> Legal, Finance, & Billing

The Right Questions to Ask When Negotiating a Contract

At the conclusion of medical training, residents know so much about dermatology

But usually not so much about negotiating their first contract. While academic contracts are usually pretty rigid, in private practice you need to be your own self advocate. Hire a contract lawyer (once again, don’t waste time/money for academic contracts). Don’t be afraid to ask the right questions. Being well-prepared is key. The following is an abbreviated short list of examples:

  • Salary (base, collections, percentage, independent contractor (1099) vs employee (W2))
  • Hours (shifts, vacation, part/full-time)
  • Administrative support (preauthorizations, problems with prescriptions, insurance, parking)
  • Staff (own or general MA, how many rooms)
  • Patients (medical, procedure, surgeries, lasers, Botox, fillers, cultural/language issues/translators)
  • Specialists (partner with Mohs surgeon?  Dermpath?)
  • Insurance (disability group/individual, life, health, malpractice, minimum hours to get policies?)
  • Visits (patient wait time, how many patients per hour, how many do you see and expect me to see, lunch break)
  • How are profits split (overhead, practice)
  • Negatives and recent changes of practice
  • Referrals (where do my patients come from, restrictions from outside jobs)
  • Have you hired dermatologists in the past and where did they go?
  • How long is commitment/contract?
  • Other locations?
  • How do privileges change with seniority?
  • Partnership opportunities/current partners?