About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Prohibited period ends, so eye doctor returns to Fredericksburg

Dr. Binoy Jani read with interest a recent Free Lance-Star story about three local eye doctors who moved their practice to Culpeper because of the noncompete clause in their employment contracts.

Dr. Binoy Jani

“The exact same thing happened to me,” Jani said yesterday.

Jani, an ophthalmologist, worked at Willis-Falkenberg Eye Care in Stafford County for nearly four years. He left the practice in August 2009 and moved out of the immediate area because of the noncompete clause in his employment contract. The clause said that if he ever left Willis-Falkenberg and wanted to continue working, he had to move at least 15 miles away for one year.

Jani moved first to Locust Grove, then to Culpeper, where he opened a solo practice in May 2010. He returned to Fredericksburg in November 2010, after the prohibited period ended. He now has a second office near Mary Washington Hospital and does eye surgeries and sees patients in both the Culpeper and Fredericksburg offices.

Jani said he understands the need for a noncompete clause. In fact, if he ever employed a doctor, he would require the doctor to sign one, he said.

“Obviously, no one wants to sign a noncompete, but I respect it,” he said. “The practice needs something to protect themselves too.”

The problem with noncompetes, he added, is how they affect patients. Jani was prohibited from soliciting his former patients, so he told them that he would be leaving Willis-Falkenberg and to look him up on the Internet if they wanted to continue to see him.  Many did.

“The only thing I found challenging was those cases when patients have trouble finding their doctors,” he said.

Jani was born in New York and grew up there. He did his medical training at Drexel University, the University of Texas, the University of Pennsylvania and Case Western Reserve University. He and his wife, Mona, and their two children live in Spotsylvania.

(The April 22 Free Lance-Star story about Drs. Myron Wasiuta, Bradley Church and Sandra Grossett and their move to Culpeper can be found here.)