Most recruiters and physicians are familiar with the contract negotiation process – especially when it comes to compensation. The negotiation process often results with different physicians in the same practice receiving different compensation for providing essentially the same services to the same patient population. This disparity sometimes has little to do with experience level, productivity, or even quality of care, leading some to ask: is this fair?


In addition to this, the negotiation process and difference in pay among physicians of the same specialty in a group can cause interpersonal and recruitment issues. To combat this, a Hospitalist group in Virginia has begun paying all of their physicians the same base salary. Below are the positive results of this approach, and why this physician compensation model may be something for you to consider. 



  • Better Relationships Between Physicians

There is nothing worse than a workplace where no one gets along. While a physician recruiter can screen out candidates based on personality and cultural fit when deciding who will join a team, other factors – such as pay – can affect the interpersonal relationships between physicians in a group. The knowledge that a coworker is getting paid more for providing essentially the same services and working the same hours can breed resentment and ruin the collegial atmosphere in a practice.


  • Truly Team Based Approach

As the delivery of health care changes and more emphasis is placed on providing continuity of care, a team based approach to medicine is becoming increasingly important. By paying all physicians in a single specialty group the same and thereby improving the relationships between the physicians, the barriers to a truly team based approach to care can be removed from physician groups.



  • No Need to Negotiate

 While most practices are used to compensation negotiations, the escalating battle for top talent (often fought out between groups using physician compensation) can leave practices offering a desired candidate more than they initially anticipated. By having a no negotiation policy and offering all candidates the same compensation, groups can be kept from overspending on a candidate and reduce their chances of regretting making that much higher offer to a candidate if they don’t perform as anticipated.


  • Streamlined Job Offer Process

When recruiting a physician, it is crucial to get an offer in front of them as soon as you know that you want to bring them on board. By knowing that all hired physicians will receive the same compensation, a group can have an offer and contract ready to go whenever they find a candidate they want to hire. Additionally, the no negotiation policy will reduce the back and forth that often happens when negotiating compensation, shortening the time it takes to bring the candidate on board,


Key Take Aways:

  • Pay disparities among physicians of the same specialty in a group can breed resentment – but equal pay can resolve that and improve teamwork
  • Paying all physicians of a specialty the same salary means you’ll never have “buyers remorse” in offering a candidate more than you’re comfortable with
  • Offering the same compensation to all candidates – and not budging – can streamline the recruitment process and help you bring on candidates quicker