Hi, my name is Robert Chelle with Chelle Law, and my firm assists physicians with employment contract issues. Continuing on my series of casual conversations, today I’m going to talk about what should be in the termination letter. When a physician decides to leave a position, I find that many physicians feel like the termination letter would be a good place to air their grievances. These are all the reasons why I’m leaving all of the things that have happened to me, which I don’t appreciate. These are the things that led to me deciding to terminate the agreement. The termination letter is not the place to do that. If a physician actually believes that the employer is not following through on the terms of a contract, they should let them know in writing that the employer is in breach and generally, most contracts will have what’s called a cure period, which will then give the party a certain amount of time to fix whatever the problems are.
Medical Agreement Termination
So that would be the appropriate place to air the grievances. So to speak, in the termination letter, there should only be two things. If the person is terminating the agreement, it will likely be without cause. That means, nothing has happened that can give either party the ability to terminate the agreement immediately. Nearly every physician contract has without cause termination. And that just means, either party can terminate the agreement with a certain amount of notice to the other party. 60, 90 days is the industry standard. Sometimes it can be as low as 30, and as high as 180, but 60 or 90 is kind of the normal amount. The physician in the termination letter should just cite the specific section of the contract, which says,
I am giving you 90 days notice, my last date of employment should be on this date. And then, the physician needs to make certain that the termination letter follows what would be called a notices section. So, in any physician contract, there should be a section called either notice or notices, something like that, that states how the physician can give effective notice, meaning who and how do you properly send some kind of notice too. And in that section, it will state, these are the ways that you can give proper notice. It could be certified mail, hand delivery, email, or fax. Most places do not allow emails or faxes. It’s either some kind of registered certified letter through the post office. Almost all of them accept hand delivery in some way. Then, they will list where and to whom the termination letter needs to be sent.
Physician Employment Contract Letter to Terminate
If it’s a small physician-owned practice, then it will likely be the owner of the practice. And then the address would simply be the address of the practice. If it’s a large corporation, hospital, health network, or something like that, then it’s likely you’ll have to send a copy to the CEO or COO, and to whoever their general counsel is as well. I’ve had a couple of situations where I’ve had someone contact me after the fact that they failed to give proper notice. They just either told their boss or sent an email and the employer sat on it for 30 days. They didn’t say anything to the physician. And then, they came back to them 30 days later and they said, Dr. Smith, you did not give us proper notice. Therefore you owe us another 60, 90 days after you give us proper notice.
Physician Contract Review for Agreements
They did that because they were mad at the physician. They knew it would likely screw with his next job opportunity and the start date. So, it is highly important that the physician makes certain that they’re following: one, what’s in the without cause termination section and then two, what’s in the notices section of the contract. To summarize, the termination letter is not a place to list all of the problems that the physician had. You thank them for your time. You tell them the termination section that you’re relying upon to terminate the contract, and then you’re gonna send it to the place that’s listed in the notices section. And that’s it. There’s absolutely no value in putting anything more than that.