and B is the incoming Chairman.

    In my opinion, two virtually identical incoming associates differently will lead to ill will and low morale and promotes bad culture and increased turnover. How could the OP not feel bad about the practice? If I were the OP, I would already be looking for the next job.
    sorry disagree. life isn't fair. 20K differential is peanuts. looking for a new job before even starting an otherwise good job over this is foolish.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by fatlittlepig View Post

      sorry disagree. life isn't fair. 20K differential is peanuts. looking for a new job before even starting an otherwise good job over this is foolish.
      Do you work in a partnership? Life is indeed "unequal", but in a partnership (like an anesthesia group or rad group), if there is no sense of fairness, there will be distrust, discord, increased turnover, and potentially worse. I have seen it over and over again throughout my career. It's different if you are working for "The Hospital" or a large corporation where you get what you negotiate for. Who would want to be a partner in this practice?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by fatlittlepig View Post
        sorry disagree. life isn't fair. 20K differential is peanuts. looking for a new job before even starting an otherwise good job over this is foolish.
        Life IS unfair --- doesn't mean we should encourage nor willingly perpetuate it.
        Majority rules, but doesn't mean majority should be abusive either.
        Peter Parker Principle -- with great power comes great responsibility..

        Agree with Vagabond - it's pretty poor practice from the admin to allow separate levels with similar qualifications just because one came with better negotiations. The proper thing is to disclose and match both up. It IS peanuts - so the group could easily come back to OP and said -- hey, we offered to your colleague this and lifting you up to it too.

        How easily the mood and options change with the same peanuts? It's better than throwing a steak into the arena and playthe survival of fittest scenario.

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        • #19
          VagabondMD

          I’m with you on this one. I think it’s different working for a large hospital system versus a small private practice. Small private groups have different dynamics and you need to trust other partners that you are going to be treated fairly for things to work long term.

          if you wanted a corporate job with all that goes along with it many of us would have just taken a hospital employed job. The hospital may not love you back but I want to feel that the partners in a small group would look out for each other and try to treat each other fairly.

          hopefully OP can get past this if it’s an otherwise good group.

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          • #20
            I think being that it is a group this was less about equality of (likely equivalent) initial offers and more about negotiations. OP may have been satisfied with to the offer even after being declined a salary request, whereas her colleague may have possibly threatened to walk - which is always a great negotiating position to be in. Speculation of course, but there was no evidence presented that the initial offers presented were different, and OP is unlikely to have that information hence why we speculate. We all harp on salary and benefits when looking at positions, then once we get there we find there are so many other factors integral to our job satisfaction.

            This is very nuanced and the success of each negotiation stands on it's own merits. I tell my providers who ask that each person brings different skill sets, want different things (vacation time versus salary), not in this case but different years of experience of etc. You can't prevent all discord or distrust, but you can explain the package offers based on these legitimate differences so the assumption is not based on misconceptions of any kind of illegitimate discriminatory process (gender, age, race, etc.).

            Once employed, each physician should be given the same opportunities to thrive as well, based on transparent criteria to prevent problems.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post

              Do you work in a partnership? Life is indeed "unequal", but in a partnership (like an anesthesia group or rad group), if there is no sense of fairness, there will be distrust, discord, increased turnover, and potentially worse. I have seen it over and over again throughout my career. It's different if you are working for "The Hospital" or a large corporation where you get what you negotiate for. Who would want to be a partner in this practice?
              point being, you would suggest the OP do what, now?

              pointed questions were asked: bring it up? How? Contract violation?

              understood, we may not agree with actions of the owners. Nothing we can do about that. “Look for another job” isn’t very helpful in my opinion.

              lessons learned. If OP otherwise likes the job and pay is fair, play the long game.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post

                Do you work in a partnership? Life is indeed "unequal", but in a partnership (like an anesthesia group or rad group), if there is no sense of fairness, there will be distrust, discord, increased turnover, and potentially worse. I have seen it over and over again throughout my career. It's different if you are working for "The Hospital" or a large corporation where you get what you negotiate for. Who would want to be a partner in this practice?
                Wow, I’d love to be a partner in a group like yours. My current group took advantage of me and my desire to be in my hometown. I was told that the contract and offer were standard and that there wasn’t room for negotiation. “This is how it’s always been done.” This has proven to not be the case as we recruit another partner.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by cyrano7 View Post

                  Wow, I’d love to be a partner in a group like yours. My current group took advantage of me and my desire to be in my hometown. I was told that the contract and offer were standard and that there wasn’t room for negotiation. “This is how it’s always been done.” This has proven to not be the case as we recruit another partner.
                  Sorry that you had to experience the abuse.

