If you’re in medical school or you’re set to go there, then you may have considered the idea of opening a private practice one you’re qualified. I’ll start this article off by saying go for it! The world is past its last economic slump, and many medical professionals are beginning to set up practices again. This has its perks, but it’s not easy! Here are some things you should know before pursuing the private career path.
Possibly the most important thing you should know is that a private practice is a business. You’re probably finding your studies a challenge now. Well, running your own firm is something else entirely! You might leave med school a fantastic doctor, but a poor businessman. You’re going to have to market your practice, liaise with investors, budget for buying gear online from Uniforms and Scrubs and all kinds of other things. If your passion is mainly in medicine, then you might want to re-think the idea of starting your own practice. Here, you’ll only be a practitioner half the time, and a business owner the rest. Make sure you can cope with that before going ahead.
One tedious area of running any business, including a private medical practice, is dealing with taxes. When you’re working for a practice or hospital, all your taxes are taken care of by the company. When you set up your own, you become self-employed. This means you’re responsible for paying your own tax! Instead of being taken out of your monthly pay-check, your taxes will have to be paid in one lump payment at the end of the tax year. This is something a lot of self-employed people seem to neglect. As you can imagine, the consequences can be massive! Accounting isn’t exactly fun, but it will be part of the job if you go private. While tech such as BodeTree can help somewhat, you won’t be able to run from the numbers forever!
You should also be aware of the ebbs and flows that every private practice goes through. Again, this is where your inner businessman comes in handy. When they’re first starting out, a lot of private doctors are shocked by the amount of hills and troughs their business goes through. You’ve probably been told that a doctor is never out of work. That’s not necessarily true if they’re not working for a large organisation! Even if you get off to a great start, there will be times when business slows down. You need to be able to understand the conditions that cause this, and take precautions against it. One good habit is always putting aside 10% of the month’s profits. This means that when there’s a huge dip in business, you have some capital to keep the practice running. Everyone needs healthcare, but you’re going to feel the economy just like everyone else!
If you’re dead set on opening a private practice, make sure you consider everything that comes with it. If you have a little business sense in you, going private can open all kinds of doors!