Managing Up: 5 Tips for Negotiating with Your Chair


By Samantha D. Buery-Joyner, MD, VCU School of Medicine, Inova Campus, Jodi F. Abbott, MD, Boston University School of Medicine, David A. Forstein, DO, Greenville Hospital System, and the 2014-2016 APGO Undergraduate Medical Education Committee (UMEC).

In case you missed Part 301 of the 2015 APGO Clerkship Directors’ School in San Antonio, Texas, we have compiled a list of pearls to assist you in your daily clerkship activities. Here are some helpful tips for negotiating with your department chair:

1) Word goes to busy people, so we are all likely to be asked to do more.

2) Be prepared for “the ask.” Reflect on your plan, and know both your value and your plan so you have some answer for the unexpected “ask.”

3) Know your chair. Know what is important to your chair and how to frame a win for him/her. Be prepared to strategically present your portfolio to your chair.

4) Develop end dates for your commitments. Look at the committees you sit on and think about when you should rotate off, so you don’t get overcommitted and so someone else can have a chance.

5) When conflict arises, do your homework so you know what your chair/dean is willing to give up and what you are willing to give up. Know your own last straw / departure point.