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Non Compete clause

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13 years 9 months ago #20099 by txfp
I'm new to this, and found it by accident while researching how to leave my job.
A little about my situation: I'm in an awesome all woman practice,javascript:void(0)
Smile and have no complaints about my colleagues, or staff. My frustration is working for a hospital owned group with no control over my overhead, and continual pay cuts, with unreasonable expenses (65-70%) javascript:void(0)
MadI too have med-school loans, and am the primary source of income for my family. I have 2 kids, 3 and 1, and work a 4 day work week (and expect to make 4/5 the income of a full timer). (which I don't)
After negotiating my head off,lost plenty of sleep, gained 10 pounds, and feel miserable,javascript:void(0)
Guilty I have gotten no-where and have decided to leave. I am thinking of staying in the area, but have a noncompete that , although not iron clad, is still on my mind. I don't think I can handle a law-suit on top of all my financial stress.
Has anyone successfully negotiated the non-compete as a separation agreement? How much did it cost you?
If it's not worth fighting for, I will just move on, it sounds like urgent care may be the best answer.
Any insight would be helpful.

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13 years 9 months ago #20100 by Button
How restrictive is the non-compete? Is it about working a certain distance from the clinic or about taking your panal with you?

I do have 2 friends who were able to get out of their non-compete clause. But, it sounds like you are dealing with people who don't give much in negotiations. I would definitly discuss it with them though. Many employers don't like their docs leaving too pissed off as it can be hard on the clinics reputation. At least attempt to change some of the clause if possible. If it is not "iron-clad", then you might want to have your lawyer make the call for you.

Good luck!!!

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13 years 9 months ago #20101 by txfp
it's 8.5 miles(suburban), and has a non-solicitation clause too. The distance part is what is the problem. The non-solicitation part is less of a concern because I firmly believe no-one owns the patients, and they will go where they please. We can always get the medical records, but not the chart. They all have access to my website which I will keep current with my new info. That's the only good side! :)
I think I may get a lawyer to go in with me, although I hate lawyering up (it makes eveyone so jumpy :no: . It's not worth it! If they want you bad enough, they'll work with you. As a woman, the connections I make with my patients are what keeps me coming back for more. I prefer keep those connections, on my terms.
Another moment I had was when I realized NOONE is looking out for me but myself. Pretty lonely!I have great support at home, but professionally, I'm on my own. Keep asking yourself, is this in MY best interest or THEIRS? It makes the decisions easier to make, and less emotionally charged.
I'll let you know how it goes,
TXFP

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13 years 9 months ago #20102 by Dr.Heather
txfp - sorry you're going through this. You really are brave for deciding to leave, though. Good for you!

For others looking at non-competes...I did sign one, but it's a lot less restrictive. There are no distance provisions, and it basically prevents me from asking patients and staff to go with me. I am, in the contract, specifically allowed to advertize a new practice, and for staff. Former patients are allowed to follow me, but I can't ask them to.

It would probably be hard to get your practice to agree to downgrade to this, but for those looking at new practices...you may be able to get this up front.

Heather<br />2 little boys, a great hubby, and I<br />finally realized I can't do it all (at the same time, anyway)

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13 years 9 months ago #20103 by mom1st
I have no personal experience with fighting against no-compete clauses, but I also have one in my contract. I have heard, though, that they never really stand up in court. I know of people who had them in their contracts but still were able to practice in the same area. Of course, everyone's specific situation varies.

I would emphasize for you that NO ONE is looking out for you but YOU. I have also learned this the hard way and will NEVER sign another dotted line without a lawyer. Sure, they can make people jumpy, as you mentioned, but getting them a little jumpy may not be a bad idea. I would DEFINITELY get a lawyer involved, at least to review your situation. You could still deal with your group on your own (with the lawyer's advice tucked away in your head). Or if the situation is less than friendly, your lawyer can deal with them directly as you go about your life. I wouldn't go it alone, especially as the group sounds pretty demanding and manipulative. (I bet they have a lawyer on their side!!)

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13 years 9 months ago #20104 by Sally
TXFP, (I'm assuming you're in Texas) have you looked into the legal precedent for your state? One good source may be your county or state medical society. In California, where I practice, I've been told that non-compete clauses are unenforceable. There have been many lawsuits tried and settled over this issue and the courts here have sided with allowing patients to choose to see whoever they wish. I'm sure this doesn't stop employers from trying this tactic. Anyway, you may find you still have the option to leave and take your patients too. Hope it works out for you.

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