Medical students, residents and fellows spend hours perfecting their ability to decipher symptoms that impact a patient’s health.  Words memorized from various textbooks are turned into actions as scientific principles cross paths with real-world applications.  Seldom, however, are these highly motivated practitioners exposed to the business side of practicing medicine after their academic training is completed.  The Graduate Medical Education office at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston takes a slightly different approach.  Each year, it’s residents and fellows are exposed to a physician contract 101 discussion.  Physicians have the opportunity to discuss compensation options, restrictive covenants, business structures and termination issues.

It was a pleasure to speak to the House Staff Association yesterday.  Their questions and concerns reiterate why it is important for physicians to understand their employment contracts before signing them.