Family Med Stipend

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New Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 25, 2006
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Hey All.

I'm a soon to be pgy-1 and a group practice from my hometown has offered me a contract and stated a stipend was possible if I wanted one. I love the group and had planned on going back home after residency anyway. My question is what is a reasonable stipend to ask for? Is anyone familiar with how this works, ie you get a lower starting salary, lower production bonus, etc. I have no idea about the business end of medicine and I'm not sure how to approach this and am hoping for some guidance. Thanks everyone!

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You'd have to ask them how it works...and you definitely should!

Basically, the purpose of paying you a stipend during residency is to get you to sign a contract of employment now, rather than three years from now, sort of like "early decision" admissions in med school. They know they've got a doc coming in three years and don't have to recruit. You know you have a job waiting for you when you finish residency and don't have to go around and interview. Win-win, in theory. However, keep in mind that your needs/desires could change between now and then, or the group itself could change. By signing on now, you're pretty much locking yourself in.

There will undoubtedly be penalties (enforceable, by the way) for breaking the contract, which would likely involve paying back the stipend in full, at the very least. Be sure to get everything up-front and in writing. Assume nothing. I'd also have a lawyer look over the agreement before you sign, just like any other employment contract.

One other thing to keep in mind is that if you lock yourself into a salary guarantee today, you could be short-changing yourself if starting salaries increase over the next three years. It's unlikely they'll go down.


Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2003
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I wouldn't do this if I were you. Things can change in the next 3 years and if they do, you'll have to pay back that stipend. Who knows, something else better might pop up but you can't take advantage of it because you're already committed.