Thinking about Signing a Contract? 6 Physician Negotiation Tips

November 15th, 2013 2 Min read Thinking about Signing a Contract? 6 Physician Negotiation Tips Blog
negotiating-5tipsYou've just been offered a job at a great facility, and you're tempted to sign that contract and get started right away. But before you pick up that pen, read these six tips to help you navigate the process:
  • Take time to carefully review the contract. Pay attention to all issues that affect you and read through every section. If something seems wrong, ask about it immediately.
  • Make sure your contract includes everything you discussed in your interview. Don't assume that verbal statements will be remembered -- or honored. Be sure that the most important things you want in your new position are down on paper.
  • Enlist an attorney to help you review the contract. He or she should have at least three years of physician contract experience and knowledge of the physician laws in the area. Hiring an attorney can ensure your interests are protected and save you thousands of dollars up front.
  • Stand up for what's important to you. One of the most common mistakes young physicians make when taking a job is accepting whatever is offered. Unless you're totally satisfied with the contract as-is, you'll want to point out discrepancies or bring up questions you have as you read through it.
  • Create a list of must-haves, and be willing to compromise on other criteria. While you can (and should) negotiate terms like compensation, work hours, and benefits, a "perfect" contract doesn't exist. Deciding early what you can't live without -- and what you can be flexible about -- will make it easier to come to an agreement.
  • Don't feel pressure to sign anything you don't fully understand. Courts typically uphold the provisions of the contract, so make sure you know what all of the sections mean.
RELATED: What New Doctors Need to Know about Contract Negotiation Once you accept a position and sign the contract, make sure to review it at least once a year with the practice. This ensures that you are both aware of your obligations, and it gives you a chance to talk openly about any concerns you may have.


Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a communication professional with experience writing for the healthcare and entertainment industries as well as local government. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.

See all articles from this author