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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Solo vs Group: The Pros and Cons

For me, solo practice has been just the cure for what ailed me in my professional life. Several years ago, I suffered from low morale, poor outcomes, and desperation. I felt that I had had made a drastic mistake in my career choice and was in a mental prison. I was part of a group, an excellent group, in fact, and I had nice and competent partners. I was making some money and was living comfortably. Yet I was miserable. Perhaps I did not truly know how unhappy I was then, because I had no basis of comparison and know template for what how a good fit was supposed to feel. For me, solo practice is simply more compatible with my core values.

Solo practice has some advantages over group practice. . .for the right person. As a solo practitioner, you run the show. You must have knowledge in some basic business principles, such as accounting, marketing, human resource management, information technology, quality control, and business strategy. Or you better acquire this skill set quickly. Oh, yeh, and you have to be a good doctor as well. . .and be home for your family. . .and make time for your one outside interest, such as tennis. So as you can see, solo practice can be very demanding.

Personally, I enjoy all the business and medical aspects of solo practice,but here is the best part of it. Only solo practice really allows you to pursue ALL of your entrepreneurial dreams and goals. Only solo practice allows you to have hope in a future for you that is brighter than today. And that is truly the best reason for going solo.

Group practice is good too. As part of group you will simply make more money than as a solo doctor,at least at the beginning of your career. You'll have partners for emotional and professional support, and you'll more easily be able to leave the job behind you when not on call. In fact, you'll view it as just a job; not bad! You can focus simply on doctoring and pursue outside interests more easily. Perhaps you have a passion for wine and reading about military history and you play tennis. In group practice, you'll have time for it all.

So the bottom line is that there are many trade offs in the solo-group dichotomy. By defining your core values you can then get a better insight into what will be a better long term fit for you.

Goos luck,

The IU.