Although doctors frequently put in long shifts, the day’s work isn’t always done when the shift is over. Many doctors occasionally need to be on call. Having to work even when you have a day or night off entails being available.
While being on call undoubtedly has its disadvantages, it also has one advantage: more cash. So, here is a detailed explanation of all you need to know regarding physician on-call pay.
Are Doctors Paid for Being On-Call?
Some doctors receive compensation for their on-call time. Others aren’t. Everything relies on your workplace and medical specialty. Besides those with surgical specializations, some doctors are more likely to get on-call pay than others. You may or may not be paid for your call time depending on the hospital where you work.
The rates and methods of payment for on-call pay vary widely because there is no fixed rule that governs who, how much, or when you receive it. Additionally, certain professions, like medicine, have varied labor rules.
On-call compensation might take the form of a daily allowance, a yearly allowance, an hourly rate, or a stipend “per shift.” Around 70% of doctors are paid at daily compensation rates, though this varies from hospital to hospital. Your doctor’s expertise mostly determines where you fall on the scale. Still, your area of expertise isn’t the only essential component. This decision is also heavily influenced by the size of your institution.
The majority of the time, large hospitals with trauma centers and high emergency rates can afford to pay doctors for their on-call duties under a more forgiving call policy. Only a tiny number of doctors in a restricted number of disciplines may receive an on-call salary from hospitals with smaller emergency departments.
Additionally, private hospitals typically pay the most. In comparison to hospitals operated by large health systems, independent hospitals pay an extra 26% in on-call remuneration on average.
Doctors who work in trauma centers and emergency rooms typically earn more than those who practice in other types of hospitals. And the reason for that is that they are required sooner to complete demanding duties. In actuality, trauma centers charge 32% more per day on average than other hospitals.
As previously mentioned, the pay for on-call doctors varies substantially by specialization. But the “weight” of the call also influences it. The most difficult tasks include performing urgent brain surgery or giving birth in the middle of the night.
The fair market value for on-call pay rates is determined by the region of the country in which you work, just like the cost of living. For example, the cost of doctor-on-call in Dubai, called the “consultation fee” is around AED 450.
What makes a doctor eligible for on-call pay?
Being on call may not be compensated in some hospitals because it is merely an expected component of the job. Furthermore, it’s unlikely that if you operate your own practice, you would pay yourself greater compensation to cover on-call shifts on your off days. However, you might be eligible for this additional income if you work as a medical staff member for a hospital or another doctor’s office.
Your chances of receiving on-call pay are higher if there are fewer doctors in your specialty working for your business.
Is your position at the hospital uncommon? Is your field home to a small number of experts? If so, you run the risk of getting a call during an emergency or late at night when you’re trying to get some rest for the next day’s job.
There is no set criteria for how frequently call coverage is expected or how probable it is that you will really be called in. However, you might be able to estimate it by learning how many call staff operates in the same capacity as you in your hospital or practice.
You are less likely to be paid for being on call if you aren’t doing it frequently.
In other words, you’re more likely to get paid if you’re on call every weekend or every holiday than if you’re only on call once a month.
Would you rather limit the number of hours you must be on call as a doctor? If so, before entering into a contract with a hospital or healthcare organization, staffing is something to take into account.
What do doctors actually think about on-call pay, then? Do they believe it is worthwhile? Is the increased compensation worth the pressure and work? Are you ready to give up personal freedom in exchange for the extra cash?
The topic of on-call pay could not even be up for discussion depending on where you work, as your hospital might not provide it. Doctors frequently experience stress and sleep deprivation as a result of their arduous, long hours of work. Many medical professionals would prefer to never have to be on call at all.
Others view it as a necessary component of the work they promised to accomplish. The most typical course of action is to take this. Since most doctors are aware that high wages come with long hours, many are willing to accept this trade-off for their own personal gain. However, being on call can interfere with your personal life, downtime, leisure activities, and social life. Receiving compensation for on-call services definitely sweetens the bargain and increases its value. However, it’s simply more stressful for some professionals.
Negotiate on-call pay in your contract
Make sure this information is outlined in your physician’s contract if you anticipate receiving payment for your on-call time. It’s always better to consult a physician contract lawyer to safeguard your interests in this area and all other facets of your contract. Before you sign your contract, an attorney can assist you to strengthen your collective bargaining agreement by negotiating this and other pay rates and perks.
A law company that focuses on labor contracts will be familiar with both state and federal regulations and be able to offer legal guidance on employment law, particularly as it relates to doctors.
You’ll probably need to be on call some nights and weekends. So consider whether you can sacrifice another perk in order to get paid overtime. Accepting a yearly stipend rather than a daily stipend or hourly fee could also increase your on-call salary. Just be aware that if you choose to do this, you must be aware of how many days you will be working on-call. With that knowledge, you may make the calculations necessary to guarantee that your annual rate will be more than your daily rate.