Today there are many practice settings available to doctors looking for employment, each with their own appeal and challenges. To find the most satisfying employment, doctors should decide on the option that suits them best, then carefully negotiate their physicians employment agreements before accepting an employment offer from any practice.
Since different practice settings may involve different types of physicians employment contracts, it is highly recommended that doctors work with physicians lawyers who understand these differences and can negotiate the best contract for them.
Private (Solo) Practice
Private practice is the most traditional form of practice. This is when the doctor is both the sole care provider and owner of the practice. The main benefit to this type of practice is that doctors nearly have total control over their practice. Of course, they are required to function within the rules of certain organizations such as Medicare, Tricare, etc.
There is generally no need for physicians employment agreements, although clinicians may require the assistance of physicians lawyers for other industry contracting needs. Private practice can be extremely rewarding; however, the main downside of this choice is that doctors must attract and manage all patients.
This is a medical setting where a group of clinicians together provide a range of care to all patients of the service. These settings include single-specialty groups that deal with one general area of medicine or multi-specialty groups that cover various specialty areas.
Some important benefits of joining a group practice include a common administrative staff, increased coverage for practice patients, clinical support, and financial stability. Many newly licensed doctors join group practices to help establish a name, gain experience and to receive that coveted paycheck.
There are definitely downsides to group practices, which may include salary concerns, seniority issues regarding certain benefits, and political conflicts. As such, it is important to carefully understand and discuss physicians employment contracts before joining a group.
Partnerships and Associations
Between private and group practices lie partnerships between two doctors and associations that may include multiple clinicians. In a partnership, both owners of the practice share overhead costs and assets accordingly, with the business functioning as one entity. On the other hand, associations are like private practices with separate books and assets that merely share the same physical location.
In either situation, it is important to consult with physicians lawyers to consider the right physicians employment agreements that address the different financial aspects of the partnership or association.
Hospitals and HMOs
Hospital-based clinicians may work in hospital departments or in hospital-owned medical practices and specialty hospitals, providing a number of services at either location. HMO practices are similar but cater only to members of the HMO plan.
The biggest differences between these options include how doctors are paid and by whom. Also different is access to hospital assets for those that work within a hospital-based setting.
Doctors considering either should discuss the different compensation types and other relevant concerns with attorney experienced in handling physicians employment contracts in order to have the most favorable conditions.
Locum tenens is temporary, assignment-based employment that is often only available to doctors with a few years of experience. For those able to secure these types of positions, it can provide an invaluable paid learning experience as hired clinicians can practice in different medical settings.
As always, getting the most from these circumstances depends on the careful negotiation of contractual agreements so that both parties are aware of their specific responsibilities in this type of employment situation.
Based on the options noted above, doctors can explore the settings that most appeal to them and negotiate for favorable physicians employment agreements according to how that type of establishment is run. Before agreeing to any physicians employment contracts, practice-seeking clinicians should discuss any legal documents with physicians lawyers who can help them understand the fine print!
The Stevenson Law Firm, PC
6302 W. Broadway, Suite 120
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (832) 481-4548