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Top 5 Mistakes Physicians Make When Signing a New Job Contract

— June 17, 2022

A medical contract can be daunting and if you don’t have any legal expertise, you might find yourself dealing with huge complications down the road.

Physicians are some of the smartest people out there and have a knack for making impressive decisions that could save lives. However, physicians are often not schooled in the legal aspect of life and this could lead them to make mistakes when signing a new job contract. It could even place them in a daunting position.

In this physician’s contract review, we will be looking at the top 5 mistakes physicians make while signing a new job contract. Even though legal training is not part of your course, a court will assume that you have read the contract and fully comply with what you have to.

Medical malpractice is a real thing and whether this is purposeful or by accident, understanding the contract you have signed will be imperative. To prevent you from having to deal with the courts and potentially losing your job, we have identified 5 common pitfalls that some physicians neglect when signing a new contract:

1.     Neglecting the Liability Risk

Many physicians might think that a contract is no different than that of any other healthcare professional. However, you cannot be further from the truth. Healthcare professionals have far more exposure to legal liability. This means that understanding potential issues like medical malpractice is important before signing.

2.     Failing to Understand the Expectations

If you have never worked as a medical professional before, you might be inclined to simply sign and believe you have a medical contract. While this might be true, the real issue comes from not understanding your expectations. It is often expected that medical professionals work plenty of overtime and there are certain duties like working shifts in the clinic you might need to be aware of.

3.     Not Accounting for Future Job Opportunities

Another big issue that first-time contract signers neglect is thinking of the future. Many of you might think this is the only medical contract you will ever sign. However, this is far from the truth and you might want to move to a different employer. You will have to look at the fine print as certain trade restrictions might prevent you from moving to a different employer.

4.     Failing to Understand Incentives

Man signing contract; image by Picsues, via
Man signing contract; image by Picsues, via

As a qualified physician, you might be thinking that you are entitled to huge compensation. However, this is never the case and you might notice that many of your rewards are tied up in incentives. Some of your compensation could be tied up in productivity or structured in a complicated cost metric. You must understand when and how you will be compensated.

5.     Failing to Understand the Fine Print

When you receive an employment contract, you will notice that it has been drawn up by a lawyer. The lawyer is often contracted by the employer, which means any contract will be set up to benefit the employer directly. You might want to consider having another legal expert overlook some of the possible clauses.


A medical contract can be daunting and if you don’t have any legal expertise, you might find yourself dealing with huge complications down the road. Understanding these five common mistakes could not only help you but save you from uncertainty down the line. We would recommend having a legal expert assist you.

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