Understanding A Dental Associate Agreement

If you are a new dentist, the dental associate agreement is the first of the many legal contracts that you will encounter in your career as a dentist. A well-drafted agreement outlines various important areas of the working relationship. It is important to understand what they are and what they should contain to prevent legal problems down the line. 

Whether you need to review a contract or make changes in one, a la healthcare attorney can make sure your rights are protected. 

What is a dental associate agreement?

A dental associate agreement is a document that defines the working relationship between a dental associate and a dental practice where the former has applied for employment. While most of the things are discussed during the interview and hiring process, this document includes the party’s rights and obligations and puts everything in a written form. 

What are the key parts of a dental associate agreement?

It is important that you understand all the terms and conditions of the agreement. A well-drafted agreement should clarify key terms as it can be used as proof in times of conflict. 

Here are the key parts of a dental associate agreement that you should pay attention to. 

  1. Duties: The agreement should include your daily roles, responsibilities, and duties and at which locations you will be working. 
  2. Compensation, wages, and salary: This part of the agreement should specify how much salary and wages you are entitled to and what other compensation benefits the employer should be paying you. 
  3. Term and termination: This should specify the length of the agreement and on what grounds the parties may be allowed to terminate the contract.
  4. Qualifications: This goes over the qualifications that are needed for the job. 
  5. Benefits: This part covers the benefits of the job, such as paid leave, continuing education benefits, medical insurance, etc.
  6. Disputes: This covers how the parties should deal with disputes if one occurs. 
  7. Non-competition: This specifies whether you are allowed to work for competitors during your tenure and establishes the time length before you can start working for another company after your termination. 

Negotiating an agreement 

If you are presented with an agreement that seems more in the employer’s favor and less in yours, do not be afraid to speak up. You have the right to ask for modifications if the contract is not in your best interests. However, remember to keep calm during the negotiation and try to support your statements with reasonable arguments. 

If the practice owner is not willing to negotiate, you can either search for another one or hire an attorney to look into the matter. An attorney will know which terms are not in your best interest and alert you before signing the agreement. They can also offer solutions to disputes. 

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