When early career doctors have finished their qualifications and are ready to begin their next chapter there are many factors to consider in determining what is the right pathway for you and your career.
If this applies to you, it is likely that you have been working for public or private hospitals for some time and you’re looking to move into some form of private practice.
Each option presents individual advantages and pitfalls.
Regardless of the size of the practice, it is essential that the structures are in place to ensure effective management and compliance and allow you, the doctor, to focus on your core business of caring for patients and practising medicine.
In the early stages of transitioning to private practice, it is also likely that you will want arrangements that are cost effective and flexible so that you can determine exactly how much or how little work you wish to do, and to determine if the private practice lifestyle is right for you.
Flexibility can often have a premium attached, in terms of cost, but often this extra cost can be worthwhile to ensure that the work you do suits your needs and lifestyle and that you are not bound to longer term arrangements if you decide it is not for you.
If you are joining an established practice, some basics you need to consider are:
Some of the basics that need to be considered before opening a new general or specialist medical practice include:
Usually if you are starting a practice, you may be entering into arrangements that are longer term (like a lease or equipment finance arrangements) or where there may be more significant liabilities overall, so it is important that you undertake significant accounting and legal due diligence and take advice before entering into these arrangements.
Ordinarily, we find that doctors in their early career are looking to join existing practices under either a Service, Licence or Sessional Agreement. While these agreements should be relatively straightforward and clear, there are potential tricks and traps that can cause you grief in the long run.
For example, the agreement may contain a restraint, confidentiality or waiver in relation to your patients and the area you practice. While this may not be problematic at the time, when you progress in your career and look to move out into your own private practice, these restraints/waivers can prevent, delay or otherwise hinder, your future options.
As you can see from the above, regardless of whether you are joining an established practice, or going out on your own, there are several considerations to evaluate before you should put pen to paper. We have prepared a medical practice checklist which is available here for your consideration.
If you are looking to move into private practice, please reach out to us so that we can assist and help make the process as smooth and stress free as possible.
The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.