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  • Radiology - PP partnership negotiations

    Seeking advice from the excellents rads (and others) in private practice.

    I am in the very early stages of looking for my first post training job. The few practices I have talked to have a two year track to partner. The first year you make maybe 50-70% of partner salary, with a bump in vacation and salary in year 2 before becoming partner. The buy-ins are variable, but do not seem absurd to me.

    Given the climate of the radiology job market, is it reasonable to try to negotiate to become partner in 1 year? If so, how would you approach it? I get that the first year will take time to get up to speed, improve efficiency, and make sure the group is good fit (from both sides). It seems to me that can be figured out in the first year and the second year as an associate is just another year of making less than I think I’m worth.

  • #2
    reasonable thoughts. If I were in your shoes a primary concern would be owners selling out to PE before 2 years. Especially outside of flyover country. I would broach that subject.

    Two months ago you were in a better position than now. Groups may be leery given uncertainty as to volumes in the near term, and as they watch their 401ks decrease.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jacoavlu View Post
      reasonable thoughts. If I were in your shoes a primary concern would be owners selling out to PE before 2 years. Especially outside of flyover country. I would broach that subject.

      Two months ago you were in a better position than now. Groups may be leery given uncertainty as to volumes in the near term, and as they watch their 401ks decrease.
      Thank you. Definitely trying to avoid PE. I know at least one group heading that way, but others in the locations I want to work are avoiding it, or so they tell me.

      It's definitely weird right now. A couple months ago groups that I contacted still weren't sure of there needs for 2021. Now even if I wanted to interview, there is no way I could/would travel.

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      • #4
        If they're bumping pay during the second year, then it's fine. I wouldn't necessarily push for shortening the partnership track. If it were 3+ years, then I'd say negotiate it down or run. It could be worth it to add in some portion of a PE buyout if you make it to the second year prior to full partner.

        What's the buy in? Seems reasonable is a very subjective answer. Are you buying into equipment?

        Given the insanity of the market and the relatively low credit ratings of the major players in the radiology PE field, I'm not sure PE could find funding for more acquisitions. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the older radiologists would lean to selling out.

        I would go to a few interviews and really find the place that fits you. 30% (3/10) of people who started when I did at various rad jobs across the country are either already at a new job, or starting a new one in a few months.

        A good amount has changed in my group in the 19 months I've been here. There was a moment I thought I would leave, but there were enough perks to the job that I stuck through some tough negotiations with the hospital.

        Good luck.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Brains428 View Post
          If they're bumping pay during the second year, then it's fine. I wouldn't necessarily push for shortening the partnership track. If it were 3+ years, then I'd say negotiate it down or run. It could be worth it to add in some portion of a PE buyout if you make it to the second year prior to full partner.

          What's the buy in? Seems reasonable is a very subjective answer. Are you buying into equipment?

          Given the insanity of the market and the relatively low credit ratings of the major players in the radiology PE field, I'm not sure PE could find funding for more acquisitions. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the older radiologists would lean to selling out.

          I would go to a few interviews and really find the place that fits you. 30% (3/10) of people who started when I did at various rad jobs across the country are either already at a new job, or starting a new one in a few months.

          A good amount has changed in my group in the 19 months I've been here. There was a moment I thought I would leave, but there were enough perks to the job that I stuck through some tough negotiations with the hospital.

          Good luck.
          Depending on the group, the buy-ins I've been told range from $50k up to $200k. So far the groups don't have equipment, the buy in based on some formula of accounts receivable over the past 12 months.

          I agree that the first job may not be the last. It's hard to really gauge, since most of the groups I've talked to haven't had much, if any turnover, in the past decade. The new hires are for expansion or replacing retired partners.

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          • #6
            FWIW, my husband did this job search last year. Lots of things were negotiable, but time to partner was not. Honestly, given most groups were looking at hiring multiple people, this made sense. It would be a great way to annoy your future partners, too. However, he was only looking at groups that were 1-2 years to partner anyway.

            He did flat out ask if they had any plans to sell. And looked very closely at the age mix of the group.

            One thing that has been a boon--he signed early and has been able to moonlight for them remotely (workstation provided by practice). This has been a nice source of extra income for us and has given the group and him a chance to get to know each other and get a feel for expectations. We know someone else that has this same setup (also signed early). Might be worth asking about if you are able to choose early.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pierre View Post

              Depending on the group, the buy-ins I've been told range from $50k up to $200k. So far the groups don't have equipment, the buy in based on some formula of accounts receivable over the past 12 months.

              I agree that the first job may not be the last. It's hard to really gauge, since most of the groups I've talked to haven't had much, if any turnover, in the past decade. The new hires are for expansion or replacing retired partners.
              I think as long as you can recoup that money if you should leave, then it's fine (the 200k is high, IMO).

              Random things to think about-- shared work lists vs designated work list. Who get's to pick what holidays and what order? How many real work days does one work? Is the payor mix good?

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              • #8
                “It could be worth it to add in some portion of a PE buyout if you make it to the second year prior to full partner.“
                This has been where associates get screwed.
                Options to void contract (non-competes, clawbacks etc., ) and carve out a share prior full partnership. Consider a right of acceleration like a monthly prorated share. 23/24 sounds nice compared to zero. That’s no change if they don’t sell out, if they do, they treat you fairly. It defines fairly.

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                • #9
                  Also, the next couple weeks might not be the best time to reach out. I think groups are getting freaked because volume is so low right now. Heard through the grapevine one of my husband's classmates may be asked to push back his start date.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MSooner View Post
                    Also, the next couple weeks might not be the best time to reach out. I think groups are getting freaked because volume is so low right now. Heard through the grapevine one of my husband's classmates may be asked to push back his start date.
                    Good point. Crazy about pushing back start date.

                    I did want to start reaching back out to some groups, but I'm going to sit back for at least a month, unless they decide to contact me.

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