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What are the downsides to private practice?

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Lemons, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Lemons

    Lemons Welcome New Poster

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    I’ve being working in community health for a few years but now I’m thinking about applying for a job in private practice. Can I ask what are everyone's frustrations of working in private practice? I hear a lot of positives but not much on the downside.

    Thanks :)
  2. podesh

    podesh Active Member

    Which country are u in? Private prac can be more money orientated, depends on who you work for. I love private practice, scope of practise is much larger than when I worked for public health. My downside.. No work, no money, but being own boss is great.
  3. littlsar

    littlsar Welcome New Poster

    hi, lots of positives but some downsides too.
    1. CPD is harder to keep on top of, its easy to get out of touch with latest practises.
    2. the economy . . . no money = no patients!
    3. no paid holidays!
    4. no days off at short notice, patients like to know you will be the there as planned.
    5, you have to buy and maintain equipment, pay staff, rents, advertising . . .
  4. Pauline burrell-saward

    Pauline burrell-saward Active Member

    can be lonely, not working with other proffesionals.

    being ill and still having to get up and phone all your pts and cancel.
    -- then when you are better having to work extra hours to catch up ( no-one to call on)
    doing the washing up, washing the floor, sterilising.

    giving up a weekend to paint the surgery.

    doing your accounts after you have finished work, and spending 6 hours at the end of the year looking for £6 incorrectly put in the accounts somewhere

    but I wouldnt change it , being your own boss is great
  5. Suzannethefoot

    Suzannethefoot Active Member

    Depends on if you want to work for someone else of for yourself. All the other replies are assuming you will work for yourself, but you said you would be applying for a private job. I think working for someone else would be similar to working for the state, but working for yourself is much harder for all the reasons stated above, although here in Bournemouth we have a network of colleagues who will help out in case of accident or illness, then return your patients to you un-pinched! Having said that though, I ought to have a medical procedure, but cannot afford to take the 8 weeks off for recovery, even though my patients would be looked after.

    Talk to others in private practice near to you, I would hope you know others from attending branch meetings, so would get an idea from them about the cons.

    Good luck.

  6. Lemons

    Lemons Welcome New Poster

    Thanks everyone, really appreciate the responses. I should have specified I'm in Australia and yes will be working for someone else not myself
  7. antipodean

    antipodean Active Member

    Private practice contemplation points
    - being asked to sign no compete clause
    - high turnover of pods through practice,
    - nature/scope of job will u be on in a practice or out doing nursing homes every day of the week,
    - renumeration watch for salary that is actually bundled up contract ($80000 is a lot less if leave loading and super is included). - if paid on % of turnover all things required to conduct podiatry other than your registration fee and usually your public liability & CPD should be provided, there have been ATO rulings in relation to GPs and corporates on this as well as reasonable % rates
    Also if % assure yourself there is abundant patient load and not being shunted out to start a new satellite practice.
    - best for both parties to only start with a short or trial employment and have some review periods set for when salary or % can be adjusted as well as nature and pattern of work.
    - are you comfortable with appointment structures ie some pods like 30 minutes standard appts others 20 minutes
    - is the practice manager the spouse of the practice principal, usually fine but it can potentially get awkward if there is conflict.

    That said the vast bulk of private employers do the right thing and in my experience not all Public sector employment is devoid of problems.
  8. NWhite

    NWhite Member

    I think one of the most relevant differences is the level of accountability. That patient list is yours and everyone wants you to fix them, now. Whilst that is more lucrative, there is a burden of responsibility.

    It tends to lend itself to sleepless nights initially but that wears off after a while. Some pods take it more personally then others.

    You also take ownership over a certain 'group' of patients who occupy 95% of your time for 5% of your income.
  9. Hi,
    From my 15 years experience I have found that staff are the number one downside/upside from private practice. I have had to develop goal setting/ways to understand what their needs are and taylor my business (i.e. PD, seminars etc) to suit them.

    If you can keep staff long term then your practice will be a lot more profitable.

    Hope this helps.

  10. Hi there !
    i have been in private practice for nearly 18 years now, and the only pitfall, that I see is the NHS Pension !!

    Or the lack of it ! Although, paying into a private pension for over 16 years, my monthly income at 56 is only £40 per month !!mmmm At least with the NHS here in Great Britain, a senior pod, can expect to receive a £1000 per month, after 35 years of service, Approx, not to mentiion a rather large "Lump-Sum" at the end of your years, that can pay off any mortgage you might have at 60 !!

    Apart from that, I see no problems at all, I was a single parent for many years and worked accordingly to my childrens schooling and have no doubt, that earning within a private practice, far outweighs, racing around the countryside, spending money on petrol, getting involved in traffic jams etc ! I did this for nearly 5 years after qualifying, and would rather prefer to be in my surgery any day !

    Also for every patient you might see on the road, you can do 2/3 within a surgery on a 30 minute appointment.

    Also the issue of "Sterile Conditions" come into it, what you can do on the road, compared to what you are able to do within a sterile surgery, comes into this as well !

    Also trying to do Biomechanics and their Assessments, is difficult within a home, and a surgery. Also I am computerised for patient records, and B/Assessments, and find it so helpful, just typing out my notes, in seconds, than writing them all down on the road, inbetween the next patient you might be travelling too !

    All in all, give me my private practice anyday ! In actual fact, I have one day a month for Home, Visits, and trying to sell this, as its more financially viable to do more within my surgery than outside of it !

    Good Luck, the first year is bumpy, whilst you build up your practice, but each and every year, after that,your clientel will increase, then you are at last "Master of your own Destiny 2!!!:empathy:

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