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Transferring into newly created Ortho/Hand surgery PA job

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Hi everyone-

 

I am currently in a Gen Surg job at a hospital system in southern Massachusetts, and am negotiating a transfer into Ortho/Hand surgery working with 2 newly hired hand surgeons.  Hospital has thus far only had a small practice handling their acute trauma stuff, and just hired a new chief who is doing total joints.  They are recruiting in some of the docs from that existing small practice, and plan to hire more docs in the short term -- basically, they are building an Ortho service.  Currently there are no PAs working in Ortho -- a new grad was just hired to work with the chief, and a doc that will be joining in 2 months is bringing his PA who has 2 years of experience with him.

 

I have 9 years of cardiac/vascular/gen surg and per diem EM experience, and am looking to move into this new realm.  The position is in the process of being created/approved, and thus far it seems it would entail primarily working with the 2 hand surgeons, not sure yet how else my time will be divided among other docs if at all.  They anticipate that Hand will be getting quite busy quickly, so they are focusing there.  Position will have a heavy office-based role, first 4-5 months will be mostly shadowing them, but they hope to eventually have me running an independent clinic and also assisting in cases (which I imagine would be mostly the bigger cases).  Eventually I would be in the call rotation as well and the occasional inpatient admitted for pain control or someone needing to be rounded on.  Neither of them do shoulders, and the one surgeon from a large academic center says they will not be doing "replants" there because we're not set up for it.  Other aspect of the position would be mentoring these new PA's in an unofficial chief type of capacity.  There are no chief PA's in our institution, and although I asked about getting a title, I was told the system does not have a grasp on this just yet and is not planning on officially creating such titles for me or really anyone else.  One other point is that the hospital is currently converting from a paper system to Epic, which will take place in the next 3-4 months.  I have an IT background as a former help desk support specialist/technical trainer, and worked at a previous hospital where I participated in this same rollout and where I and the other surgical PA's were involved in workflow designs for our group, etc.  I have also signed up to be an Epic Physician Builder, as I am very interested in doing hands-on work to design the templates and workflows here.  The Ortho folks are aware of this background and these skills of mine and are eager to have me help with the design for Ortho as it pertains to Epic, vis-a-vis the new service they are building, etc.  Also, I am fluent in Spanish and very proficient in Portuguese, both of which are extremely prevalent in our area.  Position would be M-F 8a-4p, meaning I would lose my current 4-day workweek, but they said they may be able to consider this down the road once the service is established.  Hospital is banking on this Ortho endeavor to be a great moneymaker, needless to say.

 

I have been at this institution for 1 year, and my current salary (i.e., the salary I was hired at, which was with a $5K sign on bonus) is $109,200/yr.  Remainder of benefits and such are quite good (33 days PTO including holidays, $2000/yr CME with 1 week CME time, paid cell phone, all licenses paid, professional dues paid).  If I were to stay in my current position, I would be due for an annual review in early October, and was told when hired that there are usually merit increases than range 2-4%.  We have not talked compensation yet, as they are still getting budget approval (but this has made it through every hurdle including the physician-in-chief, only need VP of surgery to give final OK).  Haven't discussed yet what my compensation will be, but based on what I've described, what do you think I should ask for?  I was thinking I would at least request an automatic 2-4% increase, although not sure if that would be enough given my level of experience and skill set.  Figure now is the time to make these kinds of requests...what do you all think?  Any and all input would be much appreciated as to other things I should consider.

 

Thanks!

L

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