How Does the New 2024 FTC Rule About Non-Competes Affect Physicians?

How Does the New 2024 FTC Rule About Non-Competes Affect Physicians?

Physicians, like professionals in many other industries, often face non-compete agreements as part of their employment contracts. These agreements restrict physicians from practicing medicine within a certain geographic area for a specified period after leaving their current employment.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) introduced a new rule regarding non-compete agreements in 2024, aiming to address concerns about their potential negative impact on competition and consumer choice in healthcare markets. The new rule imposes stricter requirements on the use of non-compete agreements by healthcare providers, including physicians.

Key Changes in the 2024 FTC Rule

The new FTC rule includes several key changes that directly affect physicians:


  • Limitations on Duration and Geographic Scope: Non-compete agreements cannot have an unreasonable duration or geographic scope that exceeds what is necessary to protect a legitimate business interest.

  • Transparency Requirements: Employers must provide clear and conspicuous disclosure of non-compete terms before the physician accepts employment.

  • Right to Consult Legal Counsel: Physicians have the right to seek legal counsel and negotiate the terms of non-compete agreements.

  • Prohibition of Unfair Competition: Non-compete agreements cannot be used to unfairly restrict competition or harm consumer welfare.

Impact on Physicians

The new FTC rule provides physicians with greater transparency and protection when it comes to non-compete agreements. Physicians now have more freedom to explore job opportunities and transition to new positions without being unduly restricted by overly burdensome non-compete clauses.

However, it's essential for physicians to carefully review and understand the terms of any non-compete agreements they encounter. Consulting with legal counsel can help physicians navigate these agreements and ensure that their rights and interests are adequately protected.


The new 2024 FTC rule represents a significant development in the regulation of non-compete agreements, particularly in the healthcare industry. By imposing stricter requirements on the use of non-competes, the rule aims to promote competition, protect consumer choice, and empower physicians to pursue their careers with greater flexibility and autonomy.

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