Despite frequent claims that new healthcare laws have driven doctors out of private practice, a 2013 AMA study reveals that many doctors are still invested in working for themselves, with more than 50% of physicians reporting as self employed. Starting your own medical practice or clinic is a great way for you to have the freedom to practice medicine in the way that you feel is best for your patients. However, some physicians experience difficulties getting started, largely because opening a private medical clinic requires business skills as well as medical skills, and most medical schools don't spend much time teaching doctors how to run a business. If you're considering opening a private medical clinic, here are some tips that can help you get your practice off the ground.
Landing a Location
Finding the right location is as important for a medical practitioner as it is for any other business owner. The best way to ensure that you're in the right location is to do your research before choosing your location. The local demographics can tell you a lot about whether your business is going to sink or swim in that area.
Are you planning to specialize in geriatric care? Look for a location that's convenient to senior living apartments and retirement villages. On the other hand, an OB/GYN office would be better located near a neighborhood full of growing young families. Want to open a plastic surgery center? Pick an area where the income levels are higher than average.
Acquire Affordable Equipment
Once you have a location, the next big hurdle is filling that location with the equipment that you need to run a medical practice. You may be surprised at just how much equipment you need, especially when you factor in computers and office equipment along with the medical equipment.
What you may not realize is that it's easy to find discounts on all kinds of medical equipment, from imaging machines to exam tables. Check with medical supply vendors like Chicago C-Arms LLC for refurbished equipment. Unlike used medical equipment, which is sold as-is, refurbished equipment is fixed and worn out parts are replaced before selling. Refurbished equipment also usually comes with a warranty, as well as delivery and installation. You'll get most of the benefits of buying new, but at a price that will leave some cash left over for your computer system and waiting room décor.
Pull in Patients
Once you're in place and all set up, you need to find a way to attract a customer base. The best way to do that is to make yourself known and trusted in your community. Raise your profile by answering simple medical questions in the local newspaper, or contributing to a community blog or forum online with your medical expertise. This can help you become known as a trustworthy professional in your community.
Also, don't neglect the customers that you do have. Ask your patients if they're happy with the care they receive, and what your practice can do to improve. Many people will feel happier just because you asked, and they'll spread the word that their doctor cares about their opinions. Word of mouth is the best way for any doctor to drum up new business.
Starting a new business isn't easy, and to start a medical clinic you have to be both doctor and businessperson, which can be even more difficult. However, if you do your research and you have the drive to succeed, you can achieve your dream practice.