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Physicians and their Employment Agreements

I have posted in the past on the various issues and minefields facing physicians when getting their employment agreement — especially those physicians newly emerging from residency and fellowship programs and entering the so-called “real” world.

In a post yesterday on the KevinMD.com blog, “Only an attorney can operate on your employment agreement”, the author reminds physicians of the need to have a healthcare lawyer assist them in reviewing any proposed employment agreement. 

The AMA has also published materials to assist physicians in reviewing their employment agreements.

As physician practice models continue to evolve, there will be increased pressure on physicians to accept what is offered.  However, most of the time, problematic provisions are negotiable.  And even when they are not, a lawyer can help the physician understand the risks in “taking or leaving it.”

Just as regular people should not try to evaluate their own health situation without help from a physician, physicians should seek professional advice themselves when presented with legal documents.  Contracts have meaning and failing to understand what one is signing is like taking someone else’s medication.  Benjamin Franklin’s saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies to legal situations as much as to medical ones.

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