Get one or more contracts reviewed before you sign.
The answer is yes. Virtually all employers are open to hearing questions and requests for changes within your employment contract. The exception to this would be if the physician has already had extensive back-and-forth or negotiation with the employer. If that has happened, the attorney may be limited in how much more to negotiate. In this type of situation, pushing too much more could come across as too aggressive. This is why it’s important for the physician to team up with an attorney as soon as possible, and to delay negotiating with the employer until you do.
That doesn’t mean that the employer will accommodate all or any of the physician’s requests. It simply means that most employers are open to discussing anything at the start. Accordingly, the biggest risk to the physician is that the employer says “no” to the physician’s requests. Given this, the physician ought not hold back at all. The physician need not be hesitant, shy or afraid to ask questions or make requests for contract modification at this stage.
Only a very small percentage of times from our experience, an employer may react less favorably to negotiation at this stage. Our attorneys have determined that this occurs less than 1 percent of the time from their experience working with over 5,000 physicians to negotiate their contracts. Also, in our experience, when this happens, it is usually a sign that the employer may not be a good fit anyway. We would not recommend working for an employer who’s not open to discussing contract details. This unfortunate dynamic is normally the sign of an employer that is unbending, has poor communication in the workplace, and has unfriendly employment conditions.
One of the most damaging financial threats to your career as a physician is the possibility of inadequate compensation through complex payment formulas or a contract containing legal pitfalls that undermine future income. Low compensation and contract loopholes are two of the main reasons almost 50% of physicians leave their employers, according to the 2013 Physician Retention Survey by Cejka Search and AMGA.
If you are interested in engaging our team, you will receive an electronic link where you pay and upload the employment documents and other information related to the opportunity(ies). Once this is done, you are provided a link where you schedule calls with the financial advisor (first) and the lawyer (second). These calls often can be done as soon as 24 hours later.
During your call with the financial advisor, s/he will provide a detailed, written comparison of your offer to industry standards as well as the MGMA database and our own database, and then use that to discuss what changes could be requested. During your call with the attorney, s/he will incorporate the issues discussed with the financial advisor, discuss issues posed by the legal documents, and then coach you in negotiation strategy.
After these calls, if you would like to continue communications with the employer, we will wait in the wings, ready to answer any questions, step in if needed, and prepared to review and discuss the employer’s response. If you would like the attorney to negotiate for you, s/he is willing to do so for no additional charge. Of course, there may be additional phone calls and/or email correspondence during the negotiation process and as things are finalized. The average client will have thorough phone calls with the advisor and attorney at the initial review stage, and then a briefer phone call or email correspondence after negotiation, in order to review the employer’s response, to help decide whether to sign the new (normally final) contract version.
We offer different turnaround times for each of our different packages and expedited options for physicians in a time crunch. Typically, we review the contract within 2-3 business days.
It is impossible to predict how an employer will respond to our negotiation thoughts. We have seen annual six-digit compensation increases, total inflexibility, and everything in-between. What we can say, is that generally speaking, the vast majority of employers are at least willing to listen to negotiation thoughts, and won’t respond unprofessionally (by, say, revoking the offer!). In light of that experience, we encourage our clients not to hesitate to make reasonable requests.
We use multiple attorneys even those of Ivy League pedigree. All of which have at least 10 years of experience each negotiating for doctors and have doctors in their immediate family so each of them are personally invested in your profession. Each has reviewed hundreds (perhaps over one thousand) physician employment opportunities. Familiarity with Indian, Canadian, and other foreign cultures, which is relevant for foreign-born and immigrant clients. These are just some of the credentials of the attorneys that we work with. The fact that so many physician clients return to us for help with other future opportunities, is a confirmation that these attorneys do great work. We are happy to provide more credentials of our attorneys and advisors upon request. Equally importantly, if you are considering other contract-review providers, ask about the attorneys they use: Where did they attend law school? If you don’t like one attorney or if an attorney is unavailable, are there other health-care specialty attorneys available? How much experience – in years and contract numbers – does s/he have?
Our company started working with physicians nearly ten years ago. During the time since, our team that has reviewed nearly 3,000 employment opportunities, that are worth over $1 billion in the aggregate, in every state and in every specialty.
One differentiator is that our process involves both a financial advisor and an attorney. The former evaluates your compensation and financial position overall; the latter incorporates this evaluation into the legal review and negotiation process. Many other contract-review providers are not this thorough.
Other important areas of distinction include:
– while we use popularly available databases like the MGMA’s, we also have our own internal database on thousands of physicians, which provides an additional layer of negotiation leverage – we can recall specific clients who have applied to work in the same geographic area or even the same employer, and use related information; we can also note trends among our clients’ experiences, in negotiation success, employer flexibility, compensation/benefit achievement, etc.
– while other firms limit access to their professionals, we offer unlimited access during the review, consultation and negotiation process, but also during the contract term for contract maintenance issues
We are not a law firm. We come from a family of physicians and award-winning wealth advisors that carefully review and select the attorneys that we partner with. We believe in assembling the best team of professionals and maintain extremely close relationships with our attorney partners as we take our clients through the contract review and negotiation process.
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Get one or more contracts reviewed before you sign.
*Additional contract reivews must be purchased within 12 months.
Whether you’re entering a new contract or exiting an old one, renegotiating an annual review or transitioning into a partnership, the experts at Physicians Thrive can take care of your review.