AAEM Position Statement on Restrictions on the Right to Practice

WHEREAS covenants-not-to-compete restrict competition, disrupt continuity of care, and potentially deprive the public of medical services,1 and

WHEREAS the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs discourages such covenants-not-to-compete,1 and

WHEREAS covenants-not-to-compete exist in derogation of the Constitutional right to live, travel, and practice one's trade or profession wherever one pleases,2 and

WHEREAS covenants-not-to-compete have been especially prevalent in emergency medicine, jeopardizing the future practice of emergency physicians and potentially placing patients at great risk, therefore be it

RESOLVED that physicians, or a corporate entity controlled by physicians, shall not offer (1) a contract to another physician restricting the right of a physician to practice after termination of the relationship, or (2) a settlement agreement in which a restriction on the physician's right to practice is part of the agreement,3 and be it further

RESOLVED that breach of this policy by a member of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine constitutes an ethical violation, subjecting the member to disciplinary procedures specified in the Academy's Code of Ethics.

1. AMA Code of Medical Ethics, Section E-9.02. American Medical Association, 2004, Chicago.
2. U.S. Constitution, art. I, §8[3}; art. IV, § 2; amend. 14
3. Resolution based on Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 5.6, American Bar Association, 20__, Chicago


Published: 9/1/05