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Offer letter vs Contract

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  • #16

    i remain convinced that if you are working for a university and you’re not someone who is going to be doing weird stuff a contract isn’t that big of a deal.

    they are usually forms where your name is just written in. room for negotiation if you are a hospitalist, anesth, ER doc seems minimal to non-existent.

    in 11 years in academics i have never heard of a major contract dispute, especially not for a hospital-based specialty. if you want to leave you leave, if they want you gone they’re going to find a way to do it no matter what is in your contract.

    maybe i should be more paranoid about this but i’m just not. would feel very differently about joining a small democratic group or a practice that owned a building or something like that.
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    I hear what you are saying but the range of non competes is so huge that it’s difficult to know what to worry about.

    Let’s say that you can be fired without cause but there is a two year non compete that is still in force.  Let’s say the specialty is such that you have to relocate your family because the non compete prohibits you from working in a 25 mile radius of any hospital owned by the larger corporate parent.  Is that something to be worried about?

    agree that if the system wants you gone, you will be gone.  And better to go with a voluntary separation than have to write that you were fired.  Better to go without them collecting evidence supporting a firing.

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    that’s fair but i doubt NC clauses are enforced much on hospitalists, ER docs, anesthesiologists etc.

    i could be wrong on this just haven’t seen too much to make me worried.
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    fwiw, all our physicians, including hospitalist, ER, anesthesiology, radiology have noncompetes.  every multispecialty private practice i have worked at did.  it may be less so in the employed model, but i'm sure it varies from state to state based on what the state permits.




    • #17

      It has surprised me how many of our financial planning clients have only an offer letter spelling out the terms (we always ask for the contract), one a cardiologist who has worked at Baylor for decades. So, you may not get a formal contract, although it’s helpful as offer letters omit many details that contracts stipulate. otoh, not committing certain aspects to writing leaves the position open for flexibility for both parties.

      I can relate that to the CPA profession. It’s always document, document, document. But when it comes to an IRS audit, you may wish there were a few things you didn’t document.
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      I think the decline in contracts has gone hand-in-hand with the decline in ability to negotiate contracts.

      A big part of my job is helping our senior residents navigate the job hunt and I can tell you that the idea that "every contract is negotiable" is simply not true at least for EM docs. The BATNA for the big hospital chains and/or mega-groups is "best of luck in your future job search."