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Low base worth it for an awesome environment?

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I am currently in general thoracic surgery at a large university hospital, making $102k. The benefits are amazing. But the hours suck. I work 55-60 hours/week (at least).


I also have a strong interest in integrative medicine (not the unproven stuff, but more the lifestyle/preventive etc stuff). I applied for a family practice position in a well-respected, well-known office that is incredibly busy and needs help (who also practices some components of integrative medicine). All the practitioners have been there years and love it. But they need help. The owner of the practice said, "When patients can't call by 10 am and get in the same day, that is unacceptable to me." He is all about patient care. He is funny and passionate about patient care. He is also a great business man. He has another office opening soon and he's already getting calls for patients wanting care there. He allows patients to see PAs for all their visits, only seeing a doc if the patient wants to. Some FP offices require visits with docs at certain intervals.


In any event, he offered me job yesterday. I will have about 32 patient hours per week, the rest charting/office work as necessary (working 35-40 hours/week). The base salary is only $70k or 30% of your collections, whichever is higher. The other PA in the practice earns a nice living making at least $120k right now. He does give productivity bonuses and a loyalty bonus ($4000 each year for the first 2 years). My other issues are only 12 days paid time off, CME of $500 (but he pays DEA, licenses, etc separately...and if someone is interested in a class that will benefit the practice, he'll send you). I get the feeling he will pretty much pay for whatever you ask if it's necessary or an interest of yours that you can employ. Health/dental/vision insurance there is paid for me, but costly for family. There is a matching 401k and short term/long term disability.


I am having a difficulty with this because he made it clear that the docs sign the same contract (except their base is $100k). He said that he knows that $70k may not sound like a lot, but by month 6 or so, I'll probably be passing that and not have to worry about it.


I really want to accept this job; I don't feel very comfortable trying to negotiatie for some reason. This office is a division of a large group, so I don't even know how much negotiation can be done.


For good experience, hours, and a great environment, would you put up with subpar benefits/pay?




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I guess my biggest concern is having fewer benefits and such a low base salary. And a 2 year contract. I have a very good "gut feeling" so I have decided to go for it. The other PA who is there has been there 7 years and he loves it. He said he can't imagine ever leaving. He works afternoons like 1-8 and makes six figures. This job is a great opportunity, I believe. This practice just keeps growing and growing. They have built a new facility because the second office was way too small to accommodate the patient load. And all the docs have an awesome reputation in the community. I hope it ends up being a good experience for me. I'm going to go with my gut and take it. I do think I will make decent money and work in an office that values family life outside of work. It will be nice to actually spend time with my kids.

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