PracticeLink Magazine

FALL 2017

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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features 68 FALL 2017   PracticeLink.com ophthalmologist John Prenshaw, M.D., who benefited from consulting with an attorney regarding his future contract while he finished residency. You can't go wrong by getting input before you sign, whether you're looking for negotiating help or just a second opinion. So where should you turn? • A lawyer who is experienced with physicians or employment law. Ask colleagues or your alumni association for referrals. • Your medical school, which may have resources available to students. Inquire at your career services or placement office. • Prior employees of the hospital or practice to which you are going. • Experienced colleagues whom you know well, such as a professor, mentor or coworker. Remember to use discretion. Share the actual contract or personal details only with highly trusted individuals or those with whom you've entered into a professional agreement, such as a lawyer. Before you sign: Seek input from a trusted and knowledgeable resource. Mistake #2: You haven't identified what's important to you When you began job hunting, you probably prioritized your goals and preferences. Now that you're about to seal the deal, a quick review of these items is in order. The stipulations you're about to sign onto can steer you toward — or away — from your intentions. "Many times residents or fellows are so excited [about employment that] they don't think of their long-term personal goals," says attorney Philip Sprinkle, senior partner with Akerman ll P in Washington, D.C. Sprinkle volunteers to review employment contracts of recent graduates through the University of Virginia's Medical Alumni Association. "It sounds elementary, but I start each and every meeting with questions about the doctor," he says. Responses help him to identify areas of focus. For example, if either the physician or the spouse has deep ties to a region, he'll put the spotlight on the noncompete agreement. Some areas to consider: long-term career goals, outside revenue (such as public speaking or writing), family obligations, amount of debt, scheduling issues and more. And don't assume your professional needs will be satisfied. "I've had docs hired under the lure of being interventional radiologists when, in reality, the group just wants them to read film," Sprinkle recalls. "In one case, we made the equipment and the commitment a contractual requirement, which gave the doc an easy out when the group did not get it. In another case, the radiologist himself had to terminate without contractual protections, and it cost him pay and severance costs." Before you sign: Review and prioritize your goals, both personal and professional, and consider if the contract limits or supports them. Mistake #3: You haven't looked closely at insurance coverage Professional liability insurance, better known as malpractice insurance, may be one of the most important elements in a contract. Without solid coverage, your career, home, assets and property could be at risk. There are two main types of insurance. "Occurrence- based insurance covers you for claims even after you Other areas to consider The areas covered in an employment contract are numerous. In addition to those mentioned in this ar ticle, take a closer look at the following factors: • Restrictions on outside income, such as that from speaking events, books or ar ticles authored, or even non-medical sources of income, such as hobbies • Terms and conditions around bonuses • Time allotted for non-clinical obligations, such as paperwork and patient calls • Benefits package, including family leave, vacation time, sick leave, etc. • Relocation expenses, if any • Expected weekly hours, on-call expectations and holiday coverage • Primary location of employment, if multiple offices exist • Treatment of travel time, if covering multiple offices for one group or hospital • Length of employment contract, if any, and renewability • Performance reviews, raises and promotions

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