The Anatomy of a Contract: Key Areas You Can’t Afford to Ignore

podcast Mar 11, 2021

In the negotiation process, we have to advocate for ourselves and work towards signing a contract that aligns with our goals and our worth. Every contract is going to be different, but there are key common areas that we, as physicians, often overlook to our own detriment. 

There are big areas where there’s room for negotiation at best, and at worst, variability that might not benefit us.  

It’s also key to understand what we’re signing, and even though our lawyers may have the knowledge, having a personal understanding of the most important components of our contracts will only improve our negotiation.  

Besides compensation, what are the other areas we need to be aware of in the negotiation? In this episode, I share some of the intricacies that go into your contract and how to navigate them. 

Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode 

  • One negotiable area we ignore on our contracts 
    There’s a fair amount of flexibility in the start date of your contract. Even as a new physician, the start and end dates of your contracts have more wiggle room and you should leverage it wherever possible.  

  • How to make sure your non-compete doesn’t work against you
    Non-competes don’t benefit the physician, they benefit the employer. But in many cases, there’s simply no avoiding them. If you’re signing a non-compete, make sure you understand it and what it entails for you. What’s the geographic range, how is the range calculated, does it cover the role you have in the organization or your entire specialty, and is there a pre-defined buyout if another opportunity presents? 

  • Why outside interests are a key area of our contracts we can’t overlook
    One of the next areas of the contract that physicians overlook is outside interests. Physicians are starting to have more outside activity to supplement their income and contracts aren’t usually designed with that in mind. It’s important to protect your inventions, intellectual property and profits.

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