Updated Oct. 20, 2020

Physician employees of hospitals, health systems and other entities are likely to confront unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Featured updates: COVID-19

Track the evolving situation with the AMA's library of the most up-to-date resources from JAMA, CDC and WHO.

Factors such as the financial distress of their employer, changes in clinical service demand and growing anxiety related to caring for COVID-19 diagnosed patients may complicate the employer-employee relationship.

To help physicians navigate the challenges and unique options presented by COVID-19, the AMA has developed a guide of strategic, legal and contractual considerations for employed physicians.

In the midst of the COVID-19 emergency, many hospitals, health systems and other employers are making difficult decisions regarding whether to modify or sever existing employment or service arrangements with employees, including physicians.

Physicians should engage with the leadership of their organization to better understand the unique challenges that hospitals or health system employers are facing, and to ensure that the frontline physician voice is present when these decisions are being made.

For employed physicians, potential changes to the underling employment relationship and terms may represent significant challenges, but could also provide potential opportunities.

Check the AMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center for additional information about COVID-19 related topics.

  1. Navigating Physician Employment during COVID-19 guide (PDF)

    1. Download the Navigating Physician Employment during COVID-19 guide to understand employer flexibilities, negotiate the best exit package and more.
  2. Stimulus Guidance for Physicians resource (PDF)

    1. Download the Stimulus Guidance for Physicians resource (PDF) to understand how individual physicians can receive grant funds from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.
  1. Understand employer flexibilities

    1. COVID-specific flexibilities provide opportunities for physicians and their employers to negotiate agreeable terms relative to compensation.
  2. Know your rights

    1. For physicians who will be severing their existing employment relationships during COVID-19, serious consideration of what’s needed for the next stage of practice (or retirement) is essential.
  3. Evaluate your options

    1. Potential changes to the underling employment relationship and terms may represent significant challenges, but could also provide potential opportunities.

Disclaimer: The information and guidance provided in this document is believed to be current and accurate at the time of posting. This information is not intended to be, and should not be construed to be or relied upon as, legal, financial, or consulting advice. Consider consulting with an attorney and/or other advisor to obtain guidance relating to your specific situation. References and links to third parties do not constitute an endorsement, sponsorship or warranty by the AMA, and the AMA hereby disclaims all express and implied warranties of any kind.

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