Should I Join a Hospital or Remain in Private Practice?

Posted by Team PracticeForces on Nov 19 2014

Kunal Jain speaks with a professional panel over staying private or joining a hospital.

PracticeForces CEO, Kunal Jain, hosted a healthcare panel for hundreds of independent physicians and small practices in the Tampa Bay area.

During the panel, Jain discussed with the top area doctors on topics such as ObamaCare, Medicare HMOs, HIPAA compliance and the role of private practice.

Dr. Chandresh Saraiya, MD, Co-Founder of Florida Medical Clinic:

That answer is very short and sweet, “no” to join a hospital, and always stay in private practice.

Radha Bachman, ESQ, Shareholder at Carlton Fields Jordan Burt:

Unfortunately, I cannot say that, because I do have clients that are hospital practitioners. I have certainly seen it from both ends, where hospitals are pursuing a physician practice, and where physicians are deciding whether or not to look at hospital employment. I think it is a very individualized decision, based on a number of factors; that is probably the legal answer that you are expecting.

However, from my perspective, if the young physicians who are coming to me, saying “Should I start out as an employee of a hospital, or join a practice?” then my advice would be, “look at your opportunities to grow,” and “do you have an opportunity to grow in a hospital setting, not knowing what the future holds for that organization, or for your practice generally?” 

Now, if you are talking about an older physician, who has a sole practice and is looking to transition out of practice, that is not an easy thing to do. I have seen physicians struggle with that for five to seven years, before they actually make a decision about how they are going to transition. For them, it might be a good idea to sell to the practice, or become an employee of the hospital, and know that you are going to be guaranteed a certain salary for number of years.

This helps you transition into retirement. It really just depends on your circumstances, and the sort of facts surrounding your practice.

Dr. Rajan Naik, MD, JSA Healthcare:

That is a good answer. I think I would never like to be an employee; thank God. I always had K1 and hardly had W2, but after I sold my practice, I am getting W2. I missed it when I was my own boss; everyday was a PTO (paid time off). I have two daughters, both are doctors, and they are working in a hospital as an employee.

To give advice to the younger generation, if you are entrepreneur, do not work for somebody, but rather start your own practice. You may struggle, and you may make less money, but wait it out; do not work for anybody. Do not get W2, get K1. Start your own practice.

Dr. Jawahar Taunk, MD, Gastroenterologist:

I think answer is very simple. Your practice gives you independence. You are your own boss.  You can do with your own time whatever you want to do, while hospital employment gives you security. If you want security from day one, I think you should do a hospital job. If you want to be independent and you can take a risk, do private practice.


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Topics: physician practice,, private doctor, private practice

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