Choosing the Right Practice for You
Written by Amy Jorgensen   
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Choosing the Right Practice for You
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Large Practice

Not all physicians want the pressures and autonomy provided by solo practice. For them, a large group practice may be a better alternative.


Large practices have several advantages. The most obvious is financial. Instead of having to cover all of the costs of running a private practice on your own, you may end up sharing the bill with ten to twenty other physicians. You also won't need such a large investment, especially if you're joining a pre-existing practice.

Another cost advantage involves the staff. While a solo practice needs one receptionist, one coder, etc., a large practice may need one for every four or five physicians or more. That means human resource costs are lower overall.

Large practices also have more negotiating power with hospitals and other facilities because they deal with more patients. A solo practitioner wouldn't have as much leverage when it comes to bargaining for better access to labs or other testing for patients whereas a large practice could have substantial leverage.

While there are a number of benefits to choosing a large practice, there are also some drawbacks. For example, you have less control over practice management decisions. When a group of physicians have to make choices about who to hire, when to buy new equipment, or how to split expenses, all of those physicians must be willing to compromise or else nothing will ever be decided.

Large practices may also limit your access to certain groups of patients. For example, if you want to work with underprivileged children but your practice doesn't accept Medicaid patients, then that's not going to happen for you. If your practice is located in a more upscale area, then you may only get to work with more affluent patients.

Despite these disadvantages, you also have a chance to work with a large team of physicians from a number of different areas. If you need to refer a patient to a specialist, then you might have one right down the hall that he or she could schedule an appointment with. If you have a question about a patient's diagnosis, then there may be a half dozen other physicians around you can ask for advice.

Remember that to succeed in a large practice, you're going to have to let go of the need to control every aspect of the practice and you'll have to work effectively with other professionals on a daily basis. If you can't do that, then a large practice isn't for you.

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