                  Now you're in the group and have an opportunity to change the narrative and glad it's adjusted a bit.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by jacoavlu View Post

                    point being, you would suggest the OP do what, now?

                    pointed questions were asked: bring it up? How? Contract violation?

                    understood, we may not agree with actions of the owners. Nothing we can do about that. “Look for another job” isn’t very helpful in my opinion.

                    lessons learned. If OP otherwise likes the job and pay is fair, play the long game.
                    To the OPs options:
                    - Stay pat and work from within. Get a seat at the table and make changes -- right the wrongs. - or simply be a worker bee if just want to be paid.
                    - It's a deal killer, move on -- how to move on also important - burn the bridge vs constructive feedback on the why vs just leaving.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by StarTrekDoc View Post

                      Sorry that you had to experience the abuse.

                      Now you're in the group and have an opportunity to change the narrative and glad it's adjusted a bit.
                      Thank you. You’re very kind! Everything will be okay, but it has been stressful and things remain pretty toxic despite being a newly minted partner. I may or may not stick around to try to make those changes. When I was told I might be furloughed during the shutdown I looked into other options and am still exploring those. I’ll just leave it at that since I don’t want to hijack the thread.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by fatlittlepig View Post

                        sorry disagree. life isn't fair. 20K differential is peanuts. looking for a new job before even starting an otherwise good job over this is foolish.
                        I think you're missing Vagabond's point. The main point is that it is in the practice's best interest not to do something like this. You might save 20K on the cheaper employee in the short run, but in the long run you can create discord that will cost you a lot more in ways that may not be obvious.

                        Also while you are correct that leaving a job over 20K might be an objectively bad decision, such feelings are human nature, which is why as the employer you don't want to do that.

                        So the reason for the employee to want to leave is not just the 20K, they should want to leave because they now know they are in an environment where treating people equitably is not valued as much as trying to save 20K over a new hire. That's a red flag and it's easy to imagine that such people are not ones you would want to work with for an entire career.

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                        • #27
                          I think it is ludicrous to think people do not share salary data. The first practice I was in 2 sisters were employed as receptionists of course they talked. Pay should be equal for employees with similar training. Raise structure should be transparent. This is the type of partnership you want. If the management is supersecret on how pay raises are determined and partnership is obtained beware. I got burned by this early on and it led to found my own practice.

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                          • #28
                            He/She was happy with the job offer, then they found out they were getting paid a bit less and felt weirded out (that's understandable). So now you folks want him to have a chip on their shoulder, carry a grudge, and look for a new job-- that's not how life works and that's bad advice. Whether that was the right thing for his employer to do is irrelevant.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by fatlittlepig View Post
                              He/She was happy with the job offer, then they found out they were getting paid a bit less and felt weirded out (that's understandable). So now you folks want him to have a chip on their shoulder, carry a grudge, and look for a new job-- that's not how life works and that's bad advice. Whether that was the right thing for his employer to do is irrelevant.
                              Playing favorites and deal with it --- and that's good advice to move forward?

                              Anyways -- OP -- setting expectations. You now know a little bit of how the leadership rolls.
                              - You can dive in and watch, learn, and decide next steps over the years or you can restart your interview process.
                              - I would NOT recommend trying to renegotiate a signed contract based on #2 as it can end badly with your friend. This is your fight, not hers.
                              - If you do decide to stay - your choice is either to keep your head down and work; or become active part of the leadership and make changes. -- that depends on your choice of life decisions -- neither is a wrong one.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by AR View Post

                                I think you're missing Vagabond's point. The main point is that it is in the practice's best interest not to do something like this. You might save 20K on the cheaper employee in the short run, but in the long run you can create discord that will cost you a lot more in ways that may not be obvious.

                                Also while you are correct that leaving a job over 20K might be an objectively bad decision, such feelings are human nature, which is why as the employer you don't want to do that.

                                So the reason for the employee to want to leave is not just the 20K, they should want to leave because they now know they are in an environment where treating people equitably is not valued as much as trying to save 20K over a new hire. That's a red flag and it's easy to imagine that such people are not ones you would want to work with for an entire career.
                                the other candidate was either a more attractive candidate, or had better luck negotiating. whether you want to start your new job with a grudge and chip on your shoulder is up to you. it's not what I would do.

                                I don't recommend going around in life comparing your circumstances to others and feeling aggrieved or slighted by whatever discrepancies you discover.

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