It’s that time of the year when many physiatrists are considering a contract. There are many parts of the PM&R contract that maybe negotiable so take the time to review the contract for items you may want to negotiate.  Also many parts of the contract may require further delineation to protect you.

Contract Term

Beyond stating the actual term of the physical medicine and rehabilitation contract, what are the terms for continuation and termination?  Usually the time of the term is stated in the beginning of the contract and then you have to look elsewhere, often at the end of the contract, for more information.  What happens at the end of the physiatry contract term?  When will discussion about contract continuation occur?  If renewed, will the contract include the same terms or be open to discussion about new terms?  Watch for requirements placed upon you to, for example, live within a certain radius of the hospital, carry a specified dollar or type of malpractice insurance, abide by “current and past policies” (what are they?).   Most contracts have language to the effect of “may be terminated immediately for professional misconduct.”  What does this mean? Make sure the terms of termination are not one-sided.

A great resource may be found at Physician Employment Contracts – American College of Physicians

A letter of intent is not a substitute for a PM&R contract.  The bottom line of contract negotiation is that you have your lawyer review the contract.  Some physiatrists use their lawyer as their negotiator.  I think it depends on your comfort level with the contract and contract negotiation and if your employer is using a lawyer as its representative.  Our website,, lists some lawyers under the Resources tab.

More information about physiatry contracts will follow in subsequent posts.