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.
Not all employment contracts for medical professionals are ironclad. Healthcare workers may be released from these contracts under certain circumstances. First, employment contracts usually have terms that allow for their termination. These clauses usually allow an employer or employee to end their agreements for cause.
Applicants for employment at a hospital, health system or medical group should do research before negotiating employment contracts for medical professionals. These agreements should contain basic but important terms.