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Practicing in Private: Opening Your Own Clinic

By Alyssa Martinez @ItsMariaAlyssa

Hospital life can be unforgiving, both for doctors and nurses. Healthcare professionals are expected to work inhuman shifts. Of course, it's for a reason-patient hand-off that is open to risks. A small miscommunication can be the death of a patient.

Some doctors, however, sometimes eschew the rigid yet high-paced lifestyle of hospitals for working or starting a clinic. They cater to a smaller patient base, but they do it on their own time. If you're looking to strike out on your own and take control of your time, here's how you can open your own private practice.

What working in the private practice entails

Autonomy becomes a boon for doctors in private practices. They're not bogged down by the Hospital Board's rules and regulations. Doctors in such setups are able to adapt accordingly to circumstances and easily recalibrate their processes with new methods to streamline care.

However, all the autonomy in the world won't matter if the practice doesn't rake in revenues. While giving patients the utmost care is the top priority of all doctors, the funds required and dealing with insurance companies may discourage you. Delayed medical practice reimbursements and unresolved insurance issues can be a huge burden to clinics, as well.

Establishing your business

During your medical school up to your residency years, you probably have narrowed down and developed your specialty. Maybe you signed up for pediatrics during your residency or you focused on internal medicine. Either way, your niche has paved the way what kind of doctor you'd be; it will also play a part in what your private practice will be and the requirements of starting up such.

Financing

Like any startup or small business, funding comes first when establishing your private practice. You can ask for small business loans or use other kinds of financial capital for your clinic. For any kind of financing, you need to create projections for your anticipated expenses, revenues, and debt for up to the next three years. Whether you're going for a traditional bank loan or going to spend inherited money, you need to have a rational business plan.

Some of your budget factors include your practice's location, medical equipment and software, staff salary, insurance, and any specialist fees-lawyers, accountants, and other consultants. Other costs you need to consider include furniture, disposable supplies, appliances, and office equipment.

Credentialing

Next, you'll undergo credentialing to establish your credibility as a licensed and legitimate medical professional so you can receive insurance. The government or a private insurance provider will meticulously check your background and credentials. Some states require malpractice insurance-although it doesn't hurt to have one in case a patient sues you. Choose the provider that you feel is the right fit for your practice.

Licensing

Afterward, it's just getting all the necessary business documents and other related licenses. Sign up to your state's medical board; get your national provider identifier number; register to the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe medication. Acquire any certifications required, such as for a laboratory or a pharmacy. Starting a private practice isn't as cutthroat nor dramatic as Shonda Rhimes makes it. However, just like working in a hospital, it requires hard work, dedication, and a lot of caffeine. In the end, however, you're still going give care and save lives and that's all that matters.


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