HolyMoly

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I have a private practice job interview coming up with a large group in a big hospital.

For some of the more experienced members in the forum, what questions do you wish you asked or do you feel are essential to ask on an interview, other than the services they provide, where I'll work, typical schedule? It's a 3 year partnership track also.

Thank you all, and I will be happy to answer any questions about it when I get through it! Good luck with wherever you are in the journey :luck:
 

pjl

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There are the questions you really want to know, and the questions you should ask. Asking a lot about the schedule and pay makes you potentially less desirable, depending on how you do it. When you want to see what the daily life is like, just ask to look at a few days schedules to see what the case mix is, and you can see start/stop times, and likely # of anesthesiologists on per day and out order. That will at least give you a glimpse, and you aren't stretching truth much since case mix is important, and you can make sure you aren't doing all cases you hate, or none of the type you like.

What you should know is how you get paid, and how they get paid. Employee vs partnership, production vs blended unit production vs group production divided by number of guys or any complex grouping of the same. If eat what you kill, who assigns cases. Are you getting a salary or a % of production or partner. Are there intangible buy in time things to consider (working all holidays/more call, etc.). Is there a monetary buy in (consider up to ~10k to be a no). Equity of partners (superpartners?). Time to partnership, if a partnership track. If any prior failed partner candidates (obtain contact info for these to contact them and ask questions, or find info on your own).

Also important is why are they hiring. Is there a retiree, cutting back, growing services, fired partner...

Tough to figure out if there are relationship issues with surgeons/anesthetists/administration, but make effort there.

Activity of group on hospital boards/committees is important for strength of group.

In the end your decision is going to be based 90% on trust, so get a feel for the type of people they are. Make sure you are a human that is interesting to talk to and is well mannered enough to get along with the surgeons/staff and they should be happy enough with you. They will be looking for a good fit based on personality more than any other characteristic you can control. Your skills and background check will be obtained by contacting your staff at your program, and all sorts of other back door ways.

Some groups interview in a very sloppy way, others plan it out. We plan ours to look sorta sloppy, but is rather thought out. We have a few partners who shoot the ****, make friends, and provide a comfortable presence to see how you manage conversation on an overall level with nonthreatening people. We have one guy who gives the numbers talk where we answer all those questions that you are uncomfortable asking but need to know. We have one guy as the "tougher to converse with guy." We have a few who sell the group, and we have a few who check things on the back end. Our goal, and theirs should be to give you a realistic picture of the practice and expectations so you don't come, realize you hate it, and leave. Just be yourself (or at least your best self) and if they don't like you, you are probably better off elsewhere anyways. Every group has a feel, find one that matches you.

Places where our interviewees have gone wrong:
-Changing vapor levels for a partner during case multiple times, despite partner resetting it where they wanted it.
-Treating secretaries at home program disrespectfully
-Poor work ethic at home program.
-Insisting we hire both her and a potential fiancée (ok that was more of a supply/demand mismatch, but...)
-Terrible manners at dinner, like embarrassed to be seen out with them bad
-Bragging about skills, and mediocre ones at that.

Some get it right, and those are offered positions. This is a very important future relationship that deserves a HUGE allotment of resources on the hiring end to make the best fit person get the job. A wrong choice can poison group and jeopardize a contract
 
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pastafan

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One other thing that has become increasingly important is to find out about the financial strength of the hospital/surgery centers that the group covers. More and more hospitals are going broke or being absorbed by larger institutions. You don't want to find a great job and group only to have the bottom fall out due to institutional issues beyond your control.
 

ProRealDoc

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What are your credentials? Residency only, fellowship-trained?

I'd be very cautious about a 3-year partnership track. As it's been said over and over again in this forum, with Obamacare looming, that pot of gold may not be there 3 years from now.
 

caligas

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What are your credentials? Residency only, fellowship-trained?

I'd be very cautious about a 3-year partnership track. As it's been said over and over again in this forum, with Obamacare looming, that pot of gold may not be there 3 years from now.
Not what she asked, but I agree!
 

Lurch

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Can someone explain what the significance is of a group offering an option to buy into their billing company? Is this a rare or expected option? Is this something most partners would opt for? Thanks
 

cowbydoc

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Also, for some of you academic guys out there what kind of questions should we be asking on academic interviews?
 

dr doze

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Can someone explain what the significance is of a group offering an option to buy into their billing company? Is this a rare or expected option? Is this something most partners would opt for? Thanks
Larger groups form can their own billing company, hire in house personnel.
The good is that it represents another corporate entity to shelter income and run expenses through. Also the billing company can be a potential source of revenue by doing billing for other practices.
The danger is that if the partners in the clinical practice are not all members of the billing company there will likely be an incentive to filter revenue to the billing company and charge the affiliated practice more than market rate. Also the billing company is a great place for hiring family members of some of the docs who may or may not be qualified.
 

ProRealDoc

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I interviewed at a jobs where one of the superpartners had hired his own wife to do the group's billing (She was a CPA). He tried to convince me this operation was transparent and I had nothing to worry about. :eyebrow: