Private Practice vs Employed?

Fam doc

New Member
Nov 19, 2013
    I am a new family medicine residency graduate looking at jobs in the Midwest. I am trying to decide between a private practice comprised of 20-40 primary care doctors, and a medium sized hospital employed job. Both seem like great positions with fairly similar pay and earning potential. I understand the essential differences between being part owner and being employed, but I am having a very difficult time deciding. Can anybody shed some light on differences that might not be readily apparent, and might only be realized after 5, 10, 30 years of practice? Something like, "when I started off in private practice 'x' years ago, I wish I would have known 'blank'"
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    10+ Year Member
    Jan 25, 2008
    1. Attending Physician
      My former partner and I just parted ways over this issue. I'm not sure there is a right and a wrong answer. She was very worried about the future of medicine, both her personal income and the welfare of our ten employees. She sought safety in employment, and I joined one of the few remaining independent practices in the area.

      She now works fewer hours and has great benefits. However, the bonus the hospital promised didn't come through, and her income has significantly decreased. I put in more hours, but I should take home more than twice what she does. She requests vacation time, I tell my office manager when I'm going to work. She finds comfort in the fact that a large institution guarantees her income. I find security in the fact that my career does not rely on the whim of a hospital CEO.
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