Establishing your own dental or optometric practice creates an opportunity to invest in a legacy. By firmly taking control of your business destiny, you can create your brand and practice medicine in accordance with your personal philosophy.
Owning a practice isn’t for everyone. Medical professionals face challenges on every corner. In 2005, more than two-thirds of medical practices were physician-owned.
By 2010, that number dropped below 50 percent . . . and it keeps getting lower. Why? Medical school debts, the desire for regular hours and a regular paycheck lure many to practice with larger organizations or hospital-owned practices.
But for those who want to establish their own practice, planning and preparation are absolute necessities. This short quiz may help you decide if you’re ready. Answer the following questions and score your answers according to the key at the end of this blog post.
TAKE THE QUIZ
1. If you have a family, are they supportive of your endeavor? If you don’t have a family, do you have a support system of colleagues and friends?
[ ] Yes
[ ] No
2. Have you previously worked as a partner or practitioner in a larger office?
[ ] Yes
[ ] No
3. How long have you practiced medicine?
A. One to five years
B. More than ten years
C. Five to ten years
D. I have just graduated from medical, dental, or optometry school.
4. How detailed is your business plan?
A. I have a solid idea of what I want to do, but no specifics.
B. I have a specific business plan with budgets, estimates and figures.
C. I have a basic business plan in writing.
D. I do not have a business plan.
5. Do you have experience with the business end of practicing medicine?
A. I concentrated on practicing medicine—not running the business.
B. I have taken several businesses classes and seminars.
C. I have some on-the-job experience.
D. I have just completed my medical training.
6. Are you willing (and able) to invest substantial funds into a business venture?
A. Yes, but I have significant medical school / college debt.
B. Yes, and I’ve been planning for it financially.
C. Yes, but I’ve not done much financial planning.
D. I’m worried about investing too much of my money.
7. Are you willing to work long hours to help ensure your venture is a success?
A. Yes—nights, weekends, whatever it takes.
B. Yes—but I am willing to have experts help me if it means I can have more free time.
C. Yes, but I also believe in a healthy work/ life / family balance.
D. Yes, as long as I’m home every weekend.
Give yourself 2 points for each “yes” and 1 point for each “no.”
Assign a number value to each answer and add them together.
Each A is worth 1 point.
Each B is worth 3 points.
Each C is worth 2 points.
Each D is worth 0 points.
If you scored between 2 to 6 points:
Maybe you aren’t quite ready to start your own practice. Often, it helps to work for other, larger businesses to get an idea of what ideas and strategies you would and wouldn’t like to implement in your own practice. You may not have a solid business plan in place yet or maybe you have just graduated. Either way, it may benefit you to wait and then re-evaluate.
If you scored between 7 to 12 points:
You have several qualities that indicate you’re almost ready to start your practice. However, there are a few points you should consider:
Have a solid business plan that involves figures and estimates.
Develop a concrete idea of what you can invest and risk financially.
Be aware of the importance of a life/ work balance in order to avoid burnout.
Learn more about the business climate of the area in which you’d like to practice.
If you scored between 13 to 19 points:
Congratulations! It appears as if you’re ready to make the leap into practice ownership. You have solid goals and specific information to help manage the process.