Will A Prospective Employer Change its Standard Physician Employment Contract for YOU?!

I am often asked by clients whether or not and offer made to them by a prospective employer is likely to make changes to the contract presented.


I sometimes respond with a question:  “Are you the Derek Jeter of your practice?!”


Put in another way, whether a prospective employer is willing to change its contract depends upon the amount of leverage you have.  Some clients are in a positon to bring an incredible reputation to the practice.  The practice wants to be affiliated with you and your reputation.  Sometimes, a physician may bring a book of business which the practice desperately needs.  Sometimes, there are personal relationships at stake which might compel the prospective purchaser to make the changes sought by my client.  And of course, sometimes a mix of all three variables are at play.


To continue the analogy, if you enjoy a stellar reputation and your skills are in demand, then you may very well be the Derek Jeter of your practice.  If that is the case, it is more likely then not that the prospective employer will modify its contract because you have leverage with which to bargain.  The same holds true if you have a substantial book of business to bring.  


On the other hand, if you are just finishing your residency, and you have neither a stellar reputation (yet!) or a substantial book of business, the practice may not be willing to make the changes you seek.  


Consider too, the challenges of the employer.  If it is a small practice, there might be need to treat all doctors in the same way, including some parity with regard to compensation.  Otherwise, if one or more of the other physicians learn of the accommodations which were made to you, the practice morale may suffer.  Furthermore, benefits which you might request which are unique to you but not to the others can cause the same problems.  Making accommodations for you might mean that the same accommodations must be made for the other employees.  This could cause the practice to incur additional costs.


Sometimes there are more fundamental practical considerations at stake as well.  Perhaps the practice is not inclined to incur legal fees for the purpose of negotiating the contract for you.  It is easier for the human resources person who provided you the contract to simply say “no, this is our standard form” than to seek management approval and counsel’s advice.  That same person may wish to avoid being criticized by management for having deviated from the standard form.


Contact Romanowsky Law today to discuss how we can assist you in negotiating a contract which may have a profound affect on your career.