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New doctors should have employment contracts reviewed

Completing residency is an exciting time for many new Texas doctors. Once an offer of employment is extended, many will eagerly enter into employment contracts only to discover later that the terms are not as favorable as they might have believed. Therefore, it would be beneficial to have any employment agreement reviewed by an attorney prior to signing it.

Most employment contracts are fair enough, but will often be slanted more in favor of the Texas medical facility or practice group rather than the individual doctor. Furthermore, a new doctor who has never signed one might not know what to look for in order to ensure receiving the best terms possible. After enduring residency, some doctors might not pay close attention to the schedule in their contract since "it has to be better" than residency, but that is not always the case. The agreement should indicate what shifts (day or night) and how many shifts are expected, along with specific details on what being on call will mean.

What types of insurance are provided and who is responsible for payment should also be listed, including malpractice insurance. The contract should also include what will happen if the practice group or medical facility wants to terminate the doctor's employment. The reasons for termination should be explained so that the doctor does not inadvertently violate the contract and face termination. Considering the fact that certain legal language is often needed in order to validate the contract, these and other provisions could be confusing.

Attorneys can explain the terms of employment contracts in plain language. In doing so, a doctor might discover that the provisions were not what he or she originally thought. If that happens, negotiations might be possible to modify the terms of the agreement.

Source:, "Why You Should Have a Lawyer Review Your Employment Agreement", Aug. 17, 2016

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