Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

January 16th, 2020



Hi Jennifer, 

I received a job offer and now I am waiting on the contract.  The Chief of the department says the contract is not negotiable.  Is it worth having the contract reviewed and/or asking for anything? 

What do you think?

Dr. P


Yes, have the Agreement reviewed.  Yes, its worth asking.  

On review - you should never sign an agreement without understanding the terms.  Never.  Having a healthcare attorney assess the document for you should ensure you have any questionable provisions explained or clarified as to why they cannot be explained if they are written so poorly they need to be recast.  Also, you will get the benefit of feedback of whether the provisions in the Agreement are representative of the marketplace.   Which leads us to the second part of your question....

Negotiable?  It has been the rare instance where a contract is completely non-negotiable.  it has happened less times than I need 2 hands to count, and I have encountered thousands of contracts and negotiations at this point.  There are few guarantees in life, but I can guarantee that you will not get what you do not ask for.   How you ask matters.  If you are demanding or entitled, that may be bad for you coming into a new position.  If you are professional in your inquiry, it is doubtful that requests will be held against you.  

We can strategize on when and how to ask for what after the assessment.  I recommend you ask for a complete list, once.  Do not go back and forth with changing demands because the employer will likely gladly tolerate 1 pass.  Once you start asking for new items after the first round of requests is when you start inching towards a bad reputation at the new place.