Attorneys Advocating For Illinois Healthcare Practitioners And Providers

Do newly graduated residents need to have their employment contracts reviewed?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | Healthcare Law

The path to a successful and lucrative medical career begins with an extensive education. Those who want to become physicians invest years and tens of thousands of dollars to become eligible for a medical license. Aspiring doctors have to obtain an undergraduate degree and then complete medical school. After that, they must complete an internship.

An internship often culminates in a job offer from a hospital or corporate medical practice. All too often, new physicians who have just finished their residency and are ready to start their careers rush into contracts with employers without evaluating the agreement first. Residents often need assistance to properly review a medical employment contract and protect themselves from predatory employment terms.

Employer contracts protect the business, not the worker

Contrary to what people often expect, employment contracts are not as evenly protective as many other types of agreements. Employers often include numerous provisions that protect the business at the expense of the employee.

Workers often make major concessions and give up important rights when they sign new employment contracts. For example, hospitals and corporate medical practices may include restrictive covenants such as non-compete agreements and non-solicitation agreements in a physician’s employment contract. The physician could then face litigation if they leave their current job and pursue another opportunity in medicine, especially if they stay nearby.

Hospitals may include unreasonably strict rules about severance packages that all but ensure physicians can’t qualify for severance pay. In fact, medical businesses often require that employees who don’t stay with the company for a certain amount of time repay any relocation benefits or signing bonuses that they received when accepting the job. They may even need to repay training costs in some cases.

A resident who has just finished their residency may need to negotiate more favorable terms, and that process likely requires the support of a lawyer. Attorneys can help those who specialize in medicine, not contracts, level the playing field when they negotiate an employment offer.

Medical professionals who are about to begin their careers want to do so in a way that maximizes their income and their upward mobility. Reviewing medical employment contracts carefully can help protect workers from unfavorable arrangements. Physicians who recognize that employers may not have their best interests at heart may have an easier time securing the best employment terms possible.