How to Negotiate a Physician Employment Contract

How to negotiate a physician employment contract? 

If you’re a physician, you’ve spent much time learning, training, and working hard to reach your professional objectives. But even after all that work, you might discover that signing a physician employment contract is still necessary for your career development. Understanding the different physician compensation models can significantly affect this process.

After all, this contract will outline your employment conditions, including your pay, benefits, responsibilities, and more.

Negotiating a physician employment contract can be difficult; let’s face it. While you want to ensure you get the most terrific deal, you also don’t want to alienate others or jeopardize your reputation in the business world. What is the best way to strike the correct balance?

This blog post will delve further into negotiating a physician employment contract. We’ll cover everything from being ready for the negotiation to sealing the transaction and others. Websites like American Medical Association (AMA) and Medscape offer great resources to help physicians navigate this complex process.


What Is a Physician’s Contract

A physician and their employer, such as a hospital or medical organization, have a legally binding contract. It describes the doctor’s employment terms and conditions, such as pay, advantages, duties, working hours, etc. Outlining each party’s obligations and expectations safeguards the contract for both the physician and the employer. It also has language about non-compete agreements, termination of employment, and other significant information.

Both sides should thoroughly evaluate the conditions of the physician contracts and make negotiations to ensure they are fair and reasonable for both sides.

Types of Physician Contracts

Employment Contract: A doctor who signs an employment contract is regarded as an organization employee. This contract frequently includes salary or hourly wage, benefits, and other compensation packages. The employer is in charge of performing administrative duties, including billing and coding and providing malpractice insurance.

Independent Contractor Agreement: A physician may operate independently and retain control over their schedule, patient care, and billing under an independent contractor agreement. The doctor oversees their administrative duties and malpractice insurance, but they may have more freedom and control over their practice. The payment for independent contractors often follows a fee-for-service paradigm, with the doctor charging the healthcare organization separately for their work.

What Should I Look for in a Physician Employment Contract?

When reviewing a physician employment contract, there are several key areas you should pay close attention to:

  • Salary, bonuses, and benefits: It includes health insurance and retirement plans are all part of the compensation package.
  • Job obligations: The contract should specify your responsibilities and goals in detail.
  • The number of hours to work: Pay attention to the hours you are expected to work and any on-call or weekend work requirements.
  • Termination clauses: The agreement should specify the conditions for termination and the process for doing so.
  • Non-compete clauses: These terms prevent you from working for a rival company after leaving.
  • Malpractice insurance: Verify that the contract clearly states who is responsible for covering malpractice costs.
  • Continuing education opportunities: The contract should state whether the company will pay for continuing education opportunities out of pocket or give them.
  • Moving costs: If you’re moving for the work, ensure the contract outlines who is responsible for covering the moving costs.
  • Future possibilities: Consider whether the contract permits development and promotion within the company.

It is essential to carefully review and understand these areas and negotiate fair and reasonable terms for both parties. If necessary, seek the advice of a legal professional to help you navigate the complex details of the contract.


Physician Employment Template

A pre-written agreement called a physician employment contract template outlines the terms and conditions of a doctor’s employment with a healthcare institution. The form often includes sections on wages, duties, working hours, termination terms, restrictive covenants, continuing education, and liability insurance, among other things.

It can be simpler to negotiate the terms of the agreement if you utilize a physician contract template since it gives you a place to start talking about things and ensures all the crucial points are covered. It may be necessary to customize each physician’s employment contract to satisfy the physician’s and the organization’s individual demands; therefore, whether you’re considering traditional clinical roles or exploring non-clinical physician jobs, keeping these factors in mind is crucial.

One may consult a legal expert to examine the template and make any required adjustments to ensure the contract is just and enforceable. The physician and the healthcare facility should study and sign the final physician employment contract.

Restrictive Covenants in Physician Contract

Contract provisions known as restrictive covenants limit physicians’ capacity to practice medicine after leaving an organization. Typical restrictive covenants include non-compete agreements, which forbid the physician from working in the same region for a predetermined amount of time, and non-solicitation clauses, which prohibit the physician from approaching previous clients or staff members.

Restrictive covenant’ enforceability varies from state to state, and courts typically interpret them as trade restrictions. Restrictive covenants must be fair in duration, geographic reach, and breadth.

Understanding the limitations imposed by restrictive covenants in employment contracts is crucial for physicians because they can significantly affect their ability to practice medicine after leaving the company. A physician may be able to negotiate changes or seek legal counsel if they believe the restrictive contractual covenant is too demanding.

Doctors should carefully review the restrictive covenant in their employment contracts, and if necessary, they should get legal counsel to ensure they fully grasp the ramifications of these clauses.

Key Steps on How to Negotiate a Physician Employment Contract?

Negotiating a physician employment contract involves several key steps:

  • Know your worth: To ascertain your value and what you should demand in the contract, examine industry norms and trends, your educational background, and your professional experience.
  • Make a plan for your negotiations: Decide what you want from the contract, what you’re ready to give up, and your overall position. It will aid in keeping your attention throughout discussions.
  • Review the contract: Read the contract carefully and comprehend the terms before you begin negotiating. Make a note of any clauses you want to broach or bargain.
  • Create a relationship with your employer: Effective communication and relationship-building can assist in guaranteeing a successful negotiation. Consider your employer’s point of view and look for areas of agreement.
  • Consult a lawyer: An adept lawyer may assist you in comprehending the legal complexities and your rights in the contract.
  • Negotiate: When making your point during negotiations, be concise and transparent in your words. Be willing to compromise while also maintaining your position on crucial subjects.
  • Ensure to include all the terms in the final contract: Both parties should sign and adequately execute it when they reach a mutually agreeable agreement.

