Leaving a medical practice is never an easy decision, whether it is made voluntarily or not. A physician terminating a relationship with an employer may face emotionally charged conversations, difficult financial considerations and long-term legal consequences. As you plan your exit strategy, be aware of these issues and address them proactively with your employer. This can minimize hard feelings and surprises down the road for you, your former employer and your colleagues.
Explore this issue:March 2012
With the tighter financial medical market and pressures from managed care mounting, employers are less likely to tolerate a non-productive employee. Inter-office or personality conflicts may become intolerable for an unhappy or stressed physician. Physician turnover is becoming a more common occurrence, and if not handled properly, it can be disruptive for all parties involved.
The Employment Agreement
Ideally, physician separation matters are addressed preemptively when the physician enters the employer-employee relationship and executes an employment agreement. Thus, before contemplating a move, you should always start by reviewing the terms of your current employment agreement. A well-drafted employment agreement should specify the grounds for termination, both for cause (i.e., a specific set of reasons for immediate termination) and without cause (i.e., either party may terminate voluntarily, usually after providing notice). The agreement should also specify the parties’ rights and obligations following a termination, which will likely vary depending on the basis for termination.