PracticeLink Magazine

FALL 2014

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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Page 38 of 103

W hen Katherine Whipple, M.D., fnished her fellowship in the area of Orbital and Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, she looked for a prac- tice to join in her New York state hometown. "I wanted to return to Rochester," she says—and she found a position with an ophthalmologic practice there that seemed perfect. But when that prospective employer presented her with a contract, her hopes of a hometown practice hit a snag. Salary, benefts, job description, call—everything was agree- able until she came to a section that stipulated a restrictive covenant. The clause stated that, if she were to leave the practice that employed her, she would be unable to practice her specialty anywhere within a certain radius. "A 10-mile radius doesn't sound like much," she says. "But the diameter doubles the radius, and that's a pretty big area." She asked for the restrictive covenant language to be removed from the contract, but the organiza- tion refused. "I offered not to do any general ophthalmic work if I left, but I wouldn't sign a contract that restricted my ability to practice my specialty—not in my hometown," she says. The employer refused her offer. The ability to practice her specialty where she pleased following any termination was non- negotiable for Whipple. She walked away from the position and found another, better job—still in Rochester. "This time, there was no restric- tive covenant," she says. Whipple's story should serve as a caution- ary tale for physicians looking for employment. Contract negotiations don't always go smoothly. But the more you know about contracts and what they're likely to contain, the fewer surprises you'll face. What follows are 10 things you need to know about contracts, according to health care law attorneys and physicians who have already signed on the dotted line. They offer glimpses of what you can expect to see in contracts so, like Whipple, you can prepare ahead for what your negotiables—and non-negotiables—will be. FALL 2014 | 39 10 things all physicians should understand before signing an employment contract. BY K A R E N E DWA R DS I l lu s t rated by Ada m Nick lew icz Continued Before you sign... 2014 ANNUAL Contracts & Compensation ISSUE

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