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New grad ortho offer in Chicago - opinions please

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Hi all,


Will be graduating in 2 days and taking PANCE at the end of August. Anyway, I was offered an ortho position on the southside of Chicago recently and wanted some opinions/advice on the specifics of the offer.


Here it is:


Base salary starting out is $92k


Benefits for this position include:
1) Paid Medical, dental, vision and life insurance benefits; (employee, spouse, dependents healthcare coverage)
2) Paid Professional Licensure, certifications and Liability lnsurance
3) Paid Continuing Medical Education expenses up to 53,000.00 p"r. y"u,
4) Two weeks (10 days) paid vacation, three sick days and two personal days per year (pro-rated by start date)
5) Urgent clinic coverage premium-pay ($200/ daily clinic coverage)
5) Bonus Plan eligibility begins one year after conclusion of probationary period
6) A qualified 401K retirement plan with Safe Harbor and discretionary profit sharing contributions


The clinic I would be working for has made it very clear that they take time to train new grads in ortho prior to giving full patient responsibility, which is comforting as a new grad going into a specialized area of medicine. In fact, the first 6 months is strictly spent in the clinic doing H&Ps/ pre and post-op visits. After that period, they start having you scrub into the O.R. and round on inpatients. Call is apparently NOT required of this clinic's PAs. I like the fact they have an ortho urgeny care clinic they run after regular clinic hours; it's an extra $200 per shift and UC shifts run 4 hrs Mon-Sat. We are allowed to work as many or as few UC shifts as we like, which is a nice added bonus to the base pay. As far as insurance, I was informed they have plans with several health insurance companies, but that Blue Cross is what most employess go with because the cost/benefit ratio is the best. Apparently, 100% of the premium is covered (better than 50% which another ortho clinic was offering me) for health/dental/ & vision.


It seems to me this is a great offer, especially coming out as "fresh meat" from PA school. More importantly, everyone I met in the phone and on-site interviews seems very friendly and personable. The clinic seems to be VERY well managed also. Regardless, I wanted the opinions of some veteran PAs about the particulars of this offer, so any advice is appreciated! Lastly, I would like to say that this is my first legitimate offer for employment as a PA and I can't help but admit that I may be a little overly psyched about the offer and do not want to make a snap/emotional decision to accept the offer just because of the shiny gloss coating of a potentially great contract. Firstly, I am not 100% sure I want to relegate myself to working specifically in orthopedics. I just finished my ER rotation and I most say it was my favorite rotation in all of PA school. I like the variety that comes through the door and I ultimately would like to develop my clinical skills in treating a wide VARIETY of medical problems, not necessarily just ortho. I have been also applying to UC clinics, as well as an ER fellowship where I did my ER rotation near home in SE Michigan. I am not sure taking a job in ortho would be such a strategic career move since my long term goal is to see and treat a variety of medical problems as mentioned, but at the same time I wouldn't like to remain unemployed for (potentially) months while I'm trying to get a UC/ER position. The last thing is locality. All my family lives in SE Michigan and I would ideally like to stay as close to them as possible, so locality is HUGE for me. Yes, Chicago is just a couple hrs from home, which is very reasonable. My question is, would it be wrong of me to take the extra time (potentially months) to find a job in both the area of medicine I want the most (UC/ER) and in the locality I want the most (SE Michigan to be close to family), even if it took a little more time than I would ideally like to take to find a job and start working?


Sorry for being so verbous, but this has been weighing on my mind for quite awhile and I would really to have some insight from PAs who have been in the workforce for some time and can reflect on this predicament based on their own experiences. Again, thank you for hearing my concerns and any input would be VERY much appreciated! Cheers!

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#3 is 3k per year for CME. DEA and life insurance are covered, but need to clarify long term disability with them. Also, didn't think about it until now, but I need to ask them if the 2 weeks vacation includes or is separate from CME time off, certainly hope the latter. Thank you for input EMEDPA!

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I would personally push for 3wks PTO and a designated number of CME days.  3 sicks days seems a little on the low side, but it's surgery so...


Personally I would hold out if ortho isn't your real desire.  No point in taking the first job you're interviewed for/offered if it's not what you really want to do.  I'm anticipating these first couple of years to be the best for learning since we're still in that mode (although a touch burnt perhaps).  I'd want those years to be spent where my "passion" for lack of a better term is, rather than where I got an offer.

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The offer for a new grad I think is really good.  It sounds like you really want to do ER and/or UC though.  You could always take this ortho position and then try to get a part time/prn position in ER and transition over to ER if you really like it and make some connections.  As a PA that specialized very early in their career in hindsight I wish I would have done a few solid years in Family Medicine or UC. 

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Thanks guys.it's definitely a tough decision to make. Good to hear your suggestion about 3 weeks pto off the bat, as I was already thinking it might be fair to ask for that, but at the same time don't want to get too overzealous with what I ask for. Another nice thing to consider is the UC ortho clinic they run where, although not the full variety I would get in a regular UC or ER setting,I could still gain some good urgent ortho care experience. Thanks all for your thoughts!

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