After spending my residency and fellowship training at academic institutions and large hospital systems, I got a glimpse into what life would be like working for a large corporation. I quickly began to realize that creating the type of outpatient clinic I wanted, would only be feasible in private practice.
I started building my practice during adult residency residency training. I formed the company, created a website, and started marketing in the community. I discovered what a need in the community there was for high-quality mental health care, so at the beginning of my fellowship in child & adolescent psychiatry, I expanded my private clinic to hire psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. I am currently in my last year of fellowship training and have a fully operating clinic with 8 clinicians.
Since going through this process in setting up a private practice from the ground up, I want to pass on my passion for this model of care.
Here are some of the 5 biggest benefits I see in private practice:
- Autonomy: In an outpatient private practice setting, the physician is completely in charge of their schedule, the manner in which they provide care, and the administrative components of the practice. This is invaluable to me, as we as physicians should be in control of how our services are rendered. The physician is the one in charge of setting appointment lengths and number of patients scheduled per day. This creates a much lower stress work environment as you are not scrambling to meet a quota and compensation is not based on RVU’s/productivity.
- No obligation or requirement to contract with insurance companies: Providing fee-for-service care allows physicians to escape from the claws of insurance companies where you are not reliant on insurance reimbursement rates to dictate the worth of the care you provide. Also from an administrative perspective, not contracting with insurances eliminates the need for a biller or billing department in the outpatient practice.
- Flexibility: Working in a fee-for-service private practice setting allows you to not only set your rates, but also set your schedule. There is a large amount of flexibility that is not possible with hospital medicine.
- Patient Care: In my opinion, there is a high-quality of patient care in private practice settings, as there is often the luxury of longer appointment times and ability to follow up between visits. There is also the ability to create your ideal work culture and environments for your patients and staff.
- Security: Having your own private practice ensures that you have a job for the duration of your career. Building your own patient base is priceless, as you develop meaningful relationships with your patients that last for years. There is not a fear that you are replaceable, as you are the business.