After training, you most probably will lean on others for your stability as a physician. However, a time comes when you have to leave that comfort zone and stand on your own two feet in the profession.
Opportunities will arise in which you need to discuss the terms of work with your employer.
You need to feel adequately rewarded for your task as a physician, yet, the employer has a budget. Here, the negotiation comes.
Below is all you need to know as you check the contract and negotiate. You could use a physician contract lawyer to understand it better. A physician contract will have the following and more:
Responsibilities and Obligations of a Physician
It is a list of duties assigned to a physician. Be keen on these. You could have more responsibilities than you expect. For instance, you could be responsible for receiving emergency calls over and above your physician roles even when off the shift.
Knowing the exact responsibilities will help you calculate the minimum compensation you can put up with.
It is the payment for your services. If this is your first contract, expect a fixed compensation plan. This means that you will receive a fixed salary.
Renowned physicians, however, could have variable compensation plans. This means that the more clients they get, the more their compensation will be.
This outlines the terms under which you can be terminated. This clause will either have a without-cause termination or a for-cause termination arrangement. The without-cause termination means that you can be sacked for no reason.
On the other hand, the for-cause termination will necessitate your employer to give a valid reason to terminate you.
This stipulates the time frame within which you have to have made a notification of leaving. This allows for the institution to have searched for someone to replace you.
Depending on the size of the practice, the notice period varies. Some will require notification of one month, two months or even a year.
Physician Contract Review
A contract review is quite critical. What could begin as a simple signature would ruin you careerwise ten years later.
It is advisable to have a contract attorney go through your contract, and even negotiate it on your behalf.
Using a contract attorney does not mean that you are not intelligent enough. It is just a way of being safe.
Most physicians are erroneous here. Their convictions lie in phrases such as these are good people, I know these people, and I do not want to start this practice on the wrong foot with my employer. Little do they know that the contract is binding for as long as one is an employee of the practice. Get someone to unravel the contact complexities.
Negotiating a Physician Contract
Offer Immediate and Honest Feedback
Speak your mind and feelings on all you are negotiating. Be instant and tell them what you agree and disagree with. On the same note, be ready to compromise. Avoid rigidity.
Prepare your Questions
You have things you need to know. Have the questions before the negotiation. Ensure they are exhaustively addressed. This way the contract you sign is easy to stick to.
Justify your Demands
Have a reason for the demands you make. It is not convincing to say that I need you to change this and that in the contract because that is what I want. Be convincing.Don’ts
Sign Any Letter Before Complete Negotiations
Avoid by any means signing documents before satisfaction in the negotiation. Take your time. Even after you are done negotiating see your lawyer for review as explained hereabove.
Demand Policy Changes
It is illogical to demand company policy to suit your contract demands. This is to say, know the limit to which you can negotiate. That way, everything ends up in a win-win situation for both of you.