The Different Types of Medical Practices

There are many different types of medical practices within the nursing and medical industry. A practice can be described as a medical business structure in which physicians and registered nurses can choose to work within.

Understanding the different types of medical practices is important for anyone getting into this industry, as the type that you choose to work in will have a lasting impact on your career and your life as a whole. It’s important to factor in the many characteristics and benefits of these multiple practices to learn which style suits you best.

Here is a look at some of the many different types of practices that nurses and doctors can get involved in, and their pros and cons, ranging from group practices to hospital-based employment a beyond.

Group Practice

Group practice is used to describe a medical facility that consists of two or more physicians providing medical care. Usually, these staff members will have different and complementary specializations so that the practice can provide a service to multiple types of patients. However, some group practices, such as a dental practice, will have multiple individuals who have specialized in the same field.

In a group practice, all the work and resources are shared, which includes the running and administering of the practice. If you’re interested in starting your medical practice, it’s first vital that you figure out how the income is going to be divided before you start going through the motions to set the practice up. Click here for more information on this.

It’s important to learn about the different ways that a group practice can be set up, as this will alter how it runs and operates. The most common type of group practice until very recently was association practices, however, partnership practices have risen in popularity because of their alternate funding model.

Group practices are good because they increase the financial security of all those involved, and because there’s multiple staff, it also increases your flexibility. There’s also a greater tolerance to financial risk when compared to the other types, and there is very little if not any at all startup costs when joining an existing practice.

What detracts from a group partnership is that as it grows and gets more members, an individual’s autonomy and decision-making abilities decrease as you will get less freedom. This growth can also lead to a more bureaucratic and policy-driven approach, which may not suit everyone. The resources and staff are also shared, which can be tough and annoying, not to mention that the rapidly growing income is a bit limited in this format.

Private Practices

Private practice is where one physician works alone without any partners or extra support. Typically, this solo practitioner will serve only a limited group of patients and is usually someone with a unique specialty within the medical field. This type of practice is great for individuals who want a greater deal of control in how they operate and for those who like the idea of being in charge and managing every aspect of the practice.

Those who run a private practice usually opt to either own their own medical facility or to lease a medical office. It’s a good idea for anyone looking to start their own practice to set one up in suburban or rural areas as this will help ensure that there isn’t a big amount of competition from other practices. Furthermore, some hospitals affiliate themselves with private practices so that there is a healthy patient and customer base.

The biggest positive of going solo is that the practitioner or nurse is free to design and grow the exact work environment they desire and can control who you see and offer a more personalized care type. This helps you get more referrals and, therefore, more business. You can also hire your own set of dedicated staff and be the main decider when it comes to who to hire.

The downside is that solo practice is really tough to start up, and the initial costs of getting it off the ground are quite severe. It can also be very overwhelming at times as the sole practitioner has to be responsible for everything with the practice, including finances, scheduling, staffing, and other business operations, which may not suit everyone. With all these tasks to complete, it also means that there is a lot more work and longer hours with extraordinarily little financial reward for these extra endeavors.

It’s the financial and quality of life negatives that have made solo practices far less attractive in recent years as opening up a group is the more desirable and safer option.

Hospital-Based Practices

There are other types of medical practices that are more common with hospitals. Some hospitals purchase and manage existing solo or group practices to work within their environment, or they can also directly hire staff and physicians to work in their facilities. Working within a hospital as a medical practitioner is attractive because you can count on a steady, predictable income and work schedule, making it easier to plan your life around the job.

The downside to working in a hospital is that it takes away your degree of freedom, as you have to meet the standards and follow the protocol of the institution. It’s also a lot more clinical as staff will see a higher volume of patients a day, meaning there’s little opportunity to build a good connection with your patients.

Locum Tenens

Locum Tenens is a Latin phrase that means ‘to hold place of’ and refers to medical staff who relocate for temporary employment to areas that need a great deal of healthcare professionals. Most places are in constant need of temp work, and the demand can also mean that contracts are a lot higher value to entice the best people in.

Each contract’s short-term nature means that nurses and medical professionals can experience many different roles and types of practices, allowing them to discover which one they prefer. The negative with this type of work is that there is little financial stability due to working from contract to contract, and you’ll never be able to settle in one environment. Hence, it only suits those who like moving about and are adventurous in that way.


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