It is not common for physicians to choose to relocate to a new city or state. Sometimes the reasons are personal, and other times it may be because you are in pursuit of new opportunities or because you want to start anew with fresh scenery. Regardless of the reason for your move, you should be mindful of the fact that many employers are willing to provide relocation bonuses for healthcare professionals, and physicians in particular. Many hospitals and healthcare systems offer relocation assistance in order to attract top-quality talent to the area. If you are considering moving for an employment opportunity, you should feel empowered to discuss relocation assistance as part of your benefits package.
Ask How Your Relocation Bonus Will Be Distributed
The first question you’ll want to ask your new employer is how your relocation assistance will be distributed. Sometimes it will be given to you as a lump sum, while in other cases you will be asked to submit receipts for reimbursement for expenses associated with your move. Make sure you know what to expect in this regard before you sign your new contract.
Find Out the Cost of Living In Your New City
Cost of living varies greatly from state to state and city to city, and understanding the cost of living in your new hometown and how it compares to where you’re currently living is key. Your new salary should reflect the cost of living in your new area, and should also make picking up your whole life to move to another place worthwhile. Once you are clear on the expenses covered by your relocation package, you can begin researching homes and neighborhoods in your new area. The cost of living in your new city is plays a major role in your decision to relocate and how you’ll deal with the logistical components of moving.
Compile Your Estimated Moving Costs
Once you’ve gotten a sense of the homes available to you in your price range and desired part of town, it’s important to spend some time figuring out how much your move will ultimately cost. Your relocation package will typically cover not only your moving expenses, but may also include help arranging the logistical part of your move. Factor in the amount it will cost to hire professionals to disassemble home furnishings, to pack, move, and unpack all of your belongings. Be sure to use these numbers to help in your relocation package negotiations, especially because these costs will differ greatly depending on the area from which you are moving as well as the location of your new hometown.
Request Your Agreement In Writing
It is imperative for a physician to have their employment agreement in writing. However, you may not have a formal agreement yet, especially if you are still discussing relocation. Request that your new employer send you an email stating all of the types of expenses that will be covered by your relocation package so you have it in writing. This ensures that there is clarity on both sides regarding which expenses are included and which expenses are not.
Meet With A Local Realtor
Even though every employer’s relocation package is different, the majority of them will include relocation assistance services. These services will help you find a local realtor who is an expert on your new city and can help you navigate the process of finding a new home. Your employer should provide you with the contact information for the agent responsible for assisting you with your move.
It’s worthwhile to connect with your real estate agent well in advance of any scouting trips to your new hometown so they have time to learn about what you’re looking for in your new home and find options that fit the bill. By the time you arrive, you’ll be able to schedule viewings strategically and efficiently. You should feel comfortable asking your realtor about their previous experience helping clients in the healthcare field relocate. Their unique understanding of your needs as a doctor can be invaluable in helping to facilitate your transition.
Additionally, your employer may be willing to provide you with assistance in selling your current home to help expedite the relocation process.