The health care landscape is continuing to change in many ways, but not everything is changing with it. Graduating residents are more in demand than ever and are seeing their compensation plans reflect that. With competition growing for these highly desirable physician candidates, many employers are offering new graduates much higher starting salaries than what some practicing physicians at the same practice are making just to lure them away from the competition.
But is it fair to pay a physician with no experience the same as one that has been practicing for years? And if you do, what happens when the practicing physician finds out? Below are three steps employers can follow to deal with the reality of graduating residents expecting higher pay than current practicing physicians.
1. Reassess Your Compensation Plans
Chances are that if you’re offering graduating physicians a higher salary than your practicing doctors, you’ve done so because the market has changed and your competition is offering candidates higher salaries than ever before. If this is the case, it’s highly likely that your competitors will try to lure your practicing employees away from you by offering them higher salaries. In order to cut them off at the pass, you should consider raising the compensation of your existing team to compete with offers they are likely to receive in the future from your competition – especially considering that retaining a physician is much less expensive than recruiting a new one.
2. Create a Fair and Equitable Pay Structure
While new graduates are coming to expect higher base salaries than many of their more experienced peers, research has shown that they aren’t as productive. For this reason, many employers have started compensating their employees on a base plus productivity model. This allows for new graduates to have a steady base to fall back on while they build up their practices and gain experience, and rewards experienced physicians for their higher productivity with their productivity incentives.
3. Offer Tenure Based Incentives
Whether you’re running a private practice or recruiting for a group that employs their physicians, there are many ways to reward candidates for their experience and loyalty. Whether it’s creating a partnership track, or offering retention bonuses, there are many incentives that employers can offer candidates that will reward them for gaining experience and staying with the organization.
While many graduating residents expect higher base salaries than many of their more experienced peers, there are many ways for employers to even the playing field and appropriately compensate existing providers for their experience. Whether it is by reevaluating their base salary, restructuring the compensation structure, or offering incentives geared to those who have gained experience and time with the organization. By doing these things, they can ensure that existing practitioners are happy and the compensation plans offered to new graduates are competitive.