Updated on April 2nd, 2023
A physician letter of intent is drafted by a healthcare employer to outline the terms and conditions for a physician they intend to hire. The letter is an important step in the employment negotiation process between a physician and an employer and is essentially a job offer. The document will set the salary expectations, contract duration, start date, and duties of the physician.
The physician letter of intent is most often used after the interview process to offer a physician employment. If the physician agrees with the conditions offered by the recruiter, they may sign the document, and the two parties may move to the next steps of the hiring process.
By signing the letter, both parties acknowledge that they are on the same page regarding the terms of employment. The following information should be included in the letter.
How much pay the employer offers the physician is one of the most important elements of the letter of intent. The pay should be in line with the market rate in the area of work and with the physician’s experience and other accomplishments.
If applicable, other elements, such as a signing bonus, relocation costs, and temporary housing reimbursements should also be outlined in the document.
The letter should state how long the initial employment term will be. It should also state how many days’ notice either party must be give if they wish to terminate the employment agreement.
The completed document should also propose a start date for the physician.
The document should spell out the expected duties and responsibilities of the physician. Some common elements to include are:
- If the employee is full time, and what full time means to the employer
- How many days and hours a week will the physician be expected to work
- On-call responsibilities
- Making hospital rounds
- Hiring support staff
- Procedures they are expected to perform
Since the letter attempts to recruit a potential employee, an essential element to include will be the benefits the employer is willing to offer. Many employers will often offer benefits such as:
- Medical and dental insurance
- Retirement benefits
- Malpractice insurance and tail coverage
- Continuing Medical Education (CME)
- Life insurance
- A vehicle
- Paid time off and sick leave
Most physician letters of intent clearly state that they are not legally binding. A non-legally binding agreement will make it more likely that the prospective physician will sign the document and move forward with employment.
A well-written physician letter of intent can help recruit the employer’s ideal candidate. A physician may be approached with several offers, and a letter of intent may prove the difference in their choice of employer. Some elements to consider are:
- Brevity: A short and concise document is generally considered better since the letter of intent is just a preliminary agreement. The next stage of the hiring process is where the details are discussed.
- Signature: If the employer signs the letter before delivering it to the candidate, it shows an extra level of commitment to the intended employee.
- Non-Compete Clause: As the document is non-binding, restrictive covenants are often negotiated in the next part of the hiring process. If the hiring party wishes to include a non-compete clause in the letter, they should clearly define its terms.
PHYSICIAN LETTER OF INTENT
[EMPLOYER STREET ADDRESS]
[EMPLOYER CITY, STATE, ZIP]
[PHYSICIAN STREET ADDRESS]
[PHYSICIAN CITY, STATE, ZIP]
This Letter of Intent is made between [EMPLOYER] (the “Employer”) and [PHYSICIAN] (the “Physician”) and represents basic employment terms. This Letter of Intent is non-binding and not meant to represent a formal contract but instead relays the terms from which an employment agreement (the “Agreement”) can be negotiated in good faith.
1. TERM. Employment shall begin on [MM/DD/YYYY] and end:
☐ – On the date of [MM/DD/YYYY].
☐ – Other: [OTHER TERM].
If either party wishes to terminate this Agreement, termination must be made with at least [#] days’ notice.
2. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. The Physician agrees to provide the following Service(s):
[DESCRIBE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES]
3. WORKING HOURS. Working days and hours shall be [#] days per week, [#] hours a day.
4. COMPENSATION. The base salary under the Agreement would be in the amount of $[AMOUNT] per year.
5. BENEFITS. Physician would be eligible to receive [#] days paid vacation. Physician will be entitled to participate in a ☐ 401(k) retirement plan, a ☐ profit-sharing agreement, or ☐ other benefit plan (listed below).
Other Benefits: [OTHER BENEFITS].
6. INSURANCE. Employer agrees to the following insurance coverage:
[LIST INSURANCE COVERAGE]
7. CME/PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS. Physician shall be entitled to attend continuing medical education courses, seminars, and professional meetings as may be required to maintain Physician’s license and board certification or to maintain Physician’s technical sufficiency. The Employer shall provide Physician with a $[AMOUNT] CME allowance and $[AMOUNT] for professional meetings.
8. CONFIDENTIALITY. All negotiations regarding the employment contract between the Employer and Physician shall be confidential and are not to be disclosed with anyone other than respective advisors and internal staff of the Parties and necessary third (3rd) parties.
9. ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
[ADD ANY ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS HERE]
10. GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed under the laws in the State of [STATE NAME].
Employer Signature: ___________________________ Date: [MM/DD/YYYY]
Print Name: [EMPLOYER PRINTED NAME]
Physician Signature: ___________________________ Date: [MM/DD/YYYY]
Print Name: [PHYSICIAN PRINTED NAME]