Physicians go through a tough phase where they have to choose between opting independent practice and joining hospitals or other healthcare organizations. This decision proves to be a turning point in their medical career, so they have to weigh the pros and cons of each before taking a final decision.
After a thorough cost-benefit analysis they choose either of them. Choosing independent practice could cost them the fatigue of maintaining a complete full-time business along with their full-time job as a physician. On the contrary, choosing to work with health care costs them a one-time hustle of chalking out a contract. A contract plays a vital role in mapping their terms and conditions, salary, benefits, working hours, and other formalities.
Making a contract with insight can ease your life and the effects of a well-planned contract can only be seen in hindsight. Don’t get intimidated with the conventional rigid terms and conditions of your healthcare organization, negotiate your own physician employment contract by taking guidance from the useful tips given below:
- Know your worth
Before getting into the contract and signing an offer letter it is important to know your worth. In business terms, we call it “market value”. The first step before making a deal is to do fair research of your own market value based on your experience, expertise, and education. Underestimating your abilities can lead you to settle for less compensation which ultimately causes dissatisfaction with your job. On the other hand, overconfidence can also make your job hunt a difficult process. Doing a comparative analysis with other fellow practitioners can be helpful in making an unbiased view.
- Signing your offer letter is where you begin your negotiations
Before legally getting into the contract, a practice gets an offer letter from the healthcare organization. This offer letter gives the basic details of the job position and the other terms and conditions of the company. By signing the offer letter, you are basically agreeing to their terms that is why it is important to understand how much room there is for negotiations.
- Read it right
Don’t just give your contract a bird’s eye view rather read it thoroughly. Before blindly signing the contract, read every point carefully and understand all the clauses, terms and conditions. It is sometimes difficult for a physician practices to understand the contracts completely because of the lack of knowledge in the field. Get the services of a lawyer who can ease your way in this matter.
- Don’t let the intricate policies trick you
Employers have a unique talent of playing with words that makes some points vague which they later use in their favor. Don’t be tricked by these complex policies and understand how much authority you are bestowing on your employer. The contract is a bilateral deal that does not hand over an unbridled power to just one party but gives the right of negotiation to both the parties. Use your leverage wisely before finalizing the contract. The following clauses need to be dealt with carefully as they might impact you in the long run.
- The clauses that deal with termination and probation period.
- You need to review their restrictive covenant policies as it can strip away your liberty of practicing independently within a specific-range vicinity.
- Before signing for incentive-based compensation, make sure to understand their respective policies to avoid disappointment and conflicts later.
- Don’t undermine your main goal
There is always a goal unique to each physician that leads them to switch from independent practice to healthcare organizations. For some, easy working-hours is a priority while professional exposure is important for the others. There can be other goals as well that incentivize them towards choosing this path. It is important to prioritize these goals and make a way to negotiate effectively through the legal process as verbal clauses do not hold any value.
- Seek guidance from a professional
Undoubtedly, making a perfect contract and negotiating through your own conditions is a tricky process. The contract given by the company is made people proficient in that specific field so to understand and make your way through it you also need to get professional help. Seek guidance from an attorney specialized in healthcare contracts. They will help you understand the contract and suggest ways to negotiate your terms through legal means.
- Always have a backup plan
These processes take long to get to final decisions therefore it is always a good option to have a plan B in case the negotiations do not work out in your favor.