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  • practice startup

    Hi Everyone. Hoping to get some advice from all you business savvy docs. I'm in my last year of FM residency thinking of starting a private practice for primary care or opening a medical weight loss clinic. It only makes sense to take the risk if my income is likely to be substantially higher compared to being employed.  What do you all think? Is opening a clinic worth it? If so, how do I know where to start? Is a practice consultant worthwhile considering they may help me avoid all the pitfalls of opening a practice and hit the ground running as soon as the door open?

    Really confused here. Any advice would help.

  • #2
    What sort of medicine do you want to practice? Weight loss clinics are not bread and butter family medicine.

    I’d first settle in what you’ll be happy doing day to day, then find your risk tolerance for sorting through finances, business plans, rent and payroll.

    I think if you aren’t sure where to start, I’d work somewhere as an employee, learn how to practice medicine in an existing system, takes notes!!! And start drafting a business plan.


    • #3
      Congratulations on nearing the end of residency.
      • Goal #1 is transitioning to practicing physician.
      • Goal #2 is a compensation decision between learning to run a business or being employed.
      Your attendings and mentors are best suited to advise you to FM opportunities. What type s of practice are feasible that fit your interests and skill sets.
      In a nice way, you are a “rookie”. A lot of work left making the transition for Goal #1.
      Being employed relieves you from trying to run a business. That’s why exploring partnership opportunities arise or employed positions are so prevalent. Bottom line, sole practitioner sounds like too big of a jump. Compete for the best next step that suits your interests.


      • #4
        I would work for somebody else first to see the business side in action.  There's a learning curve to running any type of business and it's better to learn under someone else's roof before starting yours.

        You've spent the last several years of your life learning how to practice medicine but not run a practice.  Treat the running a practice stuff like a new skill set you should learn before going on your own.

        I think it's true for any profession that there's a difference between knowing the technical side of what you're doing and then how to run a business delivering that service.  I spent the first few years of my career getting my technical proficiency up and have spent the last few years on my business skills.


        • #5
          Don't even think about doing this until you have a better understanding of business, specifically medical business, and more specifically medical business in the environment and type of practice you are thinking about.  I would certainly fret about opening such a highly specialized practice as a weight loss clinic unless this was in a wealthy area and people were chomping at the bit to pay cash for this service (obese Saudi's come to mind), particularly when you don't have a good handle on the business side of things.


          • #6
            Thank you all for the responses. It looks like the consensus is that I should get experience as an employee before jumping right into building my own practice. I'll do that and find out how a practice works from the inside and eventually build my own when I'm ready.

            Thanks again!