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Hi, I was wondering if anyone could comment on the companies that ER docs sign up with to represent them when dealing with working in hospitals. Basically, I have heard that hospital based specialties like ER (and Anesthesiology, path, etc), can have trouble dealing with hospitals sometimes because those specialties are hospital-based. The hospitals can tell you what to do, change policies, etc and there's not much the doc or the recruiting company can do about it.(i.e., they are not like say IM where you have your own office or can be a hospitalist and so have some more autonomy).

Anyway just wondering if ER docs ever have problems with hospitals because of this, and end up having to relocate where the company wants it to? How serious of a problem is this?

Also I know this is a hard question, but in general what does an ER doc average in hours over a month. I know it's hospital dependent, but maybe someone will know (?)

Thanks in advance


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Here in Montreal, EM docs work 15 shifts a month (residents do 17) . Each shift ranges from 8-10 hours. I know some of them work at walk-in clinics to fill in the empty time. Others spend time with their families.
As for the "Contract Management Groups", while they aren't popular with the physicians, hospitals love them. The hospital only has to sign one contract instead of one for each physician. The doc can still negotiate with the company, but it's a lot harder to do. Some CMG's have the doc search out their own insurance, etc, while others provide everything. At any rate, in this type of management system, there's little room for advancement, and the physician loses out on learning how to operate a practice. A plus for some, but others dislike it. I got all of this info from a book called Emergency Medicine: The medical student survival guide (ISBN 1929854048). It has any information you would ever want about EM.
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Originally posted by doccsg
Average is 12 12-hour shifts per month or 15 8-hour shifts per month. Life is good.

Question is...are those 12 hour shifts overnight?? If so, it makes for a couple ****ty days off per week..

What about salary? Anyone know the avg. for EM ?


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Originally posted by souljah1
Question is...are those 12 hour shifts overnight?? If so, it makes for a couple ****ty days off per week..

What about salary? Anyone know the avg. for EM ?

Hey souljah, hopefully someone who actually knows what they are talking about will answer this, but as I am interested in EM this is what I have found (and caveat emptor - I'm only applying to med sch. now so take this with a grain of the proverbial....)

Yes, some of the shifts are overnight. Someone has to cover nights in the ED, especially as nights can often be the busiest times as this is when people who cannot reach their PCP turn up, drunks appear, accidents increase, etc.

The exact terms of night shift vary by position, seniority, etc. Usually there is some predictability to it eg two weeks on nights, two weeks on days, but thats just one example of the many possible combinations.

Starting physician salaries are here for the different specialties:

and after 3 years in practice:

I think the general wisdom is that EM starts high but hits a salary glass ceiling reasonably quickly, unless you go into admin etc.

However, these are (as always) just averages and greater variation is observed if you discriminate between academic positions (less money) versus private groups, and also where in the country you practice. I think the NorthEast and CA are lower salaries and the south is higher. One of the EM society pages (saem or acoep or someone) has this but I can't find it right now....


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We had a discussion on ER physician income a while ago. You can use the search function to find it. Basically, ER salary is usually based upon some fixed rate/hr. There are two basic factors that control your income in ER. 1) The more shifts you are willing to work the more money you can make. 2)Working in more undesirable or less manage care penetrated areas will increase the $/hr rate most ER docs receive. 3) There is some wiggle room for experience, but it has to be significant.

I know of a single ER doc who is working 5 shifts (12hrs) a week and is pulling in some serious dough >300K/yr (net before taxes). He's got an great boat to show for it, but he admits that he works hard for it. Some ER docs are working more like 3 shifts (12hrs) per week and are making $175-200K.
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