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Group vs. Solo Practices

posted Apr 21, 2015, 7:42 AM by Explore More   [ updated Jun 23, 2015, 9:05 AM ]

While some physicians prefer to work with peers and others like working alone, practical concerns may trump personal considerations when it comes to practicing medicine. Changes in the business of medicine have caused many physicians to forgo solo practice.

According to the Merritt Hawkins’ 2014 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, 64 percent of Merritt Hawkins’ search assignments were for hospital-employed settings, while solo practices, which were about 20 percent of search assignments in 2004, represented less than 1 percent between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014.

Even so, you should weigh the pros and cons for family medicine in regard to group versus solo practices to make sure you make the best professional choice for yourself.

Group:

Upside: If you can’t make it into the office, you can call on others to help you out. You have peers to consult for a shared clinical experience when you need help. Also, one of your peers may be good as certain aspects of managing a practice while it’s your weakness, so you can combine your abilities for a more health business model.

Downside: But if you and your partners aren’t aligned, you can have a stressful career. For many physicians, it’s emotionally and professionally devastating to break up a practice, so it’s important to find the right people to work with.

Solo:

Upside: You are the master of your own destiny. You alone set the rules and what you practice, allowing you to define what areas to focus on. You also have the flexibility to make decisions quickly instead of consulting others about the direction for your practice. You can work according to your personality and work habits without worry how it may affect other physicians.

Downside: Generally speaking, you may not be a financially solvent as a group practice because you are exposed to more financial risk. If you aren’t good in business, you may sink your own ship.