The pros, cons of practicing in a state that bans noncompetes


There are pros and cons to practicing orthopedic and spine care in every state, from economic disparities to regulatory challenges and more.

In April, the Federal Trade Commission voted to ban noncompete contracts for most U.S. workers, though the ban is still caught up in what could potentially be lengthy court challenges. 

Brian Gantwerker, MD, a neurosurgeon at The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles, told Becker's some of the pros, and cons, of practicing in California, a noncompete state:  

Editor's note: This response was lightly edited for clarity and length. 

Dr. Gantwerker: Practicing in my state is a very delicate balance. On one hand, California is a very pro-employee state. As such, hiring and termination procedures have to be followed very strictly. There is a requirement to be in compliance with local, state and, of course, federal laws that can be cumbersome, but I think act well to protect both staff and employer. Since noncompetes are unenforceable, if you decide to leave your current job, you are able to start where you would want to practice. That being said, we have extremely tight competition in our particular area, and state in general.  

Healthcare in our state is in a state of flux, with the governor trying to start single payer by creating an Office of Healthcare Affordability that will somehow magically contain healthcare costs through unclear and opaque machinations. It feels as if this is just a necessary rung to try to justify single payer, which the state cannot possibly afford, through either tax or mandate.  That being said, the people of California are very robust, smart and savvy. This includes the physicians. We have a great collection of very talented doctors in California, and it feels great to be among very dedicated, talented, if not exhausted peers. 

It's not for everyone, and certainly is perilous at times, and it remains a challenging place to practice in any specialty.

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