non-retirement benefits

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The 401k/403b thread is fascinating. Here's a broader question.

What differences in benefits have you seen between various residencies? I.E. health insurance premiums completely paid, book/conference stipends, moving expenses covered, loan repayment, housing, childcare, etc.

Salaries seem similar for all programs, but benefits probably vary greatly.

What jumped out to you as a great benefit that you didn't see at many programs?

From what I've read, residency programs are encouraged or required to supply interviewees with contract and benefit information. Were exceptional (in the true sense of the word) benefits stressed much?


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I personally did not use benefits when making my list. In fact, the places at the top of my list had the worst packages and were in more expensive areas. Not to say that this is the right approach for everyone. I'm married but have no kids, and my wife works so we have a little more leeway. Also, my rationale is that the quality of the training (preparing you for the rest of your life) is more important than short term shifts of a few thousand dollars -- versus a difference of perhaps millions of dollars in a career based on the quality of practice you end up in. There are definitely people that feel the opposite - that would take an inferior residency to earn a few extra $$ now.

Given two places, and you like both, I could see how differences in benefits might make the difference.

Notably, I remember that at Dartmouth they cover full family health insurance at no cost to you. I think there were others that offered a similar deal, but again, I didn't really pay that much attention. For comparison, at the place I ended up I will end up paying a couple hundred a month for health insurance for the two of us.

Also, be sure to ask about parking. Some places it's free and covered. Some places you pay out the a$$ and have to walk a mile.

A friend of mine is getting a sweet moving bonus of a couple thou from his private hospital. In fact, the privates tend to have more free meals too. Some places it's all you can eat all the time -- to the point of residents bringing their families in :laugh:

Also, I think they now have to show you a contract. I had to sign a statement that I had seen one everywhere I went. Many even have it on their website now.

I would be leery of a place that didn't talk about benefits at all. What are they hoping you don't ask about?


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STANFORD had one of the best benefit packages I saw...

Moving Costs: Incoming housestaff are given a $3,000 moving allowance.

License & Boards: The entire cost of USMLE III and obtaining initial medical licensure in California (approx. $800) is paid for by the Office of Graduate Medical Education.

Educational Costs: Housestaff are provided a $1,000 for educational expenses (e.g. computer, meetings) each year of residency

Free 56K dial-up access using Stanford as your ISP

Free Prescriptions (NO co-pay!)

Dental insurance for the house officer had his or her children is provided, with the spouse's dental insurance available at the house officer's expense.

Disability insurance, malpractice insurance, and sick leave benefits are also provided to housestaff

Stanford. Lab coats, their laundry and pagers are provided gratis

Use of Stanford athletic facilities, libraries, academic computer software discounts, etc.

Free emergency room service charges, ambulatory and ancillary services, and clinic professional fees.

Hospital and major medical insurance for each house officer and his or her dependents are provided.

100% discount on portions of Stanford Hospital charges not covered by insurance with a co-pay.
Add all that to the beautiful setting and the "cushiness" of training there (no matter what specialty you're going into...). The only bad things are the lack of diversity and how impossible it is to buy a house there.

The White Coat Investor

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Originally posted by carolyn
STANFORD had one of the best benefit packages I saw...

Stanford had one of the worst benefit packages I saw....
1) Palo Alto traffic
2) $1600 a month for a studio.
3) What's a free lab coat when your apartment costs 4 times as much as it should?

I don't think benefits nor pay should factor into choice of program as much as quality of training, fit with faculty and residents, locations, and cost of living. That being said, benefits I actually appreciate include:

1) Great malpractice coverage with a strong Risk Management Department (didn't think of that one did you?)

2) Free meals. All the time.

3) Free covered parking next to the hospital.

4) Free palm, free books, free National conferences

5) Free band playing in the lobby (Oh wait, that one's at Stanford.)