• Opposition to Restrictive Covenants

    The AAFP believes restrictive covenants in physician employment contracts disrupt the patient-physician relationship. No physician employment contract should include restrictions which interfere with the continuity of the patient-physician relationship or patient access to care. Non-compete contract clauses including geographic regions, post-employment time periods, and scope of practice constraints limit continuity of care, patient access to care, and patient choice when the physician leaves employment in a practice.

    The enforcement of restrictive covenants varies by state and can be established by either common law, statutes, or both. To preserve patient access to quality continuous care, family physicians who do sign an employment contract that includes restrictive covenants should fully understand the clause(s) prior to signing, should avoid all unreasonable restrictions, and should seek the inclusion of contract language ensuring that enforcement of the non-compete clause will not interfere with patient choice. 

    (Sept 2019 BOD) (October 2023 COD)