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Offered Job, Then Offer Was Withdrawn Before I Gave Decision

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Good morning my fellow and aspiring physician assistants,


I need to poll your opinions and expertise. I must warn you, this is a long post.


I interviewed for an urgent care position on Wednesday of last week. Not even 10 minutes into the interview, the physician wanted to "cut to the chase" and talk salary and bonuses. I thought it was a little odd, but I don't know too much about money because I've been jobless for the last 4 years or so. It's an Urgent Care network with 5 clinics within about a 40 mile radius. Network operates 24/7, 365. Two physicians and five mid-levels. They are a fee for service and do not accept any forms of health insurance. No appointments. Only walk-ins. First clinic opened in 2011 and, according to the physician and the "numbers" he and the CEO quoted, business is booming. Work hours are 0800-1800hrs with call from 1800-0800hrs 2-3 nights per week. CMEs and malpractice covered. Tail was not discuss. When asked about what I expected for salary, I mentioned the average salary for a PA in this area and told him that because I am a new graduate, I did not expect an average salary as a new PA. He stated he admired my humility.


On Friday afternoon at 16:55hrs, the VP of the network called on behalf of the physician and CEO and offered me the job. $80,000/yr plus production bonus for any amount billed over 20% of my salary per pay period (every 2 weeks). That was all the information I received. I asked the VP if I could email him some questions and give them my decision on Wednesday after my questions were answered. He agreed and called me back in less than 10 minutes and told me the physician & CEO wanted an answer by Monday (today). He agreed to forward my questions to the Doc & CEO as soon as I emailed him the questions.


Here is a list of questions I emailed him on Friday @ 1917hrs:


"Good Evening Mr. XXXX,

It was such a pleasure speaking with you earlier today. I do have just a few questions. I an honored that Dr. XXXX and Mr. XXXX has offered me the position at hand. However, I do have some questions and concerns.

To make sure I understand:The position's salary is $80,000/yr + production bonus. This means I must bill at least $16,000 in a pay period to be eligible for a potential bonus. After that amount, I receive a certain amount of bonus for that pay period.

Because I will be on salary plus production, is it safe to assume that medical, dental, and vision are not included? With my husband's plan, I have no concerns about that.

I want to re-verify that CMEs may be covered. And if so, What dollar amount? I would like to know this so that I may adjust my CME readings and allow/plan for pertinent educational conferences.

Will any other professional fees be covered?

Can I also assume that life and 401k plans are excluded?

Just to re-verify, I understand malpractice is covered? What about tail coverage?

Will I be considered an independent contractor?

Until licensure is obtained, am I permitted to "shadow" and/or observe clinical staff before my official start date?

After the contract is written, how long do I have review it before it has to be signed?

How long is the standard probation period? How often should I expect performance evaluations, mentoring, and counseling?

After what amount of time should pass before I am eligible for leave, sick leave, training, etc.? Am I eligible for PTO or unpaid time off?

How soon in advance are work schedules created? I ask this because it can allow my husband and I to adjust to the children's school schedules, homework, soccer, church, etc.

I understand that Georgia is an "at will" state. If terminated, for good or bad reasons, how long in advance are employees are given before the their last day of service?


So far, those are the only questions I have for you, Dr. XXXX, and Mr. XXXX. I know I've asked many questions in this email, but I want to make sure I am well informed before I make a final position.

I would like to thank you again Mr. XXXX for spending this weekend addressing my concerns.

Best Wishes and Warm Regards,

Etorda Barkley, PA-C



I was so antsy and anxious over the weekend because I had not heard from anyone!! Therefore, I called the VP to see if he had gathered any answers to any of my questions. He was out of town and therefore had not had a chance to discuss anything with the physician or CEO. He told me he was looking over my questions as we spoke on the phone. He told me he would discuss my concerns with the doctor and call me back as soon as possible. I told him I was VERY interested in the position and was very excited to hear a response to my questions from the physician and CEO. Thirty minutes later, he called me back and told me the physician and CEO withdrew their offer. He said the Doc was very concerned about moving forward and changed his mind about giving me the job.


Now I'm full of regret for asking all those questions. I believe my wanting to talk it over with my husband and giving a decision on Wednesday was detrimental to me getting the job. I didn't want to accept the offer without knowing the basics. I know I have been looking for a job for about a month now and really was looking to start work. Am I a fool for asking this questions? In my honest opinion, after being informed of the offer, I thought giving a decision on Monday morning without asking more questions would have a bad career decision for me. Am I not humbling myself enough? Am I too full of myself as a new grad? Any thoughts?

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Thank you for your responses. I still feel a little sad but I'm much better today. I thought it was a little unfair to make me decide over the weekend without having my questions answered. Like you all mentioned, I may have avoided major embarrassment, heartache, and disappoint soon after being there. I guess it's back to the drawing board.

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No way should you second guess yourself. You asked standard questions that ANYONE would want and need to know before accepting a position. I think they were hoping to rush a new grad in there who wouldn't ask many questions and just take what they gave without a second thought.


I had an offer rescinded once as well. It was an offer for a specialty that is very hard for PAs to enter and I just wanted to take it, but they weren't very forthcoming in the details of their offer. In fact, they told me to just accept the offer letter and we could discuss the details of the contract later. After a couple of rounds of me asking pertinent questions, they had their office manager call and rescind the offer. Talk about wind out of my sails. But a much, much better offer from a stellar practice came just after that and I am so glad I waited.


