Tales From the Contract Review Crypt

Just as an internal medicine physician should not perform invasive procedures, a general attorney should not review or negotiate the terms of a physician’s employment contract.

I recently received a call from a physician whom utilized another attorney (general practitioner) to review and negotiate the terms of her physician employment contract. At the time, she thought all was well with her contract. It was not until she attempted to leave her current employment that she discovered the errors in the prior review. Similar to a surgery, omissions are not discovered until well after the contract is reviewed, and unanticipated pain experienced. In my new client’s case, the pain was paying several thousands of dollars. You see, she was of the understanding that she would not be liable for tail coverage upon the termination of her employment, regardless of when or the reason. It was not until she received her final paychecks and noticed the withholdings that she learned of her obligation to purchase tail insurance due to not fulfilling the initial term of her employment contract. Obviously, she was less than pleased, especially when she learned that spending a few hundred dollars for an experienced physician contract review attorney could have saved more than ten thousand dollars!

There are numerous articles on the internet noting the need for attorney review of physician employment contracts. However, many of those articles do not specify what type of attorney should be retained to review these contracts. To illustrate, it is one thing to say a person should consult a doctor when experiencing chronic chest pain or discomfort after exercise; it is another to say that the person should consult a cardiologist. If a person calls the family medicine physician and never sees a cardiologist, the person would not consult the best qualified professional for the issue presented. Similarly, when a physician retains a general practice attorney, or any attorney whom does not practice specifically in the area of representing physicians in employment contract matters, the physician is not consulting the best qualified professional for the issue presented.

There are only a few attorneys in the country substantively practicing in the area of physician employment contract review. If you are seeking an attorney to review your physician employment agreement, please consider The Holloman Law Group. We would welcome the opportunity to assist you. If you have any general questions regarding physician employment matters, please feel free to contact us. We can be reached directly by phone at 202.572.1000 or via email at info@hollomanlawgroup.com.

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