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5 Things You Must Know About Physician Contract Reviews

If you don't have a private practice as a physician, you'll have to sign employment contracts from time to time. Most contracts have twisted and demanding clauses that can make your practice burdensome.

It's imperative you understand every provision of the contract to ensure it matches your expectations. In this article, you'll find 5 things you must know about physician contract reviews, including:

  1. Restrictions
  2. Work expectations
  3. Compensation and benefits
  4. Contract termination provisions
  5. Negotiation

Let's dive in.

What You Should Review in Your Physician Contract

  1. Restrictions

Physician contracts are bound to end, meaning you'll move to a new employer at some point. Some physician contracts include a non-compete clause that prevents you from working with competitors for a specific period when the contract ends.

Though this agreement favors the employer, it may prevent you from earning income in specific areas for some time. Before signing your contract, you have to understand the following:

  • The clause differs from state to state- Not every state enforces a non-compete clause. For those that do, time could extend up to 2 years.
  • The restriction should be time-specific- The contract should specify the time you are forbidden to work with your employer's competitor. It should be proportional to the contract length.
  • The agreement should be geographically defined- The restriction distance should be specific in terms of mile radius from your employer's office.
  1. Work Expectations

Most physician contracts make unclear provisions of what the employer expects of you. They may use vague terms that seem okay until you start working. The demands become more, and your practice becomes unbearable.

  • A good contract should have the following:
  • A clear time when you're supposed to report and leave
  • Number of patients you'll see
  • Number of procedures you'll carry out
  • The vacation time allowed

     3. Compensation and Benefits

The most exciting part of the contract that physicians never miss is compensation and benefits. However, while some contracts allow you to negotiate your salary, others don't. Which means you'll receive a standardized compensation.

Always research the policies of the employer to know their compensation terms. You should also consider benefits because they can boost your income. Some benefits that employers offer include:

  • Health insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement contributions

     4. Contract Termination Provisions

Every contract should include a termination clause stating how the employer can end the agreement. This section should have specific and concise terms and should cover:

  • Termination with a cause- The employer should state clear reasons why they can end your contract.
  • Termination without cause- This provision allows the employer to end the contract for no reason. However, they should give you notice of 30-180 days for you to look for other opportunities.

     5. Negotiation

Physician contracts have legal implications, and you need to read and understand all the clauses before signing. Whether you have practice experience or it's your first job offer, a physician attorney can help you negotiate and review the contract.

Though you'll incur a cost, it will save you from legal battles and set your career for success. Nowadays, attorneys market their services, making it easy to find one. But, ensure the attorney is licensed to work in the state where you'll be working.

Final Thoughts

A physician contract does not only revolve around compensation. Many provisions can affect your practice, and you should research and understand them. If anything is unclear, the best option is to hire an attorney to guide you through the process.


Naomi Olson [Website TwitterHeadshot]

I am a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner).

I have a severe phobia of bridges and dirty balance sheets.

Hobbies: blogging, meditation, and loving Bull Market (my dog).