Physician Contracts: Negotiate and Sign With Confidence

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Whether your contract is up for renewal or you’re considering a new position, being up to date on the physician employment contract process will ensure that you can negotiate and sign with confidence.

Dennis Westlind, managing partner with Portland-based Bullard Law, spent seven years as senior labor and employment counsel for Providence. He offers physician contract negotiation tips and shares what pitfalls to avoid.

Physician Contract Negotiation Tips

“Being in a position to negotiate is a good thing,” Westlind says. “You might now have an expertise that’s a hot commodity. But, commensurate with that, employers may expect a different level of performance.” Whereas earlier in your career, you could negotiate things like start dates, vacation time, moving expenses and sign-on bonuses, you may now be in the position to ask for more in terms of salary and support.

Remember the Following when Heading to the Negotiation Table:

  • Do Your Homework

For example, if you hope to bargain based on productivity or patient satisfaction scores, bring your records. “Don’t show up with a negotiation position you can’t back up with proof,” Westlind says.

  • Get All Promises in Writing

If you are taking a job based on a promise made by an employer, make sure you get that promise in writing and that it’s clear and enforceable. “Employers often make promises about referral patterns or pipelines, and physicians may use these promises to estimate their potential earnings,” Westlind says. “When these promises don’t materialize, that’s when we see disputes and litigation.”

  • Consult an Attorney

The stakes get higher as you climb the career ladder. This is especially true for physicians in clinical faculty positions, which can include multiple contracts. An attorney can offer advice and give you peace of mind. Westlind also offers four common contract pitfalls and surprises. Check out the full article to learn what they are. Want to discuss your career options with an expert Recruitment Advisor? We have those on deck at Provider Solutions & Development. We offer holistic, personalized guidance to help you find the right fit, at every step in your career. Start the conversation today.



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About Provider Solutions & Development  

Provider Solutions & Development is a community of experts founded within Providence, a purpose-driven, 51-hospital health system, over 20 years ago out of a clear need to change recruitment. Today we support dozens of hospital systems and serve physicians and advanced practice clinicians with heart, from residency to retirement, so they can do the same for their patients. With exclusive access to hundreds of positions across the nation, Provider Solutions & Development offers holistic, personal career guidance and placement that puts physicians and advanced practice clinician’s needs first. 

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