Don't second guess yourself. You did the right thing!

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My opinion:


While those questions are absolutely valid and need to know information, the situation needs a tad more finesse.


The initial negotiation and the bulk of the heavy lifting should always be done in person.


By writing those questions down in black and white, and being so thorough, in addition to the number of questions, to my eyes, gives the impression of a hard nose business person that wants every bit of minutia spelled out and says me, me, me, oh and what about me without a thought of what do they get.


And while that is information you need, those questions can be answered in a less provocative and more low-key and easygoing manner.


This is a negotiation, a dance, a give and take, a getting to know you and see if I like you ritual.


There is the art of the conversation, There is the "oh you majored in biology too" type of small talk that lets them see you as a person and help to connect you as humans. If you can make them laugh or smile or reminisce, even better. Think of it as a date, you don't just go for the sex right off, you have to try to connect with them, foreplay if I be so crass.


This is the texting generation, information is delivered without any of the subtitles or nuance that human speech and body language are so good at.


By blasting those questions in an e-mail you pummel the recipient with the sex but no foreplay.


Negotiation, sales, conversation and dating needs to be done in person.


Now, if you read my past posts on business, I'm as hard-core as you can get, I love to do business, however, you have to make it appear that you're a team oriented person and willing to be a team player.


A safe way to preserve the deal and still give you options to kick out would be “ I absolutely want the job, (giving them the answer they wanted) I just want to talk about a few details, no biggie, when can I come by?


You will never know the extent of their offer because you never got it. The deal got derailed before that happened.


Always, get their offer in writing first, then counter, in the meantime, act like you'll cut a finger off to work for them, knowing that their offer may be weak and you'll never work for them.


Good Luck.

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Don't show your hand so much in future negotiations. Asking if you get benefits while telling them it doesn't matter because of your husband is a good way to get less than what they had initially planned to offer. You could use that knowledge to try and negotiate greater pay in lieu of the benefits, or be happy about double coverage. Show enthusiasm but not desperation.


Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

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Thanks everyone for your replies and advice. I really like the idea of giving a prospective employer the answer they want to hear and then coordinating another meeting to discuss things in more detail. I thought I would have been invited to come in and go over those things before the contract was drawn up. I guess I haven't been in the game long enough to know better. I am a new grad and I have no desire to be shafted with my first job. I was offered the job on Friday and only given Saturday and Sunday to think about it. All I had to do was say "YES" on Friday evening!! I had to give them a decision on Monday morning. In my honest opinion, I wasn't even given the opportunity to be more informed.


I purchased a book in regards to accepting job offers and the book emphasizes on NOT ACCEPTING AN OFFER until all these questions were answered. The fact of the matter is the questions were not answered. I did not want to say, "I'll take it" and then the contract is deemed sketchy. Yes, I really wanted that position, however, did I want to take that job not knowing that I couldn't take leave until after being there for a year. If the contract was drawn up, and I was only given 24hrs to sign it, how can I coordinate with a lawyer on short notice for review and guidance? What if the contract stated that I would be expected to see 40 patients a day? Being a new grad, I think that would have been disastrous. I wanted to know these things beforehand. I really want to work, but I'm not so desperate that I'll allow myself to be taken advantage of. Not too eager for the "sex" either. I sincerely wanted a little bit of gentle "foreplay", but I honestly thought I was entitled to know all these things prior to saying "yes". They had no problem "showing their hands" during the interview. The physician jumped right into all the money I would make and the pay is a great reason to come to work. I do feel that he also had a responsibility to talk about all those other things as well. However, I should have brought it up at that time.


@ aprillh: The book I bought didn't mention that a prospective employer might get agitated at too many questions thrown at them. I guess we both assumed the information should have been easily divulged. When a prospective employer is reluctant to give information, I get nervous-for a good reason IMHO.

@ paprospect24: I definitely will keep this thread posted as time goes on.

After reading all the replies I have some errors in my ways, but I also concluded that I did what was best for me as a newly minted PA. I will readjust for next time. I will try bringing these questions up gingerly in my next interview.


Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate all the well wishes and advice. This mentorship, guidance, and encouragement means alot to me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree that you have an absolute right to have those questions answered and that you would have been doing yourself a great disservice by failing to ask them. Bravo for not accepting a position blind.


That said... I have to agree also with bgdog. That email was overwhelming and divulged a lot of personal details that would have been better discussed in person. I understand you may not have felt like you could do that when the physician "cut to the chase," but perhaps simply stating before you ended the interview that you had a number of questions? If he was willing to go straight into the meat of the job offer, I'll bet he would have answered those questions for you.


All said though, I believe you'll find something better. Employers shouldn't be intimidated by applicants who are fact-seeking.

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  • 2 months later...

Judging from your past post, you need to be more aggressive about getting a job. You can't wait for a job to come to you even if the profession is in high demand. You need to look at the list of PA's in your state/ MD's and stop by their office/hospital to see if their are any openings. I am sure they can direct you somewhere. Stop by those offices that are little out of your city limits. You should be able to get at least a part time job. There are job openings but many of them aren't posted, just through word of mouth by  health professions. That is how a friend of mine got his first PA job right after graduation.


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