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

Some physicians are looking for a happy medium between going solo and dealing with a dozen or more other physicians daily. For them, the answer might be joining a small practice.


If Goldilocks in the story of the three bears was a physician, she might have been most interested in a small practice because it can be “just right” for many physicians. For example, a small practice provides each physician with more control over decisions. Since decisions are reached by consensus with perhaps only three or four other physicians, your opinion is going to carry more weight than it would against the opinions of fifteen other physicians.

Additionally, you'll have some of the cost-saving benefits as well. Most small practices can be effectively run with the same number of office staff that you'd find in a solo practice, but the costs for those staff members are shared by all of the physicians, as are the costs for office equipment and office rental.

While you'll still have to learn to get along with other professionals in a small practice, it's easier to find a group of four people you like than it is to get along with a group of twenty people.

There are some disadvantages. Small practices, like solo practices, don't have much leverage when it comes to negotiations with hospitals or other medical facilities. While this may not seem like a big deal now, if you're a family physician and your patients need access to certain types of testing which they can't get done affordably through the hospital, it will take on new importance.

Small practices also require a lot more dedication. In a large practice, a physician has more flexibility. He or she can take a week-long vacation and know someone else can probably see their patients while they're gone. In a small practice, everyone must pull their own weight and must work together to make the practice a success, even if that means working longer hours and taking fewer vacations. The demands aren't as great as they are with a solo practice, but they are much more significant than they would be in a larger practice.

The Bottom Line

Before you can decide what kind of practice you want to work in, you need to give serious consideration to what you want now and what you think you'll want in the future. Do you want complete control if it means having less time to achieve your personal goals? Do you want to compromise on all of the aspects of running a practice in order to have more flexibility with your schedule? Do you want to save money but give up having bargaining power? Every type of practice is right for some physicians and wrong for others, so you need to find out where you fall.

Resources Used in Article

 Knowing Who You Are and What You Want

 The Right Practice for You 

About the Author

Amy Jorgensen is a freelance writer based in southern Indiana. Her articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including Southern California Physician magazine.

The author has no financial relationship to any of the companies listed in the article.

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