Salary Negotiations- 3 Ways Female Physicians Can Attract Equitable Pay

As a fully trained medical doctor, either as a resident or one that has been practicing for years, physician salary negotiation is a key determinant of one’s career. Hence it is important to consider the offer, the employment contract, working conditions and assess the employer generally.

Sadly, after considering all necessary factors like specialty and years of experience, a wide gap still exists between the pay of male and female doctors.

Why? 

It could be because females negotiate less aggressively than males. Also, women are less likely to solicit job offers from outside institutions to get raises from their current employers. Furthermore, it is believed that, either consciously or subconsciously, there exists some level of discrimination against women in most scientific fields.

Below is some skill set that may help you attract equitable pay from your employers.

KNOW YOUR WORTH

It is a well-known fact that certain medical specialties pay more than others. For example, the American medical association states that plastic surgeons, cardiologists, and radiologists are the highest-paid medical professions. In contrast, the least paid ones are internal medicine and pediatrics. This is not to create a divide in work but to give a rough estimate of the amount expected per specialty. For instance, being a physician in cardiology puts you in a higher range of earnings than other specialties. Being aware of this fact makes you negotiate better than an ignorant individual.

Also, the issue of experience is another pivotal aspect. A fresh out-of-residency physician cannot earn as much as a physician with several years of working experience.

MAKE ADEQUATE BACKGROUND RESEARCH

The importance of background groundwork cannot be overemphasized. This involves researching the place of work, work conditions, and pay of other physicians in the same field, especially considering the amount paid to the male physician in conditions where that is possible. This background exercise would help reduce any disparity in payment.

Inviting experienced contract review specialists and having them partake in the negotiation procedure is also advisable.  Based on this research, it is advised that the physician should draw up a plan and expectations. Also, a backup, minimally acceptable plan should be drawn up in case the initial projections cannot be met.

DO NOT BE TIMID- COMMUNICATE EFFICIENTLY

As expected, drawing up an employment contract involves negotiations between the physicians and the employer. These negotiations include the amount to be paid, which often takes a back-and-forth model’ until a fair amount is reached. Major constitutional issues include the non-compete clause, research projects, relocation expenses, vacation expenses, and other life-made easy bonuses.

Potential employers will expect questions, so it is almost compulsory that you demonstrate that you’ve done your homework. Also, ask questions in areas that are unclear and show that you have the institution’s best interest at heart even while trying to get the best they could offer

It is, however, essential to note that not all employers are flexible when negotiating work contracts. However, it is in the physician’s best interest to at least try. If the employer is totally not considerate, then the physician should question whether they want to work in that kind of environment at all.

Bottom Line

The medical field is a lucrative one. But, even with that, some gender-based irregularities still need to be corrected. Hence the need for a more aggressive negotiation to obtain even pay. Unnecessary compromise should be avoided, and physicians should not be afraid to move on in case of an unfavorable offer.

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