Overall, negotiating a physician employment contract can be a complex process. Still, by being prepared, informed, and professional, you can achieve a fair and reasonable agreement that benefits you and your employer.

Physician Contract Negotiation Lawyer

A lawyer who assists physicians in negotiating their employment contracts is a physician contract negotiation lawyer. These attorneys can advise on the essential components of a physician employment contract, including pay, duties, working hours, termination clauses, restrictive covenant, continuing education requirements, and liability insurance, among other things.

They are well-versed in the laws and regulations governing physician employment.

Working with a lawyer specializing in physician contract negotiations upholds physicians’ rights and helps guarantee that the contract is reasonable and enforceable. They can examine the proposed agreement, point out problematic areas, and offer suggestions on bargaining for more advantageous terms.

They can also provide advice on how to negotiate the contract and aid the doctor in comprehending the costs and benefits of various compromises.

In conclusion, hiring a physician contract negotiation attorney can be a wise investment for doctors because it will safeguard their rights and interests throughout the employment contract negotiation process.


How to Choose a Lawyer to Review Your Physician Employment Contract

Choosing a lawyer to review your physician employment contract protects your rights and interests. 

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a lawyer for this task:

  • Experience:  You should seek a lawyer with experience analyzing and negotiating physician employment contracts. They should be capable of offering insightful commentary and guidance and have a solid grasp of the related legal and financial difficulties.
  • Specialization: Consider hiring a lawyer with experience in healthcare law who knows the rules and legislation affecting doctors and healthcare facilities.
  • Reputation: Select a lawyer with a positive reputation within and outside the legal community—request recommendations from dependable coworkers or trade associations.
  • Communication: Make sure your choice of attorney has excellent communication skills and can clearly explain complicated legal jargon and concepts to you.
  • Availability: Consider the attorney’s accessibility and responsiveness. Working with someone who will be accessible to respond to your inquiries and resolve your worries on time is essential.
  • Cost: Take into account the lawyer’s fees and whether they are in line with your budget. Remember that investing in a quality attorney can pay off long-term.

When choosing a lawyer to examine your physician employment contract, take your time to locate the best fit. A competent attorney can safeguard your rights and interests and ensure you negotiate a fair and advantageous deal.

Physician Employment Contract Agreement Checklist

When drafting a physician employment contract, one must consider several essential factors. The physician employment agreement checklist aims to guarantee that the contract protects the physician’s rights and addresses all pertinent issues.

The following items, among others, ought to be on the checklist:

  • Compensation: It includes details of the physician’s salary, bonuses, and benefits.
  • Job responsibilities: A clear outline of the physician’s duties and expectations.
  • Hours of work: It refers to the number of hours the physician is expected to work, including on-call or weekend requirements.
  • Termination provisions: The circumstances under which the contract can be terminated and any severance or compensation details.
  • Restrictive covenant: These are any non-compete or non-solicitation clauses restricting the physician’s ability to practice medicine after leaving the organization.
  • Continuing education: Details of any continuing education requirements or support the organization provides.
  • Liability coverage: It is the information on the organization’s type and amount of liability coverage.

It is crucial to analyze each item on the checklist thoroughly to ensure that the physician employment contract satisfies their needs and protects their rights. Consult a lawyer if necessary to make sure the agreement is fair and enforceable under the law.

Tips for Successful Contract Negotiation

  1. Prepare thoroughly: Research the market, and understand your worth and priorities.
  2. Hire an attorney: Legal expertise can be invaluable in protecting your interests.
  3. Be flexible: Be open to compromise, but be firm on your non-negotiables.
  4. Communicate clearly: Clearly define your goals and expectations.
  5. Consider the long-term: Consider the agreement’s potential impact on your plans and career.
  6. Know your bargaining power: Consider your experience, credentials, and market demand.
  7. Get it in writing: Have a written agreement that clearly outlines the terms of the arrangement.
  8. Review regularly: Review and assess the agreement regularly to ensure it meets your needs.
  9. Be prepared to walk away: Be prepared to terminate negotiations if they are not in your best interest.


Act morally and professionally during negotiations and refrain from making irrational demands or using manipulative tactics. It can support sustaining a positive connection and fostering trust for upcoming negotiations. Always keep in mind that a successful contract negotiation benefits both sides.

It’s essential to remember that contract negotiations are two-way conversations, and both parties should work to reach a win-win solution. One may achieve a good contract negotiation for all parties by maintaining open lines of communication, acting with transparency and respect, and keeping the more outstanding picture in mind.

About Us:

We are committed experts in the field of Physician Contract Review, proudly serving the medical community through our platform at Physician Contract Review. With a profound understanding of the healthcare industry’s complexities, we provide comprehensive contract review services tailored to physicians’ unique needs. Our team of experienced legal professionals ensures that every aspect of your contract is clear, fair, and beneficial to your career. To learn more about our services or to book a review, please contact us today.

Scroll to Top