My Father Loved to Buy Cars. And Your Exclusive Contract or Employment Agreement.


My father loved to buy cars. Not lots of them. He wasn’t a collector. I mean that he loved, really loved negotiating with car dealers. And in a way, he did buy a lot of them because back then they only lasted about 3 years, max.  It seems as if he was always taking me to a car dealer. It was fun.

But my father had rules for negotiating and one of them was to always, always have an alternative. So he negotiated with multiple dealers for that white over maroon 1962 Ford Galaxie 500.

If you’re like most people, you hate shopping for a car. But even if you hate it, you probably follow the rule of negotiating with multiple dealers. You know that you have to have alternatives to any one deal.

So why do you throw the rule out the window in connection with your professional practice, especially if you’re a hospital-based physician group leader? Have you fallen for the lie that you are in a service relationship to Community Memorial St. Marks or whatever the name of the hospital is? Or, you think that they love you? They don’t. Or, maybe they do, but their love isn’t stronger than the fact that sooner or later a competitor will say that they can do it without stipend support or that they can do it better because they won some award that no one in their right mind really cares about.

So, how many alternative deals do you have in place right now for your group or for your employment contract? How many other deals are you pursuing right now?

My father loved to simply walk off the lot, leaving the deal in the air. “No,” he’d say to the salesman, “you really don’t want to sell a car today.” And off we’d go. Usually to get ice cream.

Can you say “no” to the hospital’s “final offer” because you have another deal in place? Can you just walk away and go get ice cream?

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