Gettin close
7+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2011
  1. Medical Student
Is it appropriate to discuss desired changes to VERBAL offers after receiving the letter of intent from a prospective employer? Im not sure as to how detailed the offer will be as compared to the actual contract. Ive read its important to begin negotiations during this phase as signing the LOI can limit future negotiations. Is this true? Should I hire a lawyer to deal help assist with negotiations or just do my research and get some help from faculty at my program? Thanks
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10+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2007
  1. Attending Physician
The only thing that matters is the piece of paper you sign. Talk is weak, ink is heavy.
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5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2014
  1. Attending Physician
This is a common misconception: You don't hire a lawyer to negotiate. You hire a lawyer so that you know what you are signing. That isn't always evident from the language of the contract. There are other state/federal laws and court decisions that define what your contract means, not what you think it says. The classic example is a"non-compete" clause; in some states they are ironclad, in other states they are unenforceable. It is not like you are going to be able to change what the contract says, but you need to know what it actually means.
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Angry Birds

Angry Troll
7+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2011
  1. Attending Physician
The only thing that matters is the piece of paper you sign. Talk is weak, ink is heavy.

Your power drops immensely when you sign something.

Your power drops even more once you've started working somewhere.

The time to negotiate is before you sign anything, and even before you give your verbal acceptance. Whatever you want to negotiated in, do it BEFORE your acceptance, written and verbal.
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Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
May 3, 2004
  1. Attending Physician
Verbal negotiations are normal and common sense. Just make sure it finds its way into your contract. Because remember this... contracts have the employer's as well as the hospital's best interests in mind...not yours. EVERY TIME.

I had a job offer with a verbal contract for a sign on bonus straight out of residency. I didn't read the contract very well and thought the new boss was good for it. It wasn't that I was being greedy you understand, I just literally had NO cash to move cross country my friend. Well, long story short... they reneged on the sign on. I threatened to back out and the guy who until this point had been the absolute nicest individual I had ever met proceeds to explode over the phone in classic Mr. Hyde style and threaten me every way from Sunday. Well, then I was really pissed and did back out.

Next job, I hired an attorney to review my contract. We negotiated a little bit and settled on something both of us could be happy with and I totally recommend doing that. I've had an attorney review most of my contracts since then though the CMG contracts are easier to read and negotiate yourself once you've seen a few of them (thought I would still recommend an attorney to review).

The problem lies in relying on your attorney to negotiate every recommended change which usually is a bit over kill. You don't want to be that employee with a million requests and bottled Fuji water on every shift. You have to become a little savvy with figuring out which things are important and which aren't... Not all attorney's are familiar with what items are important to physicians and which ones...just aren't really a big deal nor worth negotiating to have changed.

Sign ons, malpractice, tail, minimum guaranteed shifts, non compete clauses, indemnification clauses, termination clauses, compensation, etc..
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