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You’re only good for 90-days

What is a 90-day notice

“Only death and taxes are certain,” the saying goes. 

One, two, and three-year employment contracts with automatic renewal clauses are frequently made available to physicians. We are led to assume that we may securely make significant financial decisions based on predicted income because of the length of these contracts.  Additionally, we like to think that enduring lengthy training programs and burdensome loans has finally led to financial achievement. We read contracts in the hopes that they will be upheld.  

However, there are no assurances in medicine. The option of a facility to terminate an agreement with 90 days’ notice is discussed as a reason why physicians sign contracts that only promise 90 days of salary.   

What is a 90-day notice?  

The “Termination” clause of your contract covers 90-day notice. This section outlines the time frame that must pass before either the facility or the practitioner can end the contract. Typically, in order to end the agreement without cause, each party must provide the other at least 90 days’ notice. This could be increased in some employment agreements to 120 days or more. Independent contractor agreements might just need a 30-day notice period. For the purposes of this essay, we choose the 90-day period, which is the most typical for employee contracts. 

Since physician contracts are not guaranteed, they are only as good as the 90-day notice required to terminate a physician without cause. 

Please be aware that every agreement will have language stating how much notice must be given if a facility or practitioner decides to end the contract for a valid reason (such as criminal behavior, negligence, etc.).  Typically, a notice of 30 days or less is included. 

Most of the time, unlike professional athletes, doctors do not sign contracts with guarantees. A professional athlete might be able to miss a game while still being paid and being on the roster. That is not how medicine operates.  

Facilities compensate healthcare professionals for the services they offer, not to compete for participation awards.  Governmental organizations require hospitals to compensate employed doctors for the direct services they render. Paying practitioners to idle in the doctor’s lounge is not acceptable.  

If you don’t show up and produce to the standards of a facility, they may let you go without cause:

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Only 90 days’ notice may be given by the facility to end the contract. It’s pretty easy to do! Beyond 90 days, facilities are not required to pay a practitioner’s wage. Recognize that the payment structures at privately managed surgery centers and clinics may differ.   

The majority of physicians who work for facilities sign agreements that, once their initial term is over, are automatically renewed. Due to the 90-day clause, physicians really consent to contracts that renew on a daily basis. The agreement between the facility and the practitioner renews every day for the subsequent 90 days. To put it another way, you toil away as a doctor every day to add another 90 days to your contract.  

This is not meant to imply that all physicians who are currently employed should be concerned about an institution firing them after 90 days. It serves as a reminder that the duration of the agreement is not promised. Keep in mind that facilities may unilaterally terminate the contract earlier than anticipated. This should prompt all professionals to carefully review their employment contracts. What would happen if a facility gave you a 90-day notice when you weren’t prepared for it? 

The 90-day threshold has two disadvantages. The doctors can end the agreement just as readily as the company can. A doctor can end a contract by giving 90 days’ notice, much like an employer.  For medical professionals searching for a route out, this may be a blessing.  

Physicians must be hopeful that facilities will honor their agreement to keep them employed for the length of the contract.

If hospitals uphold their agreements with doctors, there should be a feeling of job stability throughout the duration of the agreement. However, every doctor must be informed that any contract can be shortened with just a 90-day notice from the facility.   

Conclusion: 

This is healthcare, not professional sports. Contracts with guarantees don’t exist. In the medical field, guarantees are rare, particularly for practicing doctors. This article highlighted how, despite how it may seem, an employment contract is not a guarantee. A facility may shorten the duration of the contract at any time by giving a 90-day notice of termination. Review your contract carefully and consider the guarantees. Many employed doctors are only given a 90-day guarantee.   

Victoria Brown is a successful hematologist and oncologist with a small family who has experience working directly with clients to fill in for absent employees.  

John Doe

John Doe

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