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Physician Employment Disputes and Litigation

Hamil Little represents, advises and advocates for physicians in challenging employment-based legal disputes, including litigation, arbitration, mediation, administrative matters and other formal legal proceedings. Employment disputes in almost any context are critical to the affected employee because one’s livelihood is at issue. However, for physicians, employment related legal disputes can have heightened complexity and bear permanent career and professional ramifications.  Our lawyers and the other members of our legal team have substantial experience in evaluating and resolving complex employment disputes and litigation for physicians and other licensed healthcare professionals.

Physician Employment Litigators

Our firm’s legal services for physician employment dispute matters include handling the negotiation or litigation of the following types of employment-related disputes:

  • Compensation disputes
  • Unlawful disciplinary action disputes
  • Unlawful termination disputes
  • Disputes regarding non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants
  • Professional peer review and MEC matters
  • NPDB reporting disputes
  • Employer breach of a physician employment agreement
  • Unlawful discrimination
  • Partnership and owner-employee matters

Our law firm is focused on the unique and challenging legal issues raised in the context of physician employment.  We have represented ophthalmologists, nephrologists, surgeons, primary care doctors, podiatrists, gynecologists, cardiologists, chiropractors and numerous other types of physicians and healthcare professionals.  We represent physicians at both the transactional stage of an employment relationship (i.e., when the physician employment agreement is negotiated and signed) and the end of the relationship when a dispute occurs.  

Most employed physicians, unlike the vast majority of other employees, sign a physician employment agreement that will govern the employment relationship.  Where the employer is a hospital, hospital system or (sometimes) a large medical practice, the physician employment agreement may incorporate by reference involved, complex legal documents such as bylaws, written policies and procedures, and similar corporate documents.  While the incorporation of such corporate documents into the physician employment agreement is done as a matter of routine and therefore often largely taken for granted at the time the parties execute the physician employment agreement, these corporate documents can take on great importance in some employment disputes.  

Complex Physician Employment Law Matters

For example, the bylaws may indicate that the physician’s hospital privileges are coterminous with the employment and must end as a matter of contract if and when the employment ends. This type of provision is important to locate and be mindful of when the physician’s employment ends based upon possible concerns by the employer about quality of care issues.  Where the employer’s analysis of factual circumstances raises to a level that might constitute an “investigation” as defined by the NPDB Guidebook, the employer may have a legal obligation to report adverse action about the physician to the NPDB. Any such adverse reporting creates permanent employability and career problems for a physician. Where the physician’s privileges are coterminous and therefore end with the end of the employment relationship, it may be possible to lawfully avoid NPDB reporting and protect the physician’s career.  This is one of many examples of the potential complexity of physician employment disputes, requiring caution, thoughtfulness and meticulous attention to detail in handling such disputes. A physician in such circumstances should always seek appropriate counsel from his or her attorney.

Contact Our Legal Team for Additional Information

About How We Help Physicians

Hamil Little is a healthcare and employment law firm with offices in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia.  We have represented hundreds of physicians, throughout Georgia, South Carolina and in other parts of the United States. Contact us at, or 404-685-1662 (Atlanta) or 706-722-7886 (Augusta) to schedule a confidential consultation.

DISCLAIMER: Any result this law firm or any lawyer of this law firm may achieve on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

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