physician and recruiter shaking hands over a contract with a pen getting ready to sign
physician and recruiter shaking hands over a contract with a pen getting ready to sign

10 tips when negotiating physician contracts

Read PracticeLink articles by Megan Trippi
Megan Trippi

Table of Contents

Your job is vital to provide care to your community. The process of negotiating your physician contracts is a pivotal step that requires careful consideration and strategic planning. Knowing the art of negotiating physician contracts is essential to ensure a mutually beneficial agreement.

Understanding physician contracts

Your offers and physician contracts serve as the cornerstone of the relationship between you and the organization. They outline the terms and conditions of employment, covering vital aspects such as compensation, responsibilities, benefits and more. A well-negotiated contract not only clarifies expectations but also establishes a strong foundation for a successful and productive partnership.

  1. Research

Before entering into contract negotiations, perform your due diligence. You should familiarize yourself with the specific healthcare facility, its reputation, and the expectations associated with the role.

  1. Communication

Effective negotiation is rooted in open and transparent communication. Clearly express your expectations, concerns and needs and articulate your preferences and any special considerations.

  1. Compensation

Compensation is a critical aspect of physician contracts. You should receive a competitive salary or compensation package that reflects your experience, specialty and the regional market. This package can include base salary, incentives, bonuses and benefits.

  1. Schedule

Your workload, including patient load and call schedule, should be clearly defined in the contract. Both parties must agree on realistic expectations to avoid misunderstandings and prevent burnout. Balancing patient care with a sustainable work-life balance is key.

  1. Practice

The contract should outline your scope of practice, detailing the medical services you are expected to provide. This ensures alignment between your expertise and the facility’s needs.

  1. Contract length

The contract’s duration and potential for renewal should be specified. This provides stability for both parties and allows for adjustments based on performance and changing circumstances.

  1. Noncompete clause

You may be asked to sign a noncompete clause to protect the organization’s interests, preventing practice within a certain radius or timeframe after contract termination. Carefully review these clauses to ensure they do not hinder future opportunities.

  1. Insurance

Liability and malpractice insurance coverage should be addressed in the contract. You should understand the extent of coverage provided by the facility and whether additional coverage is necessary.

  1. Termination clause

The contract should outline the terms for contract termination by both parties, as well as any notice periods required. A well-defined exit strategy helps mitigate potential conflicts in case the partnership does not work out.

  1. Legal review

Both parties should seek legal counsel to review the contract before finalization. Attorneys can ensure the terms are fair, compliant with regulations and protect the interests of both parties.


Negotiations require a spirit of compromise. You should approach the process with a willingness to find common ground. Flexibility in negotiations often leads to outcomes that satisfy both parties and foster a positive working relationship.

Negotiating physician contracts is a collaborative process that demands careful consideration and mutual respect. Remember, a well-negotiated contract is not just a legal agreement; it’s the foundation for a promising partnership.

Read PracticeLink articles by Megan Trippi

Megan Trippi

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