For doctors who have been working in the medical field for quite a while, it is a natural desire to consider starting their independent practice. The advantages are tempting: you can dictate your hours, make your own decisions, and generate business for yourself. However, there are also distinct challenges that you will face once you start your solo practice.
In this article, we discuss several pertinent factors you need to consider before handing out your notice and leaving your current workplace.
Do you have a substantial client base?
If you are planning to set up your clinic, this is the first question you need to ask yourself. Though you may be seeing many patients now, keep in mind that you are treating them under the supervision of another doctor or institution. Opening your clinic would seem as if you are competing for the patients who are already loyal to your superiors. In such instances, it may be best to move to another area so that you are not in direct competition.
Alternatively, you might want to consider switching medical specialties. You may even work out a referring partnership with your current colleagues. Whatever route you choose to take, there is still a matter of getting enough patients to sustain your business. Survey the location and get a feel of its needs in terms of your medical practice.
Setting up a clinic entails a hefty investment
While your medical practice’s mission and vision are centered towards providing the best health care to the public, it is still a business at its core. Healthcare is one of the largest industries, and setting up a clinic requires a considerable investment.
As a solo practitioner, you will shoulder all expenses such as equipment, tools, construction, office supplies, and more. On top of these, you will need to cover rent expenses and salaries for your secretaries and receptionists.
Be prepared to shell out a significant amount of money and not get a return of investment right away. If you feel that you have not saved up enough, or no investors are willing to help you, it’s probably best to wait and hone your craft under an established hospital before making the shift.
Choosing the right space for your clinic
Once you’ve decided to push through with your solo practice, you need to determine your location. Will you rent an office space, or construct your building? While there are pros and cons to both options, most freelance doctors prefer to rent for a while until they’re much more established.
By renting a unit, you can downsize or expand depending on your growth. It also allows you to focus more on your practice and less on the administrative part of maintaining a building. These days, medical co-working spaces are available for independent healthcare practitioners. These units are equipped with basic equipment and have dedicated staff to answer inquiries. By sharing a space with other solo medical practitioners, you retain your core business without having to shoulder all start-up expenses.
Starting a private practice entails significant risks, but the rewards can also be invaluable. Remember, don’t dive headfirst. Test the waters, research about your options, and seek advice from other experienced doctors. With valuable insight, you’ll be able to make the most important decision in your career.
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