Nearly five years into practice, I have negotiated my first contract, multiple pay increases, call compensation and independent contractor status. I prepared by researching my market value and reading about negotiation strategy. The following are some points I have learned along the way. If you negotiate in medicine, you may feel like the only one. Over the years, my mid-career colleagues confided that they have not received a single pay increase, only ...

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I hate repeating myself.  It’s an impatient quality, but I wish everyone could just hear me the first time.  With a surgical personality, I prefer to convey things in the most efficient way possible, i.e., “Blade!” or “Kelly, please.”  So when folks ask me to repeat myself repeatedly, I feel my inner voice protesting, “This is so inefficient, ahh!” If someone repeats something they have already told me, and catches me ...

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My dad flew to California in the spring to meet his grandson, who was about five months old at the time. He wasn’t that interested in baby care. He mostly wanted to sight-see and spend the evenings watching TV. One weekday morning, he ventured out on a hike alone, while I was at work. He left at 9 a.m. and never came home. We live at the base of a dusty ...

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