The law in Virginia disfavors non-compete contracts…but that general rule doesn’t mean a court will refuse to uphold and enforce such agreements…each situation is different…and each profession or job situation is different.

I hope to spend some time over the next few days or weeks discussing what Virginia courts have had to say about non-compete agreements and doctors…when are they enforced and when are they determined to be oppressive and invalid.

I will start by sharing with our readers what the American Medical Association has to say about non-competes. In short, the AMA discourages the use of non-competes:

E-9.02 Restrictive Covenants and the Practice of Medicine

Covenants-not-to-compete restrict competition, disrupt continuity of care, and potentially deprive the public of medical services. The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs discourages any agreement which restricts the right of a physician to practice medicine for a specified period of time or in a specified area upon termination of an employment, partnership, or corporate agreement. Restrictive covenants are unethical if they are excessive in geographic scope or duration in the circumstances presented, or if they fail to make reasonable accommodation of patients’ choice of physician.

My Question: Why don’t courts cite the AMA’s position in reviewing and deciding upon non-compete contracts involving doctors?

Dan Frith

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at