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Are contract reviews worth it?

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  • #16
    I completed fellowship within the last couple years and had my contract reviewed by contract diagnostics.  I thought the service was worth the money, if only to provide peace of mind.  They made a few suggestions, but really reinforced that it was a strong contract.  They also do a good job going through each section of the contract and simplifying the language for us less versed.  While no major changes were made to my contract before signing, I still feel it was worth the relatively small fee.

    I also have some experience with the other company mentioned, but that was more on the financial advisement/insurance services.  They were introduced to us through our medical school and provided good service in getting a disability policy set up.  I felt that their other services didn't fit my needs or my philosophy so I have not continued that relationship.




    • #17
      I have tendered offered to numerous physicians for our private practice group. We have all signed the same contract and while the terms (starting salary, length of partnership track) might be different at different times and for different circumstances, the contract language is the same. We are in a negotiation right now in which the person we have offered the position has requested numerous changes, from contract language to the restructuring of our retirement plan, and that was BEFORE a lawyer reviewed it. He might have negotiated himself out of the job.

      That said, I believe that the contracts should be reviewed by an expert, someone who will advocate for you, at least to explain things to you so that you can understand the terms as best you can. Relying on the employer to explain it is fraught with potential problems and conflicts of interest. Spend a couple hundred bucks; it's worth it.


      • #18
        I used Physician Advisors to review my contract and found it worthwhile.  Honestly as a resident, I felt $500 was a fair price for their service.

        In the end, they were able to negotiate the terms of the signing bonus in my favor.  I had already tried to do so unsuccessfully.

        They also provided a good breakdown of how my salary and other benefits compared to nationwide averages for physicians in my specialty.

        They answered specific concerns for what the terms are for terminating the contract or if I could be forced to work overtime - things I had been warned to be clear about by my mentors.

        Lastly, they pointed out potential concerns regarding malpractice coverage that was provided by the employer.


        • #19
          I can vouch for the Contract Diagnostics people - I used them during my last job search and with the advice and data I was given I talked up my contract $30k a year.  So I think the fee was worth it.

          Even with a cleanly-worded contract there can be points of emphasis for your particular situation or specialty.  Signing one of these contracts is one of the biggest commitments you will make, and the fees are really not that much for a high-income professional, so I would strongly recommend the peace of mind and thoroughness of having someone look at it for you.


          • #20
            Spent 300/hr with a local contracts lawyer. Felt like he took an extra hour to up charge me and in the end made very little meaningful changes. I was told ahead of time that Reviewing wouldn't earn me more.
            In the future I would probably have it reviewed for understanding but not for the price paid.


            • #21
              Final year of fellowship here and I have signed with somebody already. I had my contract reviewed for 500$ by a more local law firm. It was a contract on the simpler side and the changes I suggested were nothing too major and easily enough accepted by my employer. Definitely thought it was useful. And in any case its not as if you have to make all the changes they suggest. If nothing at least they can help you understand your contract better and might point out minor useful things if not major changes. I did it for my peace of mind too if in the future something came up, that I at least did some due dilligence.


              • #22

                Contracts for physician's are well worth it.  I know of a few colleagues that are backed up in a corner because of malignant contracts.  Everyone knows physicians are poor business people and trust everyone.  The hospital system and private practices are notorious for extending ill contracts.  There are even some clauses that require you to pay back your entire first year salary if you breach/terminate.  I don't know about you, but paying back 350K after taxes will ruin my life.   All physicians should have a contract review by a professional.  Granted, there are good ones, cheap ones, and bare minimum ones...