Broker Check

Assistance with Employment Contracts

When physicians receive the first draft of a proposed contract, they should review it with a qualified attorney who will likely check on the terms below to make sure they complement their situations and goals:

  • Start Date of Contract

    You would likely want a contract start date that is two weeks beyond the date that you anticipate being ready to start. This strategy will give you a cushion to ensure that the employer receives all licensing paperwork on time. The extra time also allows residents to take a short break before embarking on their careers. Every resident can benefit from the extra time to relax and rejuvenate before beginning his or her career.

  • Term of Contract

    Most contracts cover one or two years. Most physicians will want to negotiate for a two-year term. This allows them to lock into the terms of the contract if medicine or the group changes. Consider linking the income of the contract to the road to partnership.

  • Physician's Duties

    Physicians should not be surprised on the job. Every duty and responsibility that is expected should be stated in this section of the contract. This section may also indicate which duties are specifically excluded. Call coverage, hiring and firing responsibilities, administrative duties and other types of duties may be included in this section.

  • Confidentiality/Trade Secrets

    Physicians should not discuss the terms of their contract with any other party besides their tea of professional advisors. Discussing the terms of your contract can lead to termination. A physician's salary, bonus, and duties should be considered confidential information and guarded as such.

  • Non-Compete/Restrictive Covenant

    A non-compete clause or restrictive covenant is a section of the employment contract that prohibits a physician from practicing in certain areas for a certain period of time after a termination. Clearly such a clause is not in the physician's best interest. Most employers will attempt to include such a clause, so you may want to negotiate for a clause that is the least restrictive. Study the non-compete or restrictive covenant carefully as it could limit where you will be permitted to practice in the future.

Physicians should angle for clauses that limit the restriction to ONE primary office within a five mile radius in very specific language.

  • Other topics to consider

    Salary Structure
    Benefits
    Tail Coverage
    Partnership Buy-in
    Buy-Out Provisions
    Moonlighting

Contract Negotiation Steps

Negotiating an employment contract requires a plan. Always enlist the assistance of a professional advisor before beginning contract negotiations. The following steps can help physicians initiate a successful contract negotiation plan:

Develop a strategy. Review the proposed contract draft. Do not comment to the employer about the proposed contract. Review the employment agreement with your contract review professional. Formulate an email response to the proposed contract draft. Meet with the employer in person. Email positive or negative responses to the employer's proposed contract. Continue the review and negotiation process. Finalize the contract. Give a copy to your advisor for safekeeping or discuss the possibility of an on-line vaulting system. Your financial advisor can make recommendations for you and even set it up for you.

Contact Paul and Lance for a complimentary Financial Second OpinonTM and confidential consultation