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What should be in a medical employment contract?

An employment agreement may be ineffective if it does not address important parts of the employment relationship. All employment contracts for medical professionals should contain basic but important terms.

First, these contracts should clearly identify the employer, so that the health care professional knows how important decisions are made. It should identify the person or group the professional reports to and whether there is a board of directors or management committee. For employees, compensation expectations are extremely important. They should understand how their compensation is calculated and whether it is fair and transparent.

Identifying duties is also important. The agreement needs to state the number of days the professional is expected to work and where the work will be performed. Their on-call and administrative duties and the time associated with them are also significant terms. Professionals also have legal requirements that must be specifically disclosed. These include professional licenses, U.S. Drug Enforcement registrations, board certification and professional liability insurance.

Contracts should also contain an effective date, end date and the date that the employee begins work. Sometimes, the effective and begin work dates are months apart to allow the employee to complete training or move.

Termination terms should also clearly provide notice on termination, grounds for termination, and the opportunity to cure a breach within a certain time. Without cause terms must be clearly explained. Other important matters include non-competition agreements and their geographic and time restrictions, medical record access, binding arbitration and opportunities for partnership participation.

An attorney can help potential employees review these contracts and assist with negotiations. This can help assure that these contracts are fair and legal.

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