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What should a physician’s employment contract cover?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | Employment Law |

Employment contracts are a particularly complex matter, especially for physicians. The terms of your contract outline your responsibilities and your employer’s, and those terms can impact both your time in this position and your future career prospects. What should your contract cover?

What details might an employment contract include?

Your employment contract may address a variety of different details about the agreement you are making with your future employer, including terms you have never discussed.

Your contract should clearly identify your hiring bonus, moving allowance and any repayment / forgiveness arrangements salary and any bonuses you will receive. If you have an RVU requirement / opportunity, the formula needs to be clear with data transparency. Your contract should also cover other benefits like insurance, including tail insurance, debt assistance, continuing medical education and conference time and expenses, and medical licensure fees.

It is particularly important that the terms of employment listed in the contract reflect the compensation and benefits you discussed with your employer. This is because a term of the contract will likely state that the contract supersedes any prior discussions or agreements.

Your contract should also outline the terms of your employment. This may include your hours, responsibilities and locations, which must be specified if they are to be limited. Your contract may outline any conditions you must satisfy before your employment begins. It should also include information about whether your performance impacts the compensation you receive and, if so, the measurable detail.

Should the employer responsibilities also be included?

Absolutely. You want to assure that your employer will provide proper administrative and mid-level support for your position, so you do not find yourself required to perform administrative work.

What about non-compete provisions?

In addition, some employers may ask you to sign a noncompete clause. This agreement would impact your ability to work for a competing healthcare provider in the area for a specific time. Because a noncompete clause can limit your job prospects, you should carefully review this information and consider re-negotiating its terms before signing.

What termination provisions should be included in your employment contract?

This is perhaps the most important provision for practitioners since a termination can derail your career. Although going into a new position, no healthcare practitioner expects to have employment problems, but they can occur even for the most accomplished practitioner. So proper terminology often must be negotiated for the provider to assure options when issues arise that can prevent a reportable discharge.

What if you are uncertain about the terms of your contract?

Reviewing an employment contract can be complex, and you may benefit from speaking to an experienced attorney during this process. Not only can an attorney help you understand the terms of the contract and identify issues, they can also help you negotiate terms that better support your needs and your goals.