So medical school has finally come to its logical conclusion, your training is finished, and you’re finally ready to start your practice — so you’ll want to take the first job that comes your way, right? Wrong. Even though it’s tempting to jump at any opportunity to finally get working, there are things you’ll want to consider when negotiating physician contracts in 2017 and beyond.
Tips for Negotiating Physician Contracts
Firstly, it’s definitely useful to remember that nearly all the terms of an employment contract can actually be negotiated beyond simply the compensation. Sure you’re trying to make good with a new employer, but you shouldn’t take a hit financially or professionally just due to a rigid employment offer. That said, you’ll need to judge the situation itself, your current and future financial needs, as well as the benefits you deserve as a practicing physician.
If you’re unsure as to whether you’re comfortable negotiating physician contracts on your own, it may be wise to hire an attorney. We know that if you made it this far in your career and education you’re probably pretty well-read, but getting a second pair of eyes on legal documents and contracts can be a reliable way to protect your interests as a physician. Of course, this isn’t to say you’ll be getting duped while negotiating physician contracts your entire career, it’s just important to really lock in your first professional gig without any issues.
Realizing Your Professional Expectations
Beginning a career as a physician will inevitably bring challenges both anticipated and not. Having your expectations laid out ahead of time can help guide and inform your decisions about how a job offer will fall in line with your professional and personal goals. Additionally, this includes the expectations your employer has for you and what ways you can meet them in a balanced and efficient way. Anything from the expected hours of work, to working overtime, ethical concerns, and how many patients you’ll be seeing may all be considerations when negotiating physician contracts.
Writing these things out ahead of time and having them reviewed by a professional attorney or even just one of your peers can be beneficial to help you make the best decision possible about your next position and future career.
Be Fully Aware of Your Benefits
So along with compensation and working to meet the expectations of the workplace and your life as a professional, being able to fully get behind the benefits offered in any given job offers is one of the final pieces to negotiating physician contracts. Frankly, your contract should absolutely include a detailed outline of each and every benefit being offered to you, things like sick time, vacation time, special leaves, and other times you may need time away from work.
One important aspect to consider is an employer’s coverage or insurance for malpractice. Although it’s something you’ll likely try to avoid at all costs, it’s very useful to get the full details on the extent to which malpractice incidents and possible lawsuits will be addressed.
Finally, you’ll want to know an employer’s terms on terminating a contract and your guidelines regarding leaving the position. Knowing things like the specific length of a contract, the reasons termination can occur, and other details like agreeable non-compete clauses are also very important.
Of course, there are many other options if you’re not ready to sign a contract or a specific offer isn’t exactly what you were looking for. You can find locum tenens jobs in your state and others right here on LocumJobsOnline, choosing from a variety of physician specialties or a specific license type. No matter what you decide, just be sure to get the best job option both personally and professionally wherever possible!