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Lesson 4: Employment and Private Practice

Are you more lone wolf or part of the pack?

Consult with colleagues who have chosen each option – employment with a hospital or system and private practice – especially people who have started in one and moved to the other, for broader perspective. 

For the first time, more than half of physicians are employees, according to the AMA. 

There are pros and cons on each side. Employment with a hospital or group can bring more work-life balance, and physicians often have set hours and days off. Employment offers more stability in income and lifestyle. You may also be able to count on different departments in the organization to handle administrative responsibilities.

Employment is a great way to be part of a team, but you’re also accountable to managers and executives, and must adhere to policies and protocols.

Private practice is good for people with entrepreneurial spirit. You’ll have a certain degree of autonomy, but you’re also responsible for your practice’s success, for better or worse.

You decide how to treat your patients (not beholden to upper managers). But as a business owner, you’re also responsible for paperwork, administrative issues, overhead, electronic health records, hiring and firing, etc.


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