When you are reviewing a contract, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Even if you have many years of experience in your specialty, it can be difficult to take in all the information and try to make sense of it. You may even feel that the employment contract is weighted toward your potential employer and that you are already at a disadvantage.
Although a contract does contain a lot of information, there is a simple way to ensure that it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. These three basic steps will increase the likelihood of a great outcome in your physician employment agreement.
1. Ensure the contract contains enough detail.
A contract is not like a handshake. It is a legal document that is designed to spell out your work expectations at a very high level. It should answer questions such as:
• What are you going to do for me?
• What am I doing to do for you?
• What happens if we part ways?
Your contract must contain details about your work schedule, work location, compensation, and other expectations. There should be no surprises when you begin your employment since a contract is designed to prevent those potentially nasty surprises. We at Contract Diagnostics feel these details should be clearly defined (location, hours and days to work, call, etc) and changes ‘with mutual consent’ or ‘with the Physician’s consent.’
2. Get feedback on your specific situation.
One of the many benefits of having a professional review of your contract is that it takes your specific situation into account. For example, if you grew up in a particular town and want to live there for many years, that is an important factor to take into consideration. If the employer has had the position open for a long time this may increase your negotiation capital. If you are wanting to be there for a year or two as a spouse finishes training, another important consideration. The uniqueness of your situation means a ‘standard’ copy-paste physician employment contract still needs to be reviewed.
3. Use financial data to make a good decision.
Your contract does not exist in a vacuum. The advantage of modern databases is that we can compare your contract to trends from the last few years. This can be helpful since you may not be aware of trends in specific specialties. Whether you try to find this data yourself or have a professional conduct a contract review, it is critical to compare your contract to what others in your situation are receiving. Public data is usually wrong – know your source and the validity of it in your specific siutation.
These three strategies do take extra time and require a little bit of effort (or money if you hire someone to review your physician contract). However, the results are well worth it since you can save untold heartache—and cash!—by doing them. We can help with each of these, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. Physicain Contract Reviews are 100% of what we do here.