Like most people who want to pursue a career in healthcare, you’ve probably thought about opening your private practice at some point. After all, what could be more gratifying than being your own boss and having the freedom to dictate your own hours?
But before you quit your day job and hang out your shingle, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of private practice ownership. There are many factors to consider before making such a big decision, and it’s essential to be aware of the risks and rewards involved.
Here are some pros of opening a private practice:
Pro #1 You’re in control
When you’re the boss, you get to make all the decisions. You can set your hours, choose your staff, and decide which patients you want to see. This means you have much control over your work-life balance, which can be a huge perk if you’re tired of being an employee.
Moreover, you’ll also have a lot of leeway to shape the culture of your practice. This can be incredibly gratifying if you’re coming from a large institution where red tape often gets in the way of patient care. And since you make all the calls, you can be sure that your patients are getting the best possible care.
Pro #2 You can offer personalized care
In private practice, you get to know your patients more personally. This allows you to provide them with the best possible care, tailored specifically to their needs, unlike in a large institution where patients are often seen as just another number. You’ll have more time to get to know your patients and learn about their medical history, which can make a big difference in the quality of care you provide.
Suppose you want to run an orthodontics clinic and specialize in Invisalign. In your practice, you can offer this treatment to all your patients, unlike in a large hospital where you might only get to see a handful of cases. You can provide more specialized and personalized care, which your patients will appreciate.
Pro #3 You can make a good income
Private practices can be very profitable. If you’re smart about marketing and efficient with your time, you can make an excellent living as a private practitioner because there is no ceiling on your earnings potential. Of course, how much money you make will depend on several factors, such as the location of your practice, the type of patients you see, and how many hours you work.
But if you can build up a solid client base, there’s no reason you can’t earn a six-figure salary or more. One of the main reasons people decide to open their private practices is the potential to make a good income.
Of course, some risks are also involved in opening a private practice. Here are a few of the cons to consider:
Con #1 You’re responsible for everything
When you’re the boss, you’re also responsible for everything that goes wrong. If something goes wrong with a patient, you could be sued. If your staff makes a mistake, you’re the one who has to answer for it. You hold the liability for everything that happens in your practice, which can be a heavy burden to bear.
Aside from the legal risks, you also have to worry about the financial risks. If your practice doesn’t do well, you could find yourself in debt. This is a scary prospect for many people, which is why it’s so important to do your homework before opening a private practice.
Con #2 You have to wear many hats
You’re responsible for everything from marketing to accounting to human resources in private practice. This can be a lot of work, and it can be tough to wear so many hats when you’re just getting started. You might work long hours, seven days a week, to keep everything afloat.
And even if you can hire staff to help you with some work, you’ll still have to wear many hats. This can be tough for people who are used to working in a more traditional corporate setting where they only have to focus on one thing.
Con #3 It can be tough to get started
Starting a private practice can be a lot of work. You must find the right location, get the word out about your business, and build a client base from scratch. Getting everything off the ground can be tricky, but it can be done if you’re persistent. Of course, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make a successful private practice.
So, is opening a private practice the right career move for you? Only you can answer that question. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your decision. If you decide to go ahead with it, be prepared for a lot of work. But if you’re up for the challenge, it can be a gratifying experience.