The Human Cost of Non-Compete Clauses

podcast Mar 25, 2021

Understanding the other side of a negotiation is important in our ability to present our value, and come to an agreement that serves both parties. But there’s one part of a physician contract that does no favors for a physician, and that’s non-compete clauses. 

A non-compete is nothing more than a greed-based legal clause that at best guilts you to stay in a job, and at the very worst keeps you handcuffed to a toxic work environment even after you’ve left the position. 

Non-competes don’t just hurt physicians, they also compromise the communities doctors serve and the patients themselves. The truth is, any conversation on physician wellness and mental health is meaningless if we aren’t addressing these restrictive barriers that stop physicians from doing what they do best. 

What are the components that make up non-competes, and how do we navigate them to make them less restrictive? How do these clauses create suffering? 

In this episode, I talk about non-competes, how to negotiate around them, and why we have to get rid of them at a systemic level. 


Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode 

  • The components of non-competes we need to pay attention to
    When it comes to details like what the non-compete pertains to in terms of your specialty or area of focus, and the areas they cover, anything on the vague/broad end will be less favorable. You want these parts of the contract to be as specific as possible because that gives you more options.  

  • How non-competes differ by state
    Every state has specific laws when it comes to non-competes, some enforce them more harshly while others prohibit or try to limit them. It’s important to talk to a physician-focused contract lawyer who can give you clarity on the non-compete laws in the state you’ll be practicing in. 

  • The goal we need to have when it comes to negotiating around a non-compete 
    There’s a wide degree of variation in non-compete clauses and you want to be aware of this before you sign them. The goal is to negotiate the non-compete to be as least restrictive as possible or to even negotiate it away in its entirety. 

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