Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2019 - 40

Physician Non-Compete Restrictions
continued from page 39

is the case whether the physician just received a contract for a first
position after residency/fellowship, a new lateral position, renewal
of a multi-year contract or an annual academic appointment letter.
Regardless of the circumstances, the first task is always the
same; that is, to analyze each aspect of a non-compete to enable the
physician to plan and strategize about how to grapple with it. This
requires close examination of the nature of the restricted activity,
duration of the restriction and extent of restricted area.
Language describing a non-compete should be clear and precise
so that an objective determination can be made about where the
physician could work without violating non-compete restrictions.
This is particularly important when thinking about changing jobs
and stepping carefully from one position to the next which can
be considerably more difficult with a vague or imprecise noncompete.
Non-competes that are ambiguous can cause other problems.
One is the potential loss of future employment opportunities
because prospective employers (who often ask to see non-compete
language) may shy away from making an offer so as not to risk
provoking a competitor. Another is the potential for personal
liability resulting from a physican's contractual obligation (typically
included in most employment contracts) to pay costs, expenses
and legal fees incurred by the new employer arising from the noncompete.
Once the potential impact of a non-compete has been
ascertained, consideration should be given to cogent changes that
could be made and how to go about negotiating them. Changes to
be proposed to non-competes will vary, but the mileage restriction
is one which is often the subject of discussion. In most instances,
physicians prefer that the mileage restriction be reduced. While
employers can be reticent to reduce mileage, curtailing the impact
of a non-compete may be possible by limiting locations to which
the mileage radius applies. Ultimately, the revisions requested
will depend on the nature and extent of the non-compete and a
physician's personal and professional circumstances.

40

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www.berkscms.org

Summary
The legal landscape appears to be trending toward more
restrictions on non-competes including those applicable to
physicians. Yet, because non-competes remain valid in most
states, physicians should closely review and analyze their noncompete, and consult with an attorney to ensure they fully
understand the potential impact and attendant risks.

About the Author: Karen Davidson, Esq., managing
member, Law Offices of Karen E. Davidson, LLC (www.
kdavidsonlaw.com), is a veteran healthcare attorney
in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania with over 25 years of
experience serving the legal needs of her physician
clients in business matters. Ms. Davidson is a graduate
of the Temple University - James E. Beasley School of
Law, licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, State of Maine and the District of Columbia
(inactive), and a member of the Bar Associations in those
jurisdictions. She is also a member of the American
Health Lawyers Association, Health Care Compliance
Association and the Board of Directors of the
Southeastern Pennsylvania Area Health Education
Center. Ms. Davidson speaks regularly to professional
groups providing practical insight into legal issues
in medical practice. Ms. Davidson can be reached
by telephone at 610-940-4041 or email at karend@


http://www.kdavidsonlaw.com http://www.berkscms.org

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2019

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