Congratulations on making it through medical school and becoming a doctor. However, now it is time to practice. And, if you are a new doctor in Pennsylvania, while you may be eager to start your career and sign an employment contract with a hospital or a practice, be careful. Before you do so, you should be aware of some potential pitfalls that could affect your future income, reputation and professional growth. Here are some red flags to look for in employment contracts and how to avoid them.
These are provisions that restrict your ability to work for a competitor or in a certain geographic area for a period of time after you leave your employer. While noncompete clauses are common and sometimes reasonable, they can also be overly broad and limit your career options. You should negotiate the scope, duration and enforceability of any noncompete clause in your contract. Make sure it does not prevent you from practicing medicine in your desired location or specialty.
Compensation and benefits
You should carefully review the terms of your compensation and benefits package and make sure they match your expectations and market standards. Some employers may offer a low base salary with a high bonus potential, but the bonus may be contingent on unrealistic or unclear performance metrics. Others may offer a high salary, but low benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plan or malpractice coverage. You should compare your offer with other similar positions in your area and industry. Negotiate for a fair and competitive compensation and benefits package.
Termination and renewal
You should also pay attention to the terms of termination and renewal of your contract. Some contracts may have an automatic renewal clause that extends the contract for another term unless you give notice within a certain time frame. Others may have a termination clause that allows the employer to terminate you without cause or notice. Make sure you understand the conditions and consequences of terminating or renewing your contract and protect yourself from unfair or arbitrary termination.
These are some of the red flags new Pennsylvania doctors should look for in employment contracts. By being aware of these issues and negotiating for favorable terms, you can avoid potential problems and secure a successful and satisfying career.