Physician Contract Review: Professional Counsel

Make an investment in your career with professional counsel to avoid future pitfalls and negotiate better terms

Before you sign on the dotted line, protect the foundation of your career with a physician contract review by a physician contract expert.

Signing physician contracts for employment relationships, partnership agreements, business formation documents and lease contracts is common for physicians who have completed their training. According to the 2010 Physician Retention Survey by the American Medical Group Association and Cejka Search, about 50% of doctors leave their first employer within three years and about 60% leave within five years. Therefore, it is recommended that doctors have a plan in place for dealing with multiple physician contracts.

Just like medical terminology can seem like a foreign language to non-medical professionals, employment and business law can be unclear to doctors who don’t have a legal or business background.

How do physicians who don’t have this training protect themselves before committing to multiple years of service, accepting onerous obligations, taking on new responsibilities and often times being subjected to large financial ramifications if things don’t work out? They get access to professionals who specialize in physician contracts.

How do physicians determine if the counsel they are provided is qualified and is truly the expertise needed?

The following questions can be used as a guide to assess the qualifications of the attorney:

  1. Is the counsel and review completed by a lawyer who specializes in employment and business law?
  2. Does the attorney work primarily with physicians and medical practices?
  3. How many physician contracts has the attorney reviewed?
  4. Is the attorney familiar with the state laws and specific issues where the employer is located?
  5. Does the attorney have a successful track record negotiating with employers?
  6. Does the attorney have access to salary benchmarking information so that he/she can determine if the offer is fair?
  7. Does the attorney have access to employment benefits package information to evaluate the total economic value of the offer?

Physicians who 1) have employment or partnership offers that need review, 2) are approaching an employment renegotiation or 3) are preparing to leave an employer and want to know how the termination provisions will affect them, can get access to an independent network of law firms who specialize in physician contracts and have reviewed physician contracts in all 50 states.

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