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The Business Side of a Medical Practice

Medical students and residents are exposed to a wealth of information about practicing medicine, but not so much about the business of practicing medicine. Speakers at a Monday Miniseminar will elaborate on some practical aspects of practice that residents may want to consider as they plan their futures.

“Business of Medicine for Residents and Fellows Planning for the Future” will be presented from 3:45 pm-4:45 pm Monday in Room 30DE.

“It’s all about lifestyle and family. One of the things we will talk about is that you make decisions about where you want to practice based upon your family. It could be your spouse or your parents. You have to think about a variety of things,” said Lee Eisenberg, MD, MPH, the session moderator.

Among the considerations that will be addressed in the session are fellowships, interviews, contracts, investing, insurance, choosing a location, and starting and advancing a practice.

One of the first considerations is weighing the pros and cons of private practice versus working in an academic setting, with a focus on contracts. Contract considerations that will be covered are lengths of agreements, termination, mutual agreements, base pay, yearly increases, bonuses, fringe benefits, and restrictive covenants.

“You can ask for research time in an academic setting,” said Dr. Eisenberg, who is in private practice at ENT & Allergy Associates, Englewood, NJ. “But you don’t always have as much leeway when you are first starting in an academic practice. There are differences in the sizes of practices, the lifestyles, and the teaching responsibilities. In some ways it is more difficult in an academic practice.”

Other considerations include mentoring in academic versus private practice and lifelong learning, including maintenance of certification.

Private practice is changing because of health system reform. Speakers will address the decreasing number of solo practices, and the demands of working in larger group practices or at a hospital. They also will discuss considerations when negotiating a contract.

A common topic on both the academic and private sides is advancing a practice. This involves dealing with staff and patients in an emergency setting, office visits, speaking engagements, being affable with patients, good communication, and even electronic medical records etiquette.

“This is a program that will give people a perspective of what to think about as they begin go look for a practice and sign a contract,” Dr. Eisenberg said.

Other speakers at the session are:

  • Christine B. Franzese, MD, professor of otolaryngology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine
  • Sonya Malekzadeh, MD, professor of otolaryngology at Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Bill Moran, MD, of the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Clinic
  • Mark K. Wax, MD, professor of otolaryngology at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland

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