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formal offer letter vs contract


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Just accepted a "formal offer letter" from an out-of-state employer contingent upon meeting and payor/credentials qualification. Had a great hour-long conference call after which they sent me an offer letter although we had not met in person. We have arranged to meet in 4 weeks as I will be visiting the area again at that time. The offer letter was fairly general and included pay rate, "full benefits" and some general responsibilities. Did not sign anything, just accepted the offer via email based on the stated contingencies. There has not been mention of a contract yet, although we did discuss details of benefits and employment in great detail on the phone. Is it appropriate to ask to review a contract before meeting in person? Or should I offer to fly out earlier to solidify the deal? I have another offer currently with a contract offer that expires in 30 days, so I don't want to mess around with uncertainty if possible. I have only worked as a PA using contracts, and I'm also wondering if anyone works using at-will offer agreements -- something I think would make me nervous. 

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It depends on the quality of the offer in the letter. If this is a job you would give serious consideration if the contract terms met your requirements, then I would say fly there immediately and get a closer look. Meet as many PAs there as you can. Interview as many Physicians as you can. Discuss the terms of a contract that you require. Then, if you still like the job, go back home and send them a contract via UPS (or fedex). Do this before the clock runs out on your other deal but remember, you don't really have a deadline here. Even if this one and the 30 days deadline run out, you'll find another opportunity down the road. Don't let them put you under any pressure. 

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It depends on the quality of the offer in the letter. If this is a job you would give serious consideration if the contract terms met your requirements, then I would say fly there immediately and get a closer look. Meet as many PAs there as you can. Interview as many Physicians as you can. Discuss the terms of a contract that you require. Then, if you still like the job, go back home and send them a contract via UPS (or fedex). Do this before the clock runs out on your other deal but remember, you don't really have a deadline here. Even if this one and the 30 days deadline run out, you'll find another opportunity down the road. Don't let them put you under any pressure. 

 

Good advice, thank you. 

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I think the best thing is to hedge your bets a little bit

 

they did not provide all the details to you

 

and you can not accept formally till these details are shared

 

 

so send them another email to confirm that you have accepted their "tenative offer" and that you are eager to receive the details of the offer so that you can officially accept it and sign off on it.

 

doesn't take much digging on this site to find ALOT of people who have been burned in this situation...  you need all the details prior to formally accepting

 

as for the other deal - yup get moving to get it resolved ASAP

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Make sure you do an internet search for ALL of the physicians you will be working with in the practice. You might find one or more personality deficiency syndromes.

 

Unfortunately, an internet search will usually not tell you what you need to know. You really can't know a place until you work there. During interviews, many dysfunctional employers will inadvertently admit high turnover or do something blatantly sketchy. The smarter ones will conceal this information on all fronts and not allow you to be in a situation where you can discover it until you begin working there.

 

The best thing to do when one starts a job is to not become emotionally invested in the job too soon. Shut up and observe. If you notice something off at the beginning, trust that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Make sure you do an internet search for ALL of the physicians you will be working with in the practice. You might find one or more personality deficiency syndromes.

Emphatically agree with this advice. I did some background checking and discovered the SP at the site making an offer was a plaintiff is litigation against a very powerful corporate healthcare executive. There was probably merit in the suit but the question for me was whether I wanted to be standing next to the SP when the shelling started. Powerful people will do anything and everything to escape the reaches of the law even if it means doing something illegal or unethical. I decided to steer clear of a potential war zone even though I had no personal relationship with either party in the suit. 

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Unfortunately, an internet search will usually not tell you what you need to know. You really can't know a place until you work there. During interviews, many dysfunctional employers will inadvertently admit high turnover or do something blatantly sketchy. The smarter ones will conceal this information on all fronts and not allow you to be in a situation where you can discover it until you begin working there.

 

The best thing to do when one starts a job is to not become emotionally invested in the job too soon. Shut up and observe. If you notice something off at the beginning, trust that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Agree that internet searching is not the only way to check out a firm. I encourage a site visit. If they won't pay and you want the job (or location or experience) that much, pay for the trip yourself and negotiate the return in relocation amount. So much can be gained from being on site. I can see and smell phone baloney when I'm in front of someone that I cannot tell from a phone call. Nobody is a great liar. Especially when you have an opportunity to ask others in the firm the same questions and see if you get different answers or the same rehearsed answer. If you ask for one on one meetings and they try to push group meetings, it is a bad sign. They want to hide something and keep people from speaking freely. 

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Agree that internet searching is not the only way to check out a firm. I encourage a site visit. If they won't pay and you want the job (or location or experience) that much, pay for the trip yourself and negotiate the return in relocation amount. So much can be gained from being on site. I can see and smell phone baloney when I'm in front of someone that I cannot tell from a phone call. Nobody is a great liar. Especially when you have an opportunity to ask others in the firm the same questions and see if you get different answers or the same rehearsed answer. If you ask for one on one meetings and they try to push group meetings, it is a bad sign. They want to hide something and keep people from speaking freely. 

 

Being on site is not necessarily a good way to smell out deceit either. And I disagree with you. Some people are VERY good liars.

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