Physician Contracts: Strategies for Avoiding Pitfalls

Physician Contracts: Strategies for Avoiding Pitfalls

Physician employment contracts may be complicated, and you may get too caught up in the excitement of landing your “dream” job that you may overlook the important details of the contract. This will lead you to accept the contract provisions that may not be in your best interest, and you will have to deal with them later.

That’s why physician contract negotiations are imperative for the long-term success of your job, so you can perform and feel your best. If you are interested in exploring the physician contracts strategies to avoid pitfalls, keep reading this article!

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Most physicians shy away from asking questions from their prospective employers, as they dread losing the opportunity. However, most employers expect you to ask questions, so you can come up with the best clauses and provisions in the contract.

Remember that this will be your livelihood, and you don’t want to compromise on the critical factors of the job that can affect your daily life and earnings. Make sure you have all the questions jotted down with you, so you can ask questions at once.

The most common questions can be related to the job benefits, incentives, schedule expectations, and terms of a non-compete clause, if there are any.

2. Negotiate Before Signing a Letter of Intent

One of the most common physician contracts pitfalls is signing the offer letter without giving much thought to it because physicians don’t want to miss out on the job opportunity.

Although a letter of intent isn’t an official employment letter, it still serves as a base of the entire physician employment contract process. It can be said that it’s equivalent to a handshake. Moreover, since you will be signing it, it still is legally binding.

Therefore, you must carefully read the terms in the letter of intent. You can always take professional help if needed. If there are clauses that don’t resonate with you, you must positively talk to your employer. If you accept the terms without negotiating, you shouldn’t expect your employer to change them down the road.

3. Never Accept a Verbal Offer

You may be verbally promised, let’s say, compensations and benefits, but remember, if it isn’t in the contract, it doesn’t hold any value at all.

Before you sign the employment letter, you must go through it again to ensure that whatever you negotiated with your employer is present. This will allow you to stay on the safe side instead of relying solely on the non-binding verbal offer.

4. Understand Every Part of the Physician Employment Contract

Of course, you can expect some legal and technical jargon in the physician employment contract. While you may not be able to understand some clauses or provisions, it certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t be legally obliged by them.

If you sign the contract without understanding some parts of the contract, which may be crucial for your period of employment, you may resign from the job quickly since you won’t be satisfied.

Remember that you can always get help from an employment attorney who is an expert in physician contracts, as they can explain the technical jargon to you in layman’s terms to avoid any troubles down the road.