While the hiring process for some jobs is pretty cut and dry, this isn’t the case for physicians. The interview process is lengthy, as is the employment negotiation process.
To ensure that a physician is protected financially and professionally, most will have a contract review lawyer review the terms of their employment contract before signing.
This is a wise course, but how can you ensure you get the best outcome from this process?
Here are five ways:
1. Hire an Experienced Team
While most physicians would contact a contract lawyer to review their employment contract, being legally protected is only half the purpose of having your contract reviewed.
You also want to ensure that you are financially protected. To effectively do this, you’ll want to have a financial planner on your team, too.
It’s important to find experienced attorneys and financial planners to handle your contract review as well.
The more contracts they have handled in the past, the more in tune they will be with what to look for and common red flags.
2. Communicate Your Desires
For your contract review team to fully represent your needs, they need to be made aware of them.
What is good for one physician may not fit the life of another. The priorities and values of one physician can greatly differ from another.
For example, a doctor with a family will have different expectations than that of a doctor who has just entered the workforce and is entirely different from one who is nearing their last decade of practice.
Of course, personal preferences can also come into play.
These can’t be determined by your personal circumstances, so you’ll have to clearly communicate these to your attorney and financial advisor so that they can rally for you on these desires in your employment contract.
3. Get a Guarantee
Your employment contract review, its agreed terms, and the time it takes to complete can greatly impact your future, so it’s important to look for a guarantee from the contract review firm.
If they can’t provide a written guarantee that they can secure you an employment contract with benefits that will cover well over the price of their services in a timely manner, you should probably look elsewhere.
The best firms aren’t afraid to back up their work with a guarantee.
4. Don’t Forget the Many Situations that Require a Review
It’s expected for a physician to enlist the help of a professional to review their contract before signing to enter into a new position. However, many more situations require a contract review.
Physicians should have an attorney help them through the process of renewing or renegotiating an existing contract. It’s important to have the new updates and terminology to the contract reviewed for errors or omissions.
Don’t assume that your employer has included the exact terms that you’ve agreed with or assume that they haven’t changed the terms before you renew your contract.
This is also true when your employer is making any changes to your compensation or benefits of employment.
Many physicians don’t know this, but it’s also important to hire an attorney to protect you when exiting an employment contract.
The Right to Terminate clause in your employment contract can have certain requirements to follow to make exiting your contract legal and protect you from a breach of contract.
Negotiating this exit with your employer can be a big headache and leave you owing a repayment of sign-on bonuses or some other fee.
5. Aim For Flexibility
Some aspects of your employment contract need to be cut and dry, such as your compensation and benefits, but other terms should include some flexibility.
Instead of aiming for concrete guarantees for certain employment agreements, some terms are best left with more flexibility.
A good example of this is your ownership and partnership options. Neither you nor your employer may think of this, but circumstances can change, and you will want your bases covered just in case.
Restrictive covenants are another great example. Allowing for some flexibility in this area can make your future employment opportunities much easier to achieve.
Negotiating this flexibility is an art. Having a professional on your side makes it much more successful.
The first step to protecting yourself financially and legally as a physician is to have a team on your side that can help you navigate the ins and outs of negotiating your employment contract.
Then, you need to make the most of this process by following the five tips above.