I am just finishing my training to become a specialist physician, and am interviewing to start my first attending physician job this summer. At this point I have been notified by one employer that I have an offer letter coming my way, and am trying to prepare myself for the negotiation process.

I have spent a lot of time researching negotiation skills online, and one of the points I see over and over is that you need to go into negotiation with an idea of what you are worth and how much you are willing to accept. However, this is where I run into trouble. Entry-level physician salaries vary widely (we're talking differences of $100k or more) depending on specialty and location, and nowhere is there a database or resource that gives me an idea of what I should expect right out of training, in my specialty, in my city. I've asked around among my colleagues and advisers and the answers I get are all over the map and only based on their personal experience. I've considered asking a current employee of the hospital where I am interviewing to compare, but it seems like this is generally disapproved upon.

On top of that, I'm a woman, and am concerned about making sure I get an offer comparable to my male colleagues (shown to be an issue among physicians and in my state specifically), which makes me even more motivated to ace the negotiation process.

When I receive my offer, how do I judge if it is reasonable or not? If it is lower than my (admittedly very vague) expectations, how do I know if I am getting lowballed or if it is consistent with others at the same hospital? And how do I negotiate for higher pay if I feel it is warranted?

  • Salary.com provides a glassdoor for pay equality. Pays always varies but this site should give you a range to shoot for.
    – Isaiah3015
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 20:40
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of How can I determine a reasonable salary to ask for? Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 20:44
  • Find other female doctors in your chosen field on social media or linkedin, message them basically what you said here.
    – enderland
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 21:15
  • @Dukeling - IMO, this question is not about how to find the standard salary. The question is how to navigate the negotiation without this knowledge.
    – Myridium
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 10:09
  • @Myridium You can't judge if an offer is reasonable, or negotiate much, without knowing the standard salary. The fact that OP is having trouble finding this information is unfortunate, but it doesn't change the answer. Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 10:44

2 Answers 2


Network, network, network.

You need to do some networking.

Specifically, you need to find some colleagues in your specialty. Networking will give you the answers you need as well as provide you with business (and personal) contacts that can help you throughout your career.

Whether it's linkedin or professional associations, there are always opportunities to network if you look for them and they're valuable for more reasons than just this question.


well these things you will find on internet like Consider your skill set, experience and knowledge and then know your worth. You can know that by communicating with other colleagues or browsing from the net. but what you need is talk about your previous performance and achievements and how well can be useful for the company in the future if you are hired. After getting to know about the market fix a value for yourself and during the interview do not tell the same value as they may further negotiate you. Ask for a value higher than your fixed value so that you will get the value you want. This is how you can go step by step while asking for raise.

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