Freud's Insights on Physician Contract Negotiation

June 14th, 2012 2 Min read Freud's Insights on Physician Contract Negotiation Blog
I caution candidates against talking about compensation and benefits too early in the job interview process. In the initial phone and personal interviews, the focus should be on how well you and the prospective employer get along and meet each other's needs. However, there comes a point when you decide that one or a few opportunities you are offered appeal to you, and you need to negotiate a contract that includes compensation. Receiving job offers and physician employment contracts can be exciting. One of the biggest mistakes physicians can make is to blindly accept what is offered or sign a document they do not fully understand. When evaluating contracts, all terms can be negotiated. Keep in mind that the contract needs to spell out all of the issues that affect you. Do not assume that any statements made during conversations will be remembered or honored. In addition to compensation, some of the more common topics or issues that a physician's employment contract may include are:
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Obligations
  • Details about the types of, roles and availability of support staff
  • Credentialing information
  • Criteria for how your performance will be evaluated
  • Position location
  • Compensation, including performance incentives
  • Time off and benefits
  • Contract terms and termination
There is a more complete checklist of what to look for when reviewing or negotiating a contract in the CompHealth career resources section. Download the checklist here. Keep in mind that when you work with CompHealth, as search consultants, my colleagues and I will help you to negotiate the terms of your contract. We can also help guide you on whether terms seem reasonable and customary and if any seem comparatively unique. Assume that hospitals and practices enlist attorneys to prepare these contracts with their clients' best interests in mind. Do not feel pressured to sign anything that you are uncomfortable with or you do not fully understand, because courts will generally uphold the terms of these written documents. It is worth your time and money to hire an attorney to review any physician employment contract before you sign it. Be sure to select an attorney who has experience with physician contracts and knows about the laws in the state where you will be working. Taking time to do these things is ultimately for your benefit and long-term protection. They are in your best interest and highly recommended.