How to Start Your Own Medical Practice, One Doctor Tells Her Story (2)

How to start a medical practice: patients and insurance

Although she did not have a non-compete clause in her contract with her previous employer, she did have a non-solicitation clause. So Dr. C was not able to ask her patients to move with her. But once word was out, many loyal patients gladly followed her to her new practice. Even though she moved practices, she kept her credentials with several major insurance companies. Normally the credentialing process with the health insurance companies can take up to two months.

“The hardest part with the insurance companies was getting a fee schedule,” she said. “We called in June, called again and again, then called everyday. And finally in September, they arrived.” Using the resources of her regional family practice association, she was also able to find medical malpractice insurance at reasonable rates.

How to start a medical practice: hiring staff

Hiring staff was also easier than Dr. C first thought. Her medical assistant and front desk receptionist from a former employer decided to join her. Another key person she hired was a good accountant to help with many of the financial issues. Consider hiring an office manager to handle a variety of the tasks you need done. Working well as a team she was able to set the tone of how the office would be run and has much less stress on the job than her previous practice positions. She also made an arrangement with a colleague for emergency and out-of-town coverage.

How to start a medical practice: balancing work and family

Dr. C had her son during residency, and returning to work after maternity leave she saw her son for only 20 minutes a day. Pregnant with her second child, she was looking forward to balancing her family and thriving practice on her own terms. Even though she says setting up her own practice was more work and stress than she imagined, Dr. C is very happy about it and more fulfilled than ever.