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5 Ways for Physicians to Improve Interview Negotiation Skills

Posted by on February 18, 2021 in Stuff with 0 Comments

Physicians can spend years in university learning the intricacies of the human body but none of those years will prepare them for what they have to face when trying to land their first job.

Employment contracts can be tricky and negotiations during an interview are intimidating, to say the least.

However, if a physician wants to really thrive financially, they need to know what they are doing when they walk into an interview. Otherwise, they risk entering a contract that isn’t in their best interest.

Luckily, there are ways for physicians to hone their negotiation skills and get the job, and pay, that they deserve.

1. Always Do Your Research

You will always do better in your negotiations when you are armed with knowledge. You gain this knowledge by doing thorough research.

As a physician, you know how to research well. Apply these skills to your job interview.

Before entering negotiations, research the going rate for a physician entering the job position you are seeking. Understand the factors that come into play when determining eligibility and compensation.

You will also want to research the group that you are applying to. Learn the types of things they are willing to negotiate on and what they hold pretty strictly to due to policy.

Are they known for being generous with paid time off? Do they have a reputation for placing high emphasis on flexibility?

Who will be doing the interview? Are they older physicians, your peers, or a younger group of administrators?

The answers to these questions can give you an advantage in negotiations.

2. Learn to Toot Your Own Horn

Modesty is good but when you are trying to land a job, it’s not time to be shy about your accomplishments. In no way should you be arrogant, but confidence in your abilities and any accolades you received will help you.

Don’t leave out any other benefits you would bring to the group.

For instance, do you have any extensive experience in a new development in medicine? Are you fresh out of doing a fellowship in one of the main specialties of the hospital? Can you fill more than one position?

If you have any leadership roles in the past, make sure to highlight this as well. Even if you won’t be taking on any leadership roles immediately, knowing that you possess this ability can sway the job in your favor.

However, don’t ever exaggerate the truth. Don’t lie about your accomplishments in any way. Getting caught in this will not only ruin your chances of getting this position but could ruin your reputation for good.

3. Negotiate What’s Important to You

Compensation isn’t the only area worth negotiating when it comes to a physician’s new position. There may be other areas of the employment contract that mean a lot to you as an individual.

If you are a parent, time with family may be high on your list of priorities. If you want to be home in the evenings, or never miss a summer vacation with the kids, bring this up.

If you still carry a significant amount of medical school debt, you can ask for a portion of this to be paid as a signing bonus.

There is really nothing that can’t be negotiated. It all depends on what you deem to be of the highest priority.

4. Back Up Your Terms

The hiring group will present you with an offer letter. This is just a starting point and it is expected for you to ask for adjustments to these terms.

When you present a counteroffer that differs from the offer letter, it helps to have a reason to back up what you are asking for.

Having done your research as brought out in the first point of the article will help here.

If you ask for higher compensation, bringing up your findings when you researched your market value will help.

When you ask for things that are important to you, be sure to explain why you want these certain things. If you are looking to reach a certain title, want more time with family, or aim to be debt-free, let them know.

When you explain why you are asking for certain terms to be added to your employment contract the chances of them agreeing to the terms are much higher.

5. Pay for a Contract Review

Even when you do everything right and the contract looks like it includes everything you want and more, it’s always wise to have your employment contract reviewed by a team of professionals.

Employment contracts are wordy and can include some fine print that you don’t quite understand. When you get a contract review, the agency is trained to look for these things.

They are also great at helping you see things that you could ask for that you didn’t even think of that could help solidify your future position and financial security.


Whenever entering into an interview, remember to have a strong vision about what you want but remain flexible to the needs of the healthcare company doing the hiring.

This negotiation will hopefully come to terms in the best interest for both sides. If you plan on working for this company for any number of years, you will want to start off with a mutually respectful professional relationship.

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