Tips for Starting a Medical Practice and Staying on Budget

how to starting a medical practice healthcare company on a budget

Why did you become a doctor? Was it to help people? Did you have a great experience with a doctor growing up? 

Many new doctors have their own reasons for the career, and a lot of them look for a job in a hospital or existing office. However, starting a medical practice yourself can give you more control over the work you do and your schedule. 

If this sounds like something you want, keep reading for some essential tips on starting a private practice in healthcare. 

Research the Market 

The first step in opening any business is to research your market. As a doctor, you probably specialized in something during your residency. Common choices include primary care and pediatrics. 

No matter what you specialized in, you should make sure there's a market for the care you want to provide. If you focus on something more narrow, like epileptology, you'll probably need to be in a bigger city than someone who is a neurologist. 

Make sure you have enough patients that you can add to your roster. You may want to avoid setting up your office too close to your competition, but you should research what services they offer so that you can differentiate yourself. 

Choose a Location 

Next, start looking for potential locations for your medical office. Office buildings are a great option, but you can also find areas in strip malls or standalone buildings. 

Think about how much space you'll need for your practice. Of course, you need to factor in exam rooms, but don't forget about the front office or the parking lot. 

You should also consider how much you can spend on an office. You'll probably need a loan, but you don't need a huge space for your first practice. 

Decide on Your Business Structure 

As you research locations, think about how to structure your private medical practice. You can run your office as a partnership if you want to open up with a fellow doctor. 

Other options include limited liability companies (LLCs), S Corps, and Corporations. If you aren't sure which is best, you can meet with an accountant or lawyer to discuss the benefits of each. 

And while you can start as a sole proprietor, that isn't the best option for a doctor. You're going to need a sizable staff, and a sole proprietorship is usually more suited for individuals who don't have many employees. 

Find Funding 

When starting a medical practice, you also have to consider the financial aspect. You probably have a lot of loans from medical school, so you may not have enough money to fund the office yourself. 

Paying for things like exam tables, office furniture, or surgical robotics can cost a lot of money. You can offset these costs with a small business loan, and you can get a decent interest rate. 

If you have wealthy relatives, you can also ask them to contribute. Or you can turn to crowdfunding to raise more money to start your medical practice. 

Apply for Credentials

Before starting a medical practice, you also need to apply for credentials past your medical school training and board certification. As an MD or DO, you need to show you have an internship and residency. 

All medical professionals, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, need to have a state license, a driver's license, a curriculum vitae (CV), and malpractice insurance. 

You'll need all of the paperwork showing your credentials to run your office. It can take a while for everything to go through, so don't wait until the last minute for this step. 

Hire Office Staff 

Starting a medical office can be fun in that you get to choose who will work with you. You can put a job ad online or in your classified section looking for help. 

You'll need to hire nurses, administrators, and probably at least one other doctor or physician assistant. While you can open your office as the main provider, you need someone to fill in when you take time off. 

Look for people who are reliable and have a good medical education. You can also look for experienced people to help train new medical graduates. 

Purchase Medical Equipment 

You should also start looking for equipment for your medical practice. Your office will need exam tables for each room, swabs, cleaning supplies, and more. 

Don't forget about regular office supplies, like computers, paper, and pens. And if you will be giving vaccinations or drawing blood, you will need a refrigerator to manage those supplies. 

Consider how big your office is so that you don't buy too much stuff. But don't be afraid to stock up before you get busy with starting a medical practice. 

Prepare the Office 

Once you nail down a location for your family medical practice, you need to prepare the space. You may need to have builders rework the inside so that you have enough rooms for treating patients. 

Give some time for the construction work. And if you don't need to do a ton of work, you may still want to repaint the office or change the lighting. 

Then, you can start bringing in all of your equipment and setting up the office. You can put an exam table in each room and connect all of the computers for you and your staff. 

Start Marketing 

As you get close to opening, start marketing your private medical practice. You can tell your friends and family members about your new venture, and they can refer patients to you. 

If you're close with your medical school colleagues, you can also contact them. As long as you aren't in competing healthcare business markets, your former classmates can also send patients your way. 

And don't forget about the power of the internet. Create a website Facebook page for your practice, and share details about your services. Then, you can use advertising to reach people who could benefit from your medical care. 

Starting a Medical Practice Successfully 

When you think of doctors, you don't normally think of business people. But if you're passionate about both, consider starting a medical practice. 

You can help people each day and have autonomy that you may not have in a traditional role. Instead, you can choose how many patients you take and how much work you have, so you can balance your life as a doctor. 

Do you want to start a healthcare business but feel overwhelmed? Check out our blog for more tips on starting a medical practice on a frugal budget.

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