Physician Job Search: Tips and Advice

Transitioning to Private Practice

At some point in their career, a physician might change his or her mind about the setting they want to work in. There are a few reasons a physician may want to move from group practice (hospital, clinic, etc.) to private practice. These reasons include, but are not limited to, time limits on appointments, frustration with an abundance of insurance paperwork, lack of independence in decision-making and more. It’s important to remember that this isn’t the fault of any individual person, but the system as a whole. Hospitals can sometimes just get backed up, and as a result, their employees suffer. In this article, we’ll give you all of the information you need to transition from a group setting to private practice. The transition will be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Transitioning to Private Practice

Do your homework.
This decision will likely be made over the span of at least six months, and in that time, you should gather information on what it takes to join a private practice as well as what it takes to start your own. In this time, you should also be sure to consult physicians who have started their own private practices. Get all of the details: benefits, legal matters, financials, etc. Before you take the leap, you should know what lies ahead.

Learn about the legal matters.
Before you can start your own private practice, you need to take a look at the contract you signed when you began employment at your group. Physicians don’t typically pay close attention to the documents they sign when beginning employment, so now is definitely the time for you to look it over. You will need to hire a lawyer to help you through this process, as you could get yourself into legal trouble before you even leave your current employer.

Financially plan your transition.
In the event that you will be starting your own private practice, you will need to hire employees, and this could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the cost will depend on your location and type of practice, you should still expect to spend quite a bit. You’ll need an office space, office supplies, furniture, insurance and more before you can start your own practice. You may have to moonlight in order to save enough money for your own practice, so be prepared. It might be better for you to buy into a franchise rather than starting from the ground up. Doing so will be costly, but it could be worth the investment in the long run.

Tackle your insurance matters far in advance.
It takes over six months to set up your business to accept insurance and Medicare, so you should begin the paperwork at least six months ahead of time. Not only will you need to be able to accept insurance, but you will need malpractice insurance of your own. Luckily, you should already have malpractice insurance from when you were in training and working at previous sites. You may want to increase your malpractice insurance to protect yourself at your private practice. For this step, you may want to consult a lawyer.

Be patient.
It could take years to build a solid clientele. At first, business will probably be slow and you’ll only see a handful of patients per week. A slow start doesn’t mean you should give up – it means you should keep pushing so you can eventually reach your goals and start seeing the amount of patients that you want. To help the growth of your patient numbers, you should be prepared with a solid marketing plan. While word-of-mouth is the most effective tool when it comes to marketing and advertising, there are other things you should be doing. You can learn about marketing your private practice when you first begin, but as time goes on, you may need to hire someone to do the marketing for you.

These are just a few of the steps you’ll need to take during your transition from group practice to private practice. If there’s anything you’d like to share with us, feel free to reach out to us at information@practicematch.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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