When you’ve completed your medical schooling and are on your way to becoming a doctor, there’s another step you must consider: where to practice. There are many types of medical practices to choose from, which can be difficult as they each have their pros and cons. Below is a list of the most common medical practices today.
A group practice is exactly what it sounds like — two or more physicians who all work together in the same medical facility. This team of doctors shares all the work, including administrative roles. In the case of a group practice, it’s common to include professionals who offer different specialties. This gives these professionals the opportunity to consult others in their medical facility and refer patients to them if need be. Some other pros to working in group practice are: it cuts down on the physicians individual risk, your hours are shorter, and you have the ability to gain more capital. On the other hand, it also inherently takes away complete freedom for one individual doctor when it comes to how things are run. For example, if one of you wants to sign a medical office lease in Los Angeles and the other wants to purchase their own building, that is something you’ll have to come to an agreement on.
Private or solo practices involve one physician working alone with a small assisting staff. The biggest benefit of having a private practice is the fact that it gives you complete freedom to build your own company how you’d like. Physicians also tend to have a closer relationship with patients, which usually results in more referrals and more business. Another benefit to owning your own practice is that you’re able to set your own hours and the path with which you’d like your practice to grow. Physicians practicing alone usually opt into owning their own medical facility or signing onto a medical office lease. In Los Angeles, Boulevard Medical Properties not only handles all the lease paperwork, but they also work with each individual physician to create their perfect office environment. The downside to having a solo practice is that it often means more work and higher risk. It’s also common for private practices to be a bit heavy on the wallet, but there are ways around that, such as signing a medical office lease in Los Angeles.
Perhaps the most commonly known medical practice is hospital work. When working for a hospital, doctors can choose to work for a practice that is owned by the hospital or work in a separate department. Some benefits of working for a hospital are that each physician is provided a salary, has a regular work schedule, and a steady patient base. They are also less liable for complications, meaning their legal risk is low. Working in a hospital does have its drawbacks though, namely a lack of freedom as physicians are required to meet hospital standards. Also, because they are seeing many patients at a time, there is a lack of connection between them, proving to be less fruitful.
HMOs, or health maintenance organizations, are the other commonly known medical practice. When working for an HMO, your patients are those that are members of that specific HMO. Much like a hospital, a physician is an employee or independent contractor of the HMO and will have to follow certain rules or guidelines set out by the organization. Some benefits include steady pay and a regular schedule, but the lack of freedom is perhaps even greater than working for a hospital.
Locum Tenens refers to physicians re-locating and working in areas that are in dire need of medical help. This type of position is very flexible, as doctors may choose where and when they’d like to offer their assistance. Other pros include high pay, lower living costs, and the ability to travel and explore the area they’re working in. Obstacles for this type of practice are that the work is temporary, meaning a lack of steady work and that benefits are not always offered.
Deciding what environment you’d like to work in requires that you study each type of practice carefully. Do you want to work for others in a hospital, travel the world, or work alone in your own medical practice? Would you like to own your own building or sign a medical lease in Los Angeles? These are all important questions to ask yourself. If you’re looking to start a medical practice and want more information on medical properties, please visit the Boulevard Medical Properties website today to see what we have to offer.