Did you know that 19,553 people graduated from medical school in 2018? This is an 8% increase in med school graduations in the U.S. since 2014.
There are currently about 472,560 primary care doctors in the U.S. 518,128 doctors are specialists. For every group of 100,000 people, there are 295 licensed doctors.
56% of doctors spend about 35 hours of their workweek seeing patients. 38% of doctors spend about 19 hours of their work hours on paperwork.
Employment in the medical field is expected to grow by 13% by 2026. With 175,000 private practices currently open, you might be interested in starting a medical practice yourself.
Keep reading to learn some of the most important tips you should know.
1. Get Your Finances Organized First
Your dream out of medical school might be to start your own practice so you can be your own boss and start helping patients right away. The most important and first step you should take when starting a medical practice is to get your finances in order.
You should have some capital saved up for your practice; this might be hard with the numerous student loans you need to start paying off after medical school. Taking a few years to work at another practice first will help you gain the experience necessary and the capital you’ll need.
Once you’re ready to begin the process of starting your practice, you’ll need to come up with a business plan to project expected revenue and expenses. This will help you get the necessary loans to get your business on its feet.
2. Keep Things Small
When you’re building your first private medical practice, you should consider keeping things small. Starting with a smaller office and team will decrease expenses significantly so that it won’t be too hard to recover from any potential losses.
A small location will be easier to manage as you learn the ins and outs of having your own practice. You’ll also have a less expensive lease as you work to build a reputation in your community and grow your practice with new patients.
3. Get Your Credentials in Order
Once you have a location and are ready with your staff, you should get your credentials sorted out to start seeing patients. Having all your credentials up to date will allow you to accept insurance, both private and government-based, from your new patients.
This process can take a few months since insurers will want to know about your medical experience. The experience you gained working for another practice is vital to this part of the process.
Being licensed to practice in your state and having the right malpractice insurance are important too. The requirements will vary from state to state.
4. Find the Right Location
Another important step in starting your medical practice is finding the right location. This is a place that you’ll keep for the entirety of your career, so making the right choice is vital.
You want to choose a location that doesn’t have many other doctors with your specialty in the region. You should also be looking in places where physicians are nearing retirement age so that you can fulfill the upcoming vacancy.
Looking in cities with bigger populations is key or in towns with fewer practices and in need of more doctors.
5. Hire Knowledgeable People
A big part of medical management is finding the people who can bring the most to your practice to help the patients in the very best ways. While you want to start with a small staff, hiring physicians and administrators that can help you with the business side of things is vital.
While you want to hire staff that shares your values, it’s also important to hire people with complementary skills and strengths to make your team stronger.
6. Invest in Medical Answering Services
A successful practice is best measured in how it treats its patients. Building a trusting relationship, especially with new patients, is an important part of starting a medical practice that will exceed expectations.
Being available when your patients need you is vital, and while you as the physician can’t be there to answer the phone 24/7, you can invest in doctor answering services to help.
Medical answering services help answer phone calls in your practice. They’re trained to handle all kinds of calls the same way anyone on your staff would.
7. Get the Best Medical Equipment
The next step in starting your medical practice is getting the necessary equipment. While you might want to start with the latest, state-of-the-art technology, this can lead to hefty costs.
One way to furnish your office with the necessary medical equipment is by reaching out to retiring doctors or hospitals with extra supplies in storage to see what equipment you can get at a fraction of the cost.
Some of the basics include an examination table, equipment for measuring vital signs, and a stethoscope. You’ll also need quality cleaning supplies to maintain sanitation.
8. A Website Is Key
Managing a medical practice also involves creating a great website for your practice. This might be the most common way of reaching new patients.
If you feel comfortable designing your own website, there are plenty of templates and resources available online to help guide you. You can also consider hiring an outside company to help with the design.
Some companies will take care of design while also helping you with Search Engine Optimization or SEO to attract more attention to the services you offer and help you reach the intended audience.
9. Consider an EHR System
An electronic health records system is the best way to start a new practice for today’s tech-savvy world. Maintaining patient records electronically can make saving treatment plans, notes, and invoices easier than ever before.
Make sure to take the time to assess any risk to patient privacy with your electronic health records system.
Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Medical Practice
Starting a medical practice can be both exciting and overwhelming. Hopefully, this guide can help make the process less overwhelming and more exciting.
Important tips to follow include creating a business plan and investing in medical answering services. Check out some of the other blogs on our site to learn more.