Joel Spolsky speaks to this in his latest Joel on Software post. His advice is aimed at college students, but is also extremely relevant for any young physicians trying to claw their way up the food chain:
If you’re a college student applying for jobs or summer internships, you’re at something of a disadvantage when it comes to negotiation. That’s because the recruiter does these negotiations for a living, while you’re probably doing it for the first time.In a nutshell, recruiters make time-limited offers to pressure recruits into taking a job. I got this kind of pressure when I was job hunting, and it still goes on. According to one of our recent applicants, a competing radiology fellowship director gave her 45 frakking minutes to make a decision. To her credit, she turned that job down.
I want to warn you about one trick that’s very common with on-campus recruiters: the cynical “exploding offer.”
Read Joel's post for several great tips on dealing with this kind of sleazy behavior. I wish I had known this stuff years ago.