Do request a letter of intent ... Don't enter an agreement based on a handshake ...
Do request a letter of intent before receiving the contract.
Do make sure you understand all aspects of a contract before signing it.
Do ask an attorney or consultant to review your employment contract.
Do take all aspects of the contract into consideration. Factors such as malpractice coverage, bonuses, practice ownership, and restrictive covenants can dramatically affect earnings over the years.
Don't enter an employment agreement based on a handshake. Get everything in writing.
Don't sign a contract if you're not comfortable with the employer.
Don't hesitate to negotiate. Now's the time to ask for what you want. Your negotiating position will be weaker when the contract comes up for renewal.
Don't sign a "boilerplate" contract. Make sure the contract addresses your particular situation and doesn't contain unreasonable provisions, like an overly restrictive covenant.
Reprinted from Medical Economics, Jan. 21, 2005.