How to Negotiate Your Contract Terms as a Physician?

Getting a job offer from a medical practice may be exhilarating. Since it may seem like a dream job to you, you also may want to quickly sign the employment agreement handed over to you. However, signing a written agreement means that you will be bound by the law, and you certainly don’t want to damage your career. That’s why contract review specialists, who are experts in physician contract reviews, can drastically help you with the entire process of a physician contract.

Nevertheless, you must also take care of some aspects and be vigilant during the process. In this article, we’ll discuss several effective tips to help you negotiate your contract terms better as a physician. Read below to learn!

1. Begin Negotiations With Your Offer Letter

Before your prospective employer sends an employment contract to you, you will receive an offer letter. This will set the majority of the terms and conditions for your employment contract.

Most physicians would simply sign the offer letter to ensure they don’t lose their “dream” job. Remember, even if you verbally negotiated the terms with your future employer, it doesn’t hold any value in terms of the law. Therefore, you must communicate your terms to your employer to adjust the parts in the offer letter to help you move closer to employment.

2. Communicate With Your Potential Employer

You must keep communicating with your prospective employer throughout the contract negotiation process. This not only shows that you’re interested in working with them but also helps you clarify any problem or query during the process to ensure you’re comfortable with signing the contract. Constant, positive communication will also entice your future employer to make changes to the contract.  

3. Read and Understand the Contract   

When going through the employment letter, most individuals overlook the important sections of the contract, thinking that this will never come into play down the road. This is the biggest mistake you can make, and you only realize it when you face it.

You must read and understand every part of the contract as this will also give you a chance to negotiate the terms according to your needs and preferences. You can always hire an employment lawyer if sections except for basic salary and benefits aren’t clear to you.    

4. Make a List of Items You Want to Negotiate

Creating a list of items you may want to add, delete, or even modify in your contract will facilitate you in prioritizing them according to what’s most important to you. Of course, you really can’t expect your employer to take care of all your demands.

Remember that you should both compromise on certain terms and conditions. However, prioritizing the list of items will help you curb “unreasonable” requirements.

5. Know the Most Important Provisions to Address

Although every part of the contract is important, some sections may not be easily understandable by physicians, and they may overlook their importance. It’s imperative to not only assess what’s added to the contract but also what needs to be added to it, as this can affect your practice and keep you protected.

Some of the provisions that you need to pay attention to are:

  • Term and termination
  • Physician duties
  • Compensation
  • Employee benefits
  • Reimbursement of expenses  
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Code of conduct and conflict-of-interest policies

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