As an in-demand physician, the chances are pretty good that you have plenty of opportunities to consider when and if you are in the market for a new practice opportunity. There is much more to think about when comparing opportunities than just base salary. If you are experiencing feelings of burnout in your current position, then obviously you will want the new job to be structured differently.
Instead of jumping from the frying pan into the fire, choose an opportunity that is going to benefit your work-life balance rather than putting yourself into the same situation with a bigger salary. Don’t fall into the trap of worrying about how much “so and so” makes, or what toys they have (The truth is they don’t have time to enjoy them!).
Focus on an opportunity that caters to the reasons you became a physician in the first place and allows you to enjoy the benefits of earning enough and having the balance to enjoy it all. Let’s take a look at how physicians can weigh opportunities without worrying about keeping up with the Dr. Joneses.
Evaluate Your Options
How much is enough? According to the BLS, wages for physicians are among the highest of all occupations. Since there is such high demand for physicians, you should be able to find a position that has adequate compensation. For you, personal motivations will play a greater role in answering the how much is enough question.
When moving to a new area, one of the factors that many people underestimate is the relative cost of living. For example, some states have no state income taxes, others have very high taxes. The cost of living in a more rural area will be less than in a large urban area. For a quick thumbnail of how the cost of living compares between your current location and a new location, check out this cost of living calculator.
Another consideration that will impact your ideal salary is any current student loan debt and the plans for repayment. According to the AMA, on average physicians are finishing medical school with close to $170,000 in student loan debt. On the bright side, the National Health Services Corps is offering generous loan forgiveness grants and repayments for physicians entering certain specialties or relocating to underserved and rural regions.
The Bottom Line
Physicians in today’s healthcare environment should not be concerned about how much your annual salary is, but more about what you do with the money you earn, and if it is enough to fulfill your needs. Are you planning to send your kids to private schools, take big annual vacations, or own property for camping getaways? Whatever those personal goals look like, you should have the opportunity to make it happen. The key is to have a sound financial plan and seek out the career opportunities that drive you closer to achieving personal fulfillment.
If you are ready to find a position that blends your financial needs with your personal needs, talk to a Jackson Physician Search recruitment expert today. Or, to get a jump start on exploring any of our nationwide opportunities, check out our powerful job search tool here.