87% of physicians support FTC move to ban noncompetes: Survey

About 87 percent of physicians support the Federal Trade Commission's proposed rule that would ban employers from imposing noncompete contracts, according to a March Doximity poll of 4,853 practicing physicians. 

The FTC rule was proposed in January, and it would free up most employees, including physicians, from noncompete contracts. 

About 62 percent of polled physicians report that they currently work under noncompetes, making it potentially difficult to leave for another health system. The contracts can also make it harder for physicians to pick up side gigs to supplement income, according to the report. 

Some states, including California and Oklahoma, already have bans in place on noncompete clauses, but 30 percent of California physicians and 43 percent of Oklahoma physicians who responded to the poll still report being bound under one. 

The FTC ban appeals to younger physicians the most, with 94 percent of physicians under 30 supporting the rule. Only 73 percent of physicians in their 70s support the ban. 

Endocrinologists and neonatologists are most likely to support the ban (95 percent), while ophthalmologists are the least likely (73 percent). 

A potential gap in the FTC's noncompete ban is that it would not apply to nonprofit health systems, which a number of hospitals are a part of. 

The comment period for the noncompete ban is open until April 19. 

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