5 key topics to be considered in physician contracts

When writing a new contract for physician hires, there are five things that should be included, or avoided, to entice new employees, according to a Medscape report from healthcare lawyer Ericka Adler. 

1. Malpractice tail: The payment of malpractice tails can be a determining factor in physician job acceptance. Employers should include a provision that they share the cost of a malpractice tail or cover the entire cost, based on years of service. 

2. Noncompete provisions: While noncompete clauses are reasonable, they should be sure to only protect employers as necessary, and not restrict the reasonable practice of medicine. 

3. Specifics on locations and schedules: Employers should include specifics in the contract, including locations, schedules, and on-call hours, so that physicians are explicitly aware of commitments. 

4. Probationary periods: The inclusion of probationary periods, no matter how short, is offensive to most candidates and should be avoided, especially if the candidate has other offers. 

5. Acceleration of notice: Clauses that allow employers to immediately terminate physicians without pay are a red flag to potential hires.

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