The Different Types of Medical and Dental Practices

medical person doing a test

Starting a practice for dental and medical practitioners feels a bit like starting a business. We can apply the same principles when we want to start our own medical and dental practice. There are two options for those in this profession: start from scratch or buy an established practice. The best choice for you depends on your budget, skills, career goals, and personal preferences.

The first thing you need to do is choose the kind of practice you want. You basically have three choices—solo, group, or employment. Solo and group practices are more like owning a business. You are selling your services. Patients are buying into whether they trust the quality of service you can deliver or not.

Solo

This was previously a popular model for dental and medical practices. However, in recent years, this has become less common as it is considered to be more expensive to run a solo practice. Someone who starts a solo practice has a small staff composed of a receptionist and an assistant. They also typically have a limited patient base. The advantage of a solo practice is that the practitioners have the option to expand the business whichever way they see fit.

You can choose to start this one from scratch or buy an already existing practice. Yes, dentists, physicians, and podiatrists, ophthalmologists, audiologists, and many other branches of science sell their practices when they want to move to another state or retire. The advantage of taking over a practice is you already have the equipment you need.

One of the most expensive types of equipment among these practices is the audiometric sound booth. Some of these booths can cost tens of thousands of dollars. When you buy from an audiologist who is selling the audiology practice, you are eliminating the need to haggle and negotiate the prices of the equipment. They already come with the package.

medical personnel looking at x-ray result

Group

Of course, starting a practice complete with all the necessary medical equipment is easier when you’re with a group. Most of these practices are divided into single-specialty or multispecialty practices. The practitioners in this type of practice usually have other offices or clinics in hospitals and diagnostic centers. However, to give themselves a better chance of earning from their own practices, they establish a group practice with other specialists.

Group practices are easier to manage. Since there are more people involved in the business, you have to consider what others want to do with the practice. Do they want to invite more specialists? Do they want to open another branch? Although this is a great method financially because one person doesn’t have to cover everything, it usually involves a lot of negotiations and considerations.

Employment

Those who do not have the money to build their own practice from scratch or take over an established practice will usually join health care corporations first. Hospitals, for example, hire physicians for their ambulatory clinics or in-patient facilities. Health insurance companies also need physicians for some administrative tasks. Most corporations employ in-house physicians, too, for their employees’ annual check-ups.

The benefit of being an employed medical or dental practitioner is that you get paid regularly. You don’t have to worry about your next paycheck because you know it’s coming. However, it also hinders your career growth because you cannot build your name in the industry.

The good thing about being in this kind of profession is that there are unlimited options for you. Medical and dental practitioners can choose to build their own solo or group practice. They can also join a company and become a regular employee. Most jobs don’t offer this kind of diversification.

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