5 minute read
Contracts are a crucial part of your career and financial future. We always recommend getting your new employer contract reviewed by a professional before signing it to make sure your dream job doesn't turn into a nightmare.
In today's post we had Jon, the founder of Contract Diagnostics, break down the 3 Prospective Employer Contracts.
Everyone knows that all physician employers are not the same. However, when it comes to understanding the nuances of the contracts offered by different employers, it’s tempting to see them all as basically the same.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a hospital, academic setting, or a group are all going to offer the same contract terms. You may be practicing the same medicine in these settings, but your contract details can be very different.
In this post, we’ll take a look at three prospective employment situations, why it’s important to have a contract review, and some things to look for. When you are aware of the nuances of each setting, you are better prepared to understand how you will be affected by the contract for each one.
These are not the only situations where you will be practicing medicine, of course. However, they are three common scenarios. You will likely be working at one of these places at some point in your medical career.
1. GROUP SETTING
For example, you may be part of an anesthesia group where they have a great thing going. You may not need to negotiate or modify anything. Maybe the several dozen people in the group have all signed the same thing.
2. ACADEMIC GROUP
Your contract here may be something like a letter—just a few pages that are more informal than perhaps a group setting. It may contain links to policies or other documents and information. You will want to make sure to read these through.
3. HOSPITAL ENVIRONMENT
You may find that here it’s more of a high base salary. They need you more than you need them, and they will be very open for negotiating. Some things to negotiate might include the bonus, base salary, relocation amount, student loans, retention bonuses, CME amounts, schedule flexibility, non-compete clauses, and other details.
No matter what your employment setting, you still need to have the contract reviewed by someone. It’s not necessarily a case of “Here’s what you need to negotiate.” We don’t want you to automatically be suspicious of a contract, as if the prospective employer is trying to pull a fast one on you. It may be more like, “Here’s what is not said. Here’s what you should clarify. Here are the policies that I would want to read. Here are some questions that we have because if you want to leave, maybe there is no provision for termination.”
So the contract review is not necessarily a reason to think that all kinds of things need to be negotiated or changed in your contract. The peace of mind that comes from having a professional review is worth a great deal all by itself.
You will want to pay special attention to several potential items in your contract. For example, maybe it references bonuses, but you don't know how or when they will be paid, or what the metrics are. Maybe your contract references future compensation, but you don't know what the specifics are. If the contract talks about a partnership, we have a Q&A that lists several great questions you could ask around related to partnerships.
Perhaps it’s not about negotiation, but clarification. Even if a contract is not negotiable, you need to follow through on due diligence and ensure that it’s the right opportunity for you. Again, you cannot underestimate the peace of mind that comes with a professional review of your contract.
Wherever you find yourself—whether an academic setting, group, hospital, or something else—it is vital that you understand the specifics and nuances of that scenario. It is also important to do the legwork and ensure that professionals are helping you navigate the potentially confusing world of contracts.