Big Medicine would love to trap your doctor in their job, even it’s an abusive one.
It’s time we fought back. Here’s an interview we did with a lawyer who advocates for better healthcare worker contracts.
Okay, I’m gonna rant for a second about non-compete agreements in health care. Let’s say you’re a primary care doctor and you sign up at the big multi specialty conglomerate, the oligopoly that is pretty much running medicine in your town. You sign a little thing that says I will not, if I leave, I will not go work for anyone else, or myself, within a radius of so far and within such a period of time, okay. In the business world this happens all the time, in medicine it is a horrible, horrible disaster, and this is why.
You’re a primary care doctor, they’re in short supply. You work in a big organization, you want to go do something else, whether it’s direct primary care or telemedicine or you wanna go work in a retail clinic, or go work for another organization that doesn’t treat you like crap, and you want to do it in a way that allows you flexibility and the fact is your patients need you. You’ve developed relationships, you’ve had continuity, these patients trust you.
This is what happens with a non-compete. When you leave, the organization says, oh I’m sorry, your doctor’s gone. Here’s a new doctor for you. Where’s my doctor? We can’t tell you that. That’s literally how it happens. Imagine you’ve had a doctor for 10 years and they decide to leave and because of the non-compete you can’t even follow your doctor. That’s unethical, it’s disgusting, it’s just plain wrong ’cause we know that continuity in a relationship is what drives health.
So this is an unhealthy thing that these big organizations are doing. So sure, it works for Apple and Google because they’re at each other throats, it doesn’t work in health care.
The other problem is that it makes physicians feel, and believe me, I know this because friends have gone through this, it makes them feel like they’re trapped in a crappy job that they’re already suffering all this moral injury and its end stage burnout and now they can’t leave. And they’re told, well you can leave, but you can’t work for a year. Oh, someone can hire you, but they’re gonna have to pay you not to work for a year. These are physicians. They took an oath and look, we don’t have enough doctors to see the patients. Why would you codify a shortage unless you’re colluding to make it a shortage. To make sure your organization has the only leverage and is the only game in town. Do you want that in your health care professionals that they’re part of this kind of organization?
No, the American Bar Association actually advises lawyers to be very careful about non-competes. But what does the AMA do, absolutely jack nothing about it. Because they don’t represent us, right. If you’re a young doctor or an old doctor going into one of these organizations, take a look at what they’re making you sign. See if you can not sign it. And if you can’t you’ll really wanna consider because in many states you can actually fight them. Because they’re based on precedent and not necessarily statute. People don’t realize this.
So figuring out a way to fight a multi billion dollar corporation sounds painful, but it may be the only way if we all stand up together and say, “No, “these non-competes are hurting medicine, “they’re hurting doctors, but more importantly, “they’re hurting patients.”
So, do me a favor. Share this video. If you’re looking at a contract, circle the non-compete, put a big ass X through it, hand it back to whatever administrator in HR’s trying to hire you, send them a copy of this video and go, “Is there another answer?” And if there isn’t and you really wanna work for them, maybe when you’re in the organization you join the executive committee and you remove the non-compete.
And they’ll tell you, “We spent a bunch of money on marketing, we don’t want them taking the patients somewhere else, we gave them all these resources.” Just shut up and do the right thing for the patient, okay. It’s simple as that. All right guys, ZDogg out.