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Typical employment contract mistakes

Studying and becoming licensed as a health practitioner is a difficult process. Some of its advantages, however, may be diminished by making these typical mistakes when entering employment contracts for medical professionals.

First, practitioners may not consider long-term personal and career goals. For example, job applicants may enter a contract that takes them away from engaging in their preferred practice activities or receiving outside revenue from activities such as public speaking or writing. A non-compete clause may restrict them from practicing in a location they choose to live and work.

These clauses may be enforceable and strictly restrict where and for how long a practitioner may work for a competitor. When entering an agreement, an applicant should fully understand its non-compete clauses and try to soften any terms that conflict with their professional and personal goals.

Professional liability insurance is often overlooked. Without this coverage, practitioners may place their assets, home and career at risk. A practitioner should fully understand the coverage that is offered and their financial responsibilities. It is also important to never assume that the offered job will be permanent. Termination details should be carefully reviewed and negotiated. These include a practical notification period, such as 90 days. Termination causes should be reasonable. Additional protections should be provided to practitioners who are relocating.

Failure to review salary and compensation structure is another major error. Typical salary-based or productivity structures should coincide with a practitioner's work ethic, interests and personality. Reviewing the structures used by other hospitals and other practices in the area may be helpful.

Overlooking other items may be costly. These include bonus terms, time allocated for administrative duties, benefits, such as leave, relocation expenses, treatment of travel time, conditions for raises and promotions and the length and renewal of the contract.

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