Should I get my Physician Employment Contract reviewed??
Every single day we commit ourselves to a contract – it can be expressed or implied. When you drop your clothes to the dry cleaner, when you send in your car for repair, when you buy a cup of coffee there is a contract involved. Some are more obvioius – e.g. you get a cell phone and commit for a year or two of service. Till now, for most of the residents, contracts are no big deal. Ninety nine percent of the time you have not been cheated. And for the rest 1% if cheating did happen – it did not do much damage. But do not bring this mindset when you step into the world of business– or the world of practical medicine–where you treat patients and practice business.
Stakes are HIGH and will increasingly be higher as you move away from your graduation date. Now the damage to your career because of a bad contract will amount to tens of thousands of dollars. And trust me, it feels like a punch in the stomach.
Should you get your physician employment contract reviewed. The answer is yes! yes and yes! You may have found your dream physician job, but if they offer you a bad contract – do not take it. Those words on 20 pages of paper can make you life miserable. And a good physician employment contract will protect you from such misery (After all everything has a brighter side to it).
Who should you get your contract reviewed from? Find a good attorney, who deals in business and contract law. Make sure he has experience reviewing physician employment agreements. Good attorneys are expensive, but the amount at stakes is also high. Sometimes paralegals, who have experience reviewing physician employment contracts may be able to do it for a cheaper price.
Location of the attorney is also important. Always try to get the lawyer from the state where the physician job is located. Most likely, law of the state where the physician employer is located, will apply to the contract. And law varies from state to state.
Where do you find such attorneys? Websites like www.findlaw.com or www.lawyers.com are good sites to search lawyers from. Also ask for references from friends and associates. Never take the recommendation from the employer himself (There is something called ‘vested interest’). If you know of good lawyers competent in reviewing physician employment contracts in your area, let me know. We may post your reference on this website if feasible.