One of the major dangers to a medical practice is that key employees will defect to nearby competitors or set up their own competing entity in the same neighborhood. A popular doctor can poach a large number of patients, severely harming the original practice.
To address these risks, employers will usually include non-compete and non-solicitation clauses. A non-compete clause typically forbids you from setting up shop within a certain radius of the existing practice over some period of time. A non-solicitation clause aims to stop you from taking the original practice’s patients.
These clauses cannot be overly restrictive as this is deemed to unfairly harm employees’ ability to make a living.
If you do leave and your former employer is concerned that you have breached these clauses, the former employer may seek injunctive relief through the court system—seeking to force you to stop or restrict your new activities.
You need a competent attorney who can provide guidance on which non-compete/non-solicitation conditions are likely to be accepted by the courts and which may be thrown out or amended.
As an employer, the last thing you want is for a judge to throw out all your non-compete and non-solicitation conditions on the grounds that they are unfair, as this could mean that your former employees may then be free to open up shop across the hall from you and take all your patients!