When writing a contract, there are many aspects of the position to consider. To many, salary might seem like the main - sometimes the only - reason to accept an offer, but there are other factors that play a large part in a physician’s decision to sign.
A basic benefits package can include health, dental, vision and malpractice insurance coverage. In addition to basic benefits, your offer can incorporate professional membership dues; reimbursement for continuing medical education; vacation, sick, maternity and family leave; retirement savings plans; and disability insurance. Adding fixed moving allowances or reimbursement for a percentage - or all - of a hire’s relocation expenses on top of the other benefits contained in your offer will likely place your organization ahead of your competitors when candidates compare opportunities.
Many physicians are now looking for flexible work schedules and better work-life balance, which is a great benefit to provide to set your organization apart from others.
Work Outside Practice
Some physicians will do research, teach, consult or perform other income-earning activities outside of their daily practice. If your organization allows for this, the contract should state the nature of work allowed and whether any income from it is private or part of the practice income. If a candidate feels strongly about volunteering, teaching or conducting research outside their normal practice, this could determine whether they’ll want to sign with your organization.
Many organizations will cover malpractice insurance for their employees. Some might even insure employees for a set amount of time after employment.
While it hasn’t been common to include emergency plans in contracts, we’ve seen unprecedented circumstances can arise. It may be a good idea to write in a section that outlines protocols in the event of epidemics, pandemics or natural disasters. Some physicians may need to relocate to highly impacted areas, help in other departments or change their shifts and hours.
No one can predict the future, but you can note possible outcomes in urgent and unique situations.
Choosing a contract is a difficult decision, and the details of an offer may matter now - in the middle of a pandemic - more than ever. Even if it isn’t listed in the contract, you will want to discuss practice size, flexibility and other information of the role that may not be in writing. Balance and benefits may be as important as salary to a physician during this time, so if you can’t provide the highest compensation, you can still increase your offer’s value through other aspects of the physician’s practice.