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Contracts and collusion

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  • Contracts and collusion

    Hello,
    I am an upcoming residency graduate in July 2021 in high paying speciality. I am pretty deep into job negotiations right now and am very close to getting a some written contracts. I am talking to multiple practices in my area. I am wondering, can these practices talk about me to each other? Can one say, "Hey, let's only offer XXXX"? Is this type of collusion legal?
    Thanks for any input

  • #2
    Yes, it is illegal for employers to collude is such a manner.
    https://www.americanbar.org/groups/b...eping_current/
    I think that some physicians are legally illiterate so I imagine that it does happen sometimes. I imagine that part of the problem is proving collusion rather then just competition and not wanting to offer much more then what the person across the street is offering.

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    • #3
      Be aware, that does not prohibit market pricing. The big law firms actually publish starting salaries in an office. Funny how virtually every law firm offers the exact same amount. I guess it is just a coincidence they all have the same amount.
      https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/...-salaries.html
      Public accounting firms do the same. Survey data can be arranged to be shared in a manner that is not illegal. I doubt the competitors talk directly about the specific recruit, but that does not mean they don't scout competitors.

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      • #4
        How on earth would one practice police the other in regards to their restricted compensation?

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        • #5
          Not sure if it's legal, but I've heard of one pathologist getting burned for dragging out negotiations between two employers of the same town. Not at all implying that's what you're doing.

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          • #6
            “I am an upcoming residency graduate in July 2021 in high paying speciality.”
            If you’re networking through you program, be careful what to share with co-residents, attendings and any others. The world is small and unintentionally information can leak in bits and pieces. Even discussions of the position, employer or negotiation points. Any discussion needs to be labeled as confidential. The mere fact that you are having serious discussions with a specific group can cause disruptions with another employer.
            One of the hardest things is to say “no” to a great opportunity that came in second. I hope you have a great experience and two super offers.

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            • #7
              It may be illegal for multiple companies to collude to suppress employee wages, raise prices charged to the government or consumers, or otherwise restrict trade. On the other hand, “trade associations” can conduct market research, share market research with their members, and advocate, lobby, and sue on behalf of their membership. At times it’s quite a small fig leaf.

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              • #8
                This would be the least of my concerns. You did not indicate whether you are in discussions with private practices, corporate medicine, academics, or hospital/systems. Nonetheless, especially if the specialty is in short supply in the area, they will not be competing to pay you the least.

                Perhaps not with the initial contract, but ultimately, what you will get paid paid is a function of what you earn: in RVUs, encounters, procedures, and or referrals (minus expenses). In general, there is no huge pot of money that practices are colluding to withhold from you.

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