Beyond the Salary

Evaluating the Group

  • Where did everyone do their residency?
  • Is everyone in the group board certified in EM?
  • What is the rate of physician turnover in the group?
  • What do you do if someone is ill or injured?
  • What is your maternity/paternity leave policy?
  • What are the pathways for career development?
  • How do you identify future leaders?
  • Does the group have a strategic plan for growth/development?
  • What leadership positions do your members hold in the hospital? Have any been chief of staff?
  • What is the greatest weakness of the group?
  • What is the professional liability climate in your area? What is the liability history of the group?

Evaluating the Job

  • What are the partnership options?
  • Tell me about the benefits package: health care, retirement?
  • What type of professional liability insurance does the group provide?
  • Do your physicians have the right to review what is billed in their name?
  • Do you have a billing compliance and audit plan?
  • Will I have a non-compete clause? What about due process for termination?
  • How do you handle vacation time? Who does the scheduling?
  • Do you pay for professional memberships? Which ones?

Evaluating the Department

  • Who is the competition and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • If you could change one thing in the department, what would it be?
  • How many agency nurses does your ED use on any given shift?
  • What is your payer mix: Medicare, Medicaid, self-pay, PPO? What is the collection rate?
  • What technological innovations will you put into place in the next two years?
  • What is your mechanism for identifying and solving departmental problems?
  • How are you dealing with the problems of ED crowding?
  • How do you disposition patients seeking psychiatric care?
  • Does the ED director supervise the nursing and ancillary staff?
  • What is the availability of labs and radiographic studies? After-hours too?
  • How do you handle your MI's? Cath vs. Lytics. What is the response time?

Evaluating the Hospital

  • What is the bond rating of the hospital? What is the financial support of the ED?
  • How is your on-call panel handled? Do you pay doctors to take call?
  • What specialities are not on call for the hospital?
  • To whom does the ED director report to in the organization?

People you may want to talk to

  • The night shift doc and the newest hire.
  • The last person to leave the group.
  • The nurse manager for the department.
  • The spouses of group members.
  • The hospital administration. VP-Medical Affairs
  • Take control of the interview - you have a right to know! There is more to a position than the salary!

Edited September 2003 by John Milne, MD
Thanks to Susan M. Nedza, MD, MBA, John Skiendzielewski, MD, and Joseph P. Wood, MD, JD, for their assistance.