Skip to main content

Contract Negotiation: New Medical Contract

  • Make sure to learn about the legal aspects of a contract

Physicians may be unfamiliar with the legal aspects of a contract, making contract negotiation a difficult part of the hiring process. Below, you can find suggestions to ensure that all parties are satisfied with the result of the negotiation.

You and Your Attorney

  1. Choose an attorney who is acquainted with medical contracts or physician employment law. A lawyer whose specialty is wills and divorces is not the advisor you need. Ask your faculty or attending physicians for suggestions for attorneys.
  2. Read the agreement and be familiar with the terms before talking to the attorney. Note the areas of the agreement you do not understand or you have questions/concerns about. Educating yourself on the terms will make your discussion with the attorney more productive and will help the attorney focus on the issues that are important to you.
  3. Ask the attorney to quote a fee up front. The fee will depend on the length and complexity of your contract, but the attorney should be able to quote an approximate charge. Review of a typical 10-page document will usually cost $300-$500.
  4. Stipulate a date by which the review must be completed. The hiring entity expects you to respond in a business-like manner, which means within 10-15 business days.
  5. Attorneys and physicians are trained to look for problems. Ask your lawyer to tell you what is good about your contract as well as what needs reconsideration.
  6. Do not let your attorney negotiate for you. Instead, request that your lawyer's questions or reservations be written. It is typically best to have a firm understanding with the other party that lawyers will not be allowed to be involved with the negotiating.
  7. Ask your attorney which items are most important. Negotiation is compromise — you cannot expect to prevail on every issue. Can you identify any dealbreakers in the contract?

You and Your Future Employer:

  1. Requesting contract changes yourself ensures that you appear stronger and savvier than you would if you had your attorney request changes for you. Arrange a time to have an extended conversation when there will be no interruptions.
  2. Negotiate only with someone who has the power to make a decision for the other side. This will not be a hospital recruiter or an executive assistant. You should speak with the administrator, the practice manager, or the hiring physician.
  3. Be prepared to compromise. Prioritize your requests and know what is most important to you. Present all of your requests at the same time to avoid excessive back and forth communication.
  4. If you must return to your attorney for further advice, let the employer know your plan and specify when you will call again.
  • Join the Physician Ambassador Program to earn additional income during training;
  • Create your free PracticeMatch profile so you can apply for jobs with a click of a button;
  • Download the Career Fair List so you can save the dates.