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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Confident Negotiations Running your contract by a health care attorney can go a long way in ensuring you thoroughly understand your employer's expectations and that you' ll be happy in your new practice. That holds true today as it did years ago. Internist Ronald Krablin, M.D., of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, has been practicing medicine for 38 years. However, he says his entrance into contract negotiation happened later in his career, when he began dealing with an employer instead of a partner. That's when Krablin hired Dennis Hursh, a Middletown, Pennsyl- vania, attorney who specializes in health care legal services at Hursh & Hursh and who authored The Final Hurdle–A Physician's Guide to Negotiating a Fair Employment Agreement in 2012. Hursh says most new physicians skip the contract negotiation step. He estimates that fewer than 10 percent of frst contracts are negotiated. He says that that number grows to approximately 60 percent for subsequent contracts. One reason new physicians are reluctant to nego- tiate is that they don't want to risk getting off on the wrong foot with their new colleagues. But that shouldn't hold you back from explaining that you need to seek counsel with your advisors. Another reason for such low frst-time negotiating BY MARCIA HORN NOYES Continued FALL 2014 | 61 Hospitals and employer groups retain lawyers who have spent years drafting and reviewing employee contracts. So when you receive an employment contract of your own, it's time to think about calling an attorney for help. Behind the scenes, an attorney can apprise you of the ins and outs of the contract and better explain what the document's conse- quences may mean long term. Taking this step will help you be confdent in your new opportunity, and ensure both that you know what your employer expects, and that the role is in line with your own work and life expectations. Meghan Morris, M.D., a family medicine physi- cian at Cogent Healthcare in Great Falls, Montana, stresses the importance of hiring an attorney: "If you don't have a lawyer on your side, it's like showing up to play Rafael Nadal without a tennis racquet," she says. Morris says that even though doctors may attend a few seminars on the delicate art of contract negotia- tion during their education, rarely are new physicians trained for how to handle specifc situations. 2014 ANNUAL Contracts & Compensation ISSUE Illustration by Peter and Maria Hoey

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