If you’re the kind of person who relies on Fleetwood Mac for advice about your life, you might still be trying to “Go Your Own Way” as a solo practitioner. But for others, the burden of running a successful medical practice alone often results in a “Landslide” of stress and debt.
For those independent physicians feeling overwhelmed, establishing a medical partnership could be the solution that saves your practice.
It’s a big step, though, and understandably scary to many who have done the work of establishing their practices by themselves. A partner is someone you’ll spend most of your time with—maybe even more than you do with friends and family, so the process of creating a medical partnership requires trust and lots of forethought to avoid choosing the wrong partner.
Because the potential damage a negative medical partnership can have on a practice is so huge, you should only consider the option if you’re currently experiencing all three of these scenarios:
- If you need to branch out or expand the services you offer, finding a partner with complementary skill sets could bring in additional business.
- If you’re overwhelmed by your current workload and responsibilities, bringing in a partner to shoulder some of the burden can be a big help.
- If your business has stopped growing or you’re struggling to cover costs, expanding your team with the right partner can reinvigorate your practice.
Complementary Skill Sets Mean More Business
Branching out into a multi-specialty practices could afford you the opportunity to increase your patient base and revenue by offering a more holistic treatment approach to your patients.
For example, if you’re a general practitioner and the growth of your patient base has stalled, a medical partnership with a pediatrician could make your practice more attractive to families. By finding a partner whose specialty complements your own, you’re offering more value to patients.
If you’re not interested in the multi-specialty route, you should still look for a partner who has experience and knowledge that will enhance your practice and make your life easier. Compare candidates’ strengths and weaknesses with your own to find a partner who will be able to take up the slack in areas where you’re lacking. For example, if you struggle to make business decisions, you should look for a partner who has experience with the practice aspects of running a practice.
Many Hands Make Light Workloads
Physician burnout is a serious issue in the medical industry, and it’s not going away anytime soon. In Medscape’s National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report for 2019, close to half of physicians reported feeling burned out—and that rate has been steadily climbing over the years.
In the same survey, the leading cause of physician burnout was “Too many bureaucratic tasks (e.g., charting, paperwork).”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload, you’re not alone. The good news is a medical partnership could alleviate some of that stress by dividing up the responsibilities of running a practice.
Grow Your Team to Grow Your Practice
We’ve already covered how bringing in a partner with a complementary specialty could boost your patient base, but this idea is worth exploring further.
For small practices, growth means success, but it’s not an easy thing to sustain. Finding a partner with fresh ideas and a new perspective on business operations will help you make adjustments to reinvigorate your practice and kickstart growth.
Let’s say your practice doesn’t currently use a patient portal to communicate with patients, but you know using one could boost patient engagement and you have the budget to invest in the software. You can look for a partner who has used patient portals before to lead the new software adoption process at your practice.
A Checklist: Considerations for Medical Partnerships
Once you’ve decided to take the steps to create a medical partnership at your practice, you’ll begin the long and exhaustive process of vetting candidates.
When you’re ready, you can use sites like Indeed and LinkedIn to find and vet potential partners, but you’ll want to have a set of criteria in mind before you get to that point. To help, we’ve created this checklist of considerations for finding a partner.