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Hey everyone, 

I am a new graduate and I have been working for an Ortho and Spine group in southern CA for 6 months. I started taking phone call about 3 months after my start date without additional compensation. I currently do phone call every 3rd weekend. My job is now discussing that I take hospital call as well, but they only pay if the PA gets called in for trauma surgery. The PA does not get compensated for being on call and not getting called in. The PA does not get paid for rotating on patient's during the week or on weekends. If a patient is in the hospital during the week, then the PA goes in before office hours, which begins between 7 and 8 am. 

My contract DOES NOT discuss call at all. I know I should have added something about call in my contract, but I didn't and now here I am. 

Half the PA's do only phone call and the other half do only hospital call. Now our practice seems to want all the PA's on hospital call and phone call, which is fair. However, I don't believe it is fair that we are not compensated for our time. Half of the PA's seem to be on board to try to get our company to compensate for call. Unfortunately, the PA's that are pushing to get paid for call are the newer PA's that make less salary and money for the practice.

Our ortho doctor just started trauma call and he gets paid by the hospital to be on call, even if he does not go in. I don't believe our spine doctor gets paid unless he performs the surgery, however, he is the owner of the practice, so he basically gets paid for everything billed. 



- Do you get compensated for call? 

- If so, how much? 

- Do you do hospital call or phone call? Both? 

- Do you get paid even if you do not go in? 

- Do you know of any resources or surveys that show PA call compensation? 


Thank you so much for your assistance! 

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I DON'T work for free. ..!

If I can't sleep in ... or have a beer, breakfast/lunch or dinner in... another town/state/provence ... I can't be as incapacitated/unavailable as "I" want to be... I can't wake up ... hung-over... on a boat with a big ass fish on the line... on agreed upon days and hours off... then I'm working. 



(Unless I'm doing charity.)


: - l

Carry  on 



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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been working in Sports Med in CA for 2 years now, been a PA for 2.5 years, but I take trauma call, as the surgeon I work for does sports med/arthroplasty/trauma, we do everything but spine while on call. I take call q7weeks x 72hrs (Fri 8am-Mon 8am), no weekday call (our residents take call during the week), no phone calls while at home. 

- Do you get compensated for call? Yes.

- If so, how much? split stipend with SP, we are paid 1099 by the hospital we are contracted with. This is the only 1099 portion of my job, its nice to make the extra money despite the tax liability. 

- Do you do hospital call or phone call? See above.

- Do you get paid even if you do not go in? Yes, I get 1/2 surgeons stipend per day x 3 days per call weekend, if I come in or not. 

- Do you know of any resources or surveys that show PA call compensation? No. 

What I've found as a PA, is that you need to negotiate for what you want. Either your surgeon trains someone new, if asking you to work for free and you saying "no," is a deal breaker for him/her. Or, they compensate you. If you have to be sober, available and willing to drive to work at anytime, then you are at work. 

The thing you need to realize is this, surgeons do not work for free. Why should you? Ask up front; how much is the surgeons stipend paid for call? is the surgeon paid even if they come in or not? Ask for 50%, I don't think this is unreasonable, while on call I pick up the phone at anytime, lose sleep, round on patients on Sat/Sun morning, schedule pt to OR, admit, manage inpt, write consults/H&Ps, initiate consults for pt medical maximization and follow up, consent patients, show up earlier than my SP to ensure pt is positioned and we are draped on time, + 1st assist.

My SP shows up, co-signs the consents, signs the pt, and does surgery, and then takes off. 

Don't forget, your surgeon gets paid to be on call if he/she comes in or not, + gets paid for the surgery, and your 1st assist fee. No one should take call for free. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm in a somewhat similar situation, except I should have done something about it sooner. I have been a surgical PA for 6 years now with the same 2 surgeons in Gyn Oncology. When I first started, I was a new grad and very naive about job expectations. I started salary based pay and worked M-F +call every 3rd weekend (including phone call and hospital rounds on any inpatients in 3 hospitals) without any additional pay for call. This was admittedly pretty brutal, but again, I was naive and thinking this is just how it goes. Here's the thing though-- my surgeons don't actually get paid for call either. This is because of our specialty and the fact that they are paid on productivity. Fast forward 4 years, we moved medical groups and added another surgeon and PA. I get paid about 30k more than I did when I originally started, and call is now q5 weekends instead of q3. My schedule due to the specialty, is somewhat unpredictable. Some days I work 14 hour days, and some days I don't come in at all if there are no surgeries and no patients in the hospitals to round on. I average about 30-36 hours each week without taking call into play. While the flexibility is nice, the unpredictably can be pretty frustrating as a wife and mom of 2 kids. There are about 50-60 other PAs/NPs in our multi medical group practice (about 400 MD/DOs). Besides only a few other specialties, the other PAs and NPs don't take call at all. It basically depends on what the supervising physicians want or expect of their PAs. I love working in my specialty and really enjoy working with my surgeons. But I'm starting to feel like I want a job with no call. Or at least compensation for call. Unfortunately, since I've been doing this so long now, I don't know how to "demand" it. My advice to the OP is to request compensation now... don't wait too long.

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