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In this section, I go over the right steps for physicians considering starting their own practice and the biggest challenges they face in doing so.

The Right Next Step For Doctors

Owning your own practice is not the best next step for every person…

To own your own practice is more about your ability to manage people, run a business, use technology, keep records, and interact with a hospital and other doctors than it is about your medical skillset and education.

When you own a business, you’re deciding to stop being just a highly skilled medical professional. You have to also start being at least an average skilled business owner.

Many medical professionals are doing a great job at being business owners. Most of these people identify other professionals who can do the jobs they can’t. If you hire a tax attorney, also hire an experienced contract attorney. If you’re going to purchase property, speak to a real estate attorney or a real estate broker that you can trust. A professional accountant and bookkeeper can provide expertise where your medical specialty does not.

Most medical professionals didn’t learn a lot about business during their medical residency. The ability or the tolerance to reach out to find professionals that you can trust is a skill in itself. The work involved in starting and maintaining your own practice is entirely different from practicing as a physician.

The Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge for medical professionals who leave a position to start their own practice is the process of being a medical care company. You have to ask such questions as, “How many computer-savvy techs need to join me? How many people do I need to talk to patients? How many people are needed to do the billing? Where will I find experienced, competent, and responsible employees?”

You have to see beyond your role as the doctor in the white coat with the stethoscope examining patients.

The biggest challenge for new physicians starting an office is understanding the entire lifecycle of a patient visit, a patient follow-up, and the closing of a patient’s case. All that information may pass through the hands of 10 different vendors, including hospitals, electronic medical record systems, other doctors, physician assistants, nurses, other family members of those patients, and maybe even attorneys.

The Challenge In Leaving An Employed Position Or A Group Partnership

Some of the biggest challenges for medical professionals leaving a position or a group is your limited ability stated in the contract you signed. You may have a contract that limits you from practicing in a local area for a certain period of time after your contract ends. These limitations are standard non-competes that every employee in every state has to contend with.

It’s really important to discuss with an experienced contracts attorney to understand exactly what the limitations you are under with your current employer and what that employer will do if you leave.

A common question we receive is, “I have a contract. Is it enforceable?” Thus, the first thing we do at Roush Law Group is review your contract to understand whether you have a non-compete and how that might impact you.

Being aware of the limitations in your contract is important. You’re contemplating business-related decisions such as where to locate your office, what kind of patients you are going to see, and how you are going to get paid, whether it’s through your patients’ insurance companies or cash only. You need to know how the limitations in your contract affect these considerations.

Very often if you have an employer that has some proprietary payment method or proprietary relationships, you can’t use these relationships. If the contract limits vendor relationships, you would have to establish those relationships in a way that would not infringe on their confidentiality or their existing relationship.

For more information on Business Law in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (813) 550-2242 today.

Alfred M. Roush, Esq.

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