Physicians do not have to perform certain procedures that conflict with their religious beliefs under federal conscience protection rules enacted over 40 years ago. Religious hospitals may also have contracts restricting doctors, for example, from engaging in birth control practices at the hospitals. These employment contracts for medical professionals may also prohibit them from performing certain procedures in other practices.
Non-compete agreements have become more widely used in health care and other professions. Special attention should apply to the terms of these agreements when negotiating employment contracts for medical professionals.