December 4, 2014
Whether you are thinking of hiring or you are still in training awaiting your first offer, contract season is almost entirely upon us. I say "almost entirely" because I know some early birds have already been presented with and signed on for next year, but really contracting season begins just after the New Year. In preparation, since in my experience work slows in the next week or so, only to pick up again the first or second week of January, I thought it time to give you a head start thinking about some basics as we enter this year's season. Because I am taking today to discuss this topic generally, and not specifically approaching from either the employer's end or employee's end with particularity, I'll reserve comment to the general process from each side.
For employers, whether to hire or not is a very difficult position - some employers take the approach of, if there is some extra work available, more will come once I have another professional employee, and we can now accept additional patients - if we hire, the patients will come. Others wait until the need is beyond obvious - working 90 hours per week trying to fit it all in, waiting far too long and often without the ability to delegate to a much needed associate. Hiring under either scenario is always difficult, because each has different risks. Under the first circumstance, will there be enough work to support another mouth to feed? How will I structure compensation? Under the second circumstance, will I comfortably be able to delegate and trust the new hire (also applies to scenario 1)?
Under either employer circumstance, there is a need that may be filed by bringing on another practitioner. Prior to doing so, it is important to evaluate your comfortable pay structure, benefits, and what sort of restrictions we want to hold the employee to, and these elements must be documented by a properly drafted contract for presentation to the new hire in order for the professional to be properly brought on board. Employment contracting is not a "Do It Yourself" endeavor, you will need to work with your healthcare attorney for assistance, which does not need to be a major event. Our office typically prepares and finalizes contracts in a matter of a few hours.
For potential employees entering the mix, specifically to our resident and fellow readers, my recommendation is take the next few weeks, in particular, the holidays (if you have some free time!) and really think about the environment that works best for you, so you can prepare for interviews with a bit of introspection complete - are you a team player? Do you work better on your own? Are you looking for a large institution with the possibility for research and academia exposure? Do you or would you possibly like to train others? Are you entrepreneurial looking for an outlet you can thrive and be creative in? Answers to these questions will tell you more than you think about where you want to be and the right fit. Unfortunately, many of us do not ask these questions. We are just so excited to have finally finished our 30 years of education and cannot wait for that first pay check that we forget the decision we are making and commitment is intended for the long haul - which is why MANY employees do not stay at their first job, and oftentimes are NOT happy with their arrangements. An additional comment for employees, your contract is a binding legal document and should not be finalized (or even negotiated) without the assistance of your healthcare attorney. Certain terms that will most certainly be included in your contract will have a lasting impact on your ability to potentially practice elsewhere and on your monetary position should you leave your job. Make sure you have your contract reviewed.
For assistance from our firm for a review, contact Jennifer. We charge a flat rate of $500 for contract review for all residents and fellows leaving training (we do charge on the clock for negotiation after the review, for which there is absolutely no commitment on your end to engage us for, and would be decided after the review). If you have multiple contracts you want us to look at, we will discuss pricing with you on an individual basis.
Looking to bring value to your residency program?
Contact Jennifer to schedule a talk for your residency program in early 2015
Our office is currently scheduling for 2015 Residency Program talks - AM and lunch time programs.
If you would like us to visit with your program and present on employment contracts, contact -
We recommend an hour for the presentation, during which we can take questions through out or leave time at the end.
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