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Most doctors prefer to work on their own terms in their own clinic. While working in a hospital setting is essential for experience, and also a bit exhilarating, it can be exhausting as well. When you open your own clinic, you can set your own hours and work independent of a hierarchical and complicated hospital administration. The prospect is tempting, but running your own clinic involves doing a lot of work. If you are a doctor thinking about opening his or her own clinic, here are several tips to follow:
Understand the “Market”
Most doctors don’t want to think of the lifesaving services they provide as business, but when you open a clinic, it’s partly business. You will be technically running your own small business. So, it’s important to understand the market, or the demand for medical services in the area. You should take your services to where there’s plenty of demand. If you are a cardiologist, don’t open shop where people can easily find plenty of other cardiologists. Also, it makes little sense to set up a cardiology clinic in a town where heart health rates are very good. See where your speciality is most needed, and open your clinic there.
Purchase Medical Equipment Carefully
Opening a clinic means buying a lot of medical equipment, including inexpensive ones like syringes or very expensive devices like a Preclinical Scanner. Doctors should over time find reliable sellers who offer bulk deals to save up on overhead costs. In the meantime, be careful when purchasing equipment. Buy from reputed manufacturers only. All equipment you purchase should be manufactured and tested in a country with a strong regulatory body.
Don’t rush to open your own clinic either. If you are a young doctor, it’s best to spend your years in a hospital or a large clinical setting to gain valuable experience. Patients prefer doctors with sterling reputations. It takes years for doctors to build their reputations, so be patient until you are well experienced and confident to carry out on your own.
Aim to Establish a Base
Try to attract a certain type of patients to build your clinic. In most basic terms, your target audience will be the people who live in a certain area. But most townships and cities have multiple private medical clinics, so people are choosy. You can aim to offer services for a particular target audience that matches your speciality. If you are a paediatrician, you can offer services for children in a specific age range. Also, if you speak a second language, you will be able to serve immigrant or ethnic communities that may not be getting the services they need.
Do not buy the space for your clinic right away. It will be very expensive. At first, rent. If you think you can practise in the location you have chosen lucratively for the next decade or so, then you can think about purchasing the place. Do not burden yourself with a hefty loan to buy a place for the clinic.
The success of your clinic will also depend on how good the staff you hire is. You will also need to get insurance and an attorney on a retainer.