4 Crucial Considerations in Contract Negotiations

March 19, 2015


Contracts: What you don’t know can hurt you.

During medical education, we are taught how to be great clinicians and care providers, but we are not taught much about the business of medicine and how to manage our careers.  This information is critical as you finish training and prepare to enter the workforce, especially as it pertains to contracts.

Here are 4 crucial considerations to take when interviewing and considering offers from potential employers.


Relying on Oral Promises Not Reflected in the Written Contract

We all make and receive empty promises from time to time.  And during the excitement of an interview, sometimes employers become over zealous in describing their offering.  Relying on oral promises which are not reflected in the contract is like believing that  “the check’s in the mail,” or unfortunately with our profession, “This will only hurt a little.”  Make a list of pertinent discussions that take place during your interview.  Be bold enough to ask about items missing from your contract previously discussed.


Not Requesting a Letter of Intent from Employer   

If your letter of intent says an employer is going to pay you $100,000 per year, and your contract says $10,000, which are you going to get? Obviously the $10,000.  However, if something is mentioned in the letter of intent that is specifically left out of the contract, in the event of a legal conflict a judge will typically allow the letter of intent, because a contract is a “meeting of the minds” and it helps the judge determine the intent of the agreement.


Reluctancy to Negotiate   

We are healers, not hardcore business people.  And sometimes it can be difficult to ask for more than your employer is offering.  We don’t want to appear greedy or self-centered.  However, we typically leave a lot on the table that our employer would have been willing to give.  I have found that when employers make an offer, they are already prepared to increase that offer from 10-25%.  That is a big range, and in essence it is your money…or rather, it would be, if you asked for it.


Depending on non-guaranteed income

Relying on non-guaranteed income is dangerous.  Let’s recall our newly graduated resident who thought he was making $200k per year, so he buys a $200k house and a $200k car, only to find that his base pay is $120k.  That resident is in trouble.  .  Imagine the difficulty if, once you realized the difference, your employer decided to not let you moonlight at other facilities.  Now that is somewhere I don’t want to be.


Falcon can help you negotiate all of these aspects of your contract with potential employers to make sure that you get the career that you deserve. Get Started today.


Download our in-depth look at contracts, written by a physician that has learned from years of experience: 5 Elements of Employment Contracts most Clinicians are Unaware of.