If you’ve been in the healthcare industry for a while, opening your own private medical practice may feel like the ultimate dream. You have the experience, you’re beginning to grow weary of following the higher-ups, and you’re ready to work in an environment where you can run things your own way.
While it may seem like a tempting idea, starting your own medical practice is quite the undertaking. Taking matters into your own hands can be challenging and frustrating; in fact, physicians are choosing to open small private practices less and less with only 30% reporting to the Survey of America’s Physicians that they identify as private practice owners or partners.
Do you still think a private practice may be in your future? Let’s take the guesswork out of the process by exploring some key factors to consider before starting your own medical practice.
Why Should I Open My Own Medical Practice?
There are many reasons why you would choose to open your own private practice rather than become an employee of a larger health organization. If you’re a medical professional searching for a specialized job, let’s discuss a few reasons why you may want to open your own practice one day to share those specific skills with your community.
The “be your own boss” culture is continuing to grow, and the healthcare industry is no exception. When you open your own practice, you are no longer beholden to the higher-ups and can make your own choices and operate as you choose (within reason and following medical ethics).
When you open your own practice, you can create your own schedule. While the medical field is a notoriously demanding career path with no plans to change, the ability to create flexibility within your week is a tempting reason to open your own practice.
3. Distribution of Profits
When you join a larger organization, you become part of the few healthcare institutions and big-name hospitals that have a monopoly on both care and profits. When you open a small private practice, you’re creating more competition and thus a wider distribution of profit across the community. Additionally, your private practice may give a smaller community better access to medical care.
Types of Private Practices To Consider
Now that you’re convinced that you want to pursue a career in healthcare and open a medical practice someday, let’s discuss the different types of private practices for you to consider. You don’t necessarily have to be alone to open a private practice; consider opening a group practice or joining a hospital-owned network.
In this practice, you are truly flying solo and taking the majority of responsibilities. While you’ll have the flexibility and full control of day-to-day operations, you are also taking the majority of the risk. Like opening any new business, it will be expensive and you’ll be working long hours both treating patients and running your new enterprise.
This refers to a practice that is private but part of a hospital-run network. You won’t have as much flexibility, but you also won’t have the risk and expenses associated with a solo practice. Additionally, you’ll have use of the hospital’s resources.
Group Practice is exactly what it sounds like, and unlike solo practice, you’ll be sharing responsibilities with other medical professionals. You’ll have a lower initial cost and the burden of work hours can be distributed between the group as you see fit.
Opening your own medical practice can give you autonomy and flexibility while creating a new health resource for your community. While being your own boss may sound wonderful, starting a private practice is challenging and expensive, and may not be for everyone.
Whether you choose to open a solo medical practice, become a useful part of a hospital network, or remain an employee of a larger health organization, the most important factor is that you continue to uphold your ethical standards, help those in need, and find joy in your career.