Physicians should insist on signing a formal contract prior to working in a clinic or group practice setting

The College continues to receive many calls from distressed registrants seeking advice about obligations when associations with clinics end—both from registrants leaving the clinics, as well as those left behind. The College has limited authority in matters of business relationships between registrants, and, has no authority over non-registrant clinic owners. 

The College invariably must insist that those involved do whatever is necessary to shield patients from harm or inconvenience—something that often proves very expensive. Based on this experience, the College strongly advises registrants who are contemplating work at a clinic or group practice to insist on a comprehensive formal contract and to access the assistance of a lawyer before signing it. This reoccurring issue was dealt with in greater detail in the March/April edition of the College Connector: Don’t practise without a formal written agreement. An upfront investment in legal advice has the potential to pay dividends when the arrangement ends, as they all eventually will.