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I'm an undergrad and obviously a long way off from medical school and graduation. However, I was wondering what sort of classes / skills would be good to pick up in undergrad and along the way if I decided that I wanted to go into private practice. Would it be a good idea to do a minor in business or something like that? Or in reality would you mostly hire someone to do the paperwork for you?
 

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business or health services admin would be a good thing, because you don't learn the business side in med school.
 

armybound

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I'm sure I'd pay someone $50k/year to do my paperwork and scheduling instead of missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business because I'm wasting my time on paperwork and answering phones.

You sure you're cut out for private practice? ;)
 
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236116

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I'm sure I'd pay someone $50k/year to do my paperwork and scheduling instead of missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business because I'm wasting my time on paperwork and answering phones.

You sure you're cut out for private practice? ;)
39k is the usual.

are you going to let them make all the decisions about which insurances and partnering arrangements and whatnot to take?
 

Amal

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I'm sure I'd pay someone $50k/year to do my paperwork and scheduling instead of missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business because I'm wasting my time on paperwork and answering phones.

You sure you're cut out for private practice? ;)
I read somewhere that private practice surgeons actually tend to earn more than surgeons who work for institutions like hospitals, clinics, etc. But I'm also assuming the cost of private practice increases as well, which is really just what you said.
 

armybound

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39k is the usual.

are you going to let them make all the decisions about which insurances and partnering arrangements and whatnot to take?
is the assumption that I'd let someone with an associates run my business just because I'll let them answer my phones?

of course you should take business classes and make your own business decisions. I was just answering the "or would you hire someone to do paperwork for you?" question.
 

236116

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is the assumption that I'd let someone with an associates run my business just because I'll let them answer my phones?

of course you should take business classes and make your own business decisions. I was just answering the "or would you hire someone to do paperwork for you?" question.
D: from what i've seen, you don't even need that. :scared: but the salaries i've seen for private practice managers tend to be 35-45k, with some outliers in the 46-53k. if you're going with ambulatory services manager, it's 45-60, i think.

to the 2nd point, ah ha. gotcha.
 

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I'm an undergrad and obviously a long way off from medical school and graduation. However, I was wondering what sort of classes / skills would be good to pick up in undergrad and along the way if I decided that I wanted to go into private practice. Would it be a good idea to do a minor in business or something like that? Or in reality would you mostly hire someone to do the paperwork for you?
You could do MD/MBA. Or do night classes at business school. In the end, you have plenty of time to decide that and should focus on more important matters.
 

fightinI

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I'm an undergrad and obviously a long way off from medical school and graduation. However, I was wondering what sort of classes / skills would be good to pick up in undergrad and along the way if I decided that I wanted to go into private practice. Would it be a good idea to do a minor in business or something like that? Or in reality would you mostly hire someone to do the paperwork for you?
You're probably about ten years from being in a position to even think about going into private practice. Do yourself a favor and just focus on knowing how meiosis works and learning those kinematics equations.

That being said, you'll just hire someone and forget about that crap while you save lives on Mondays and go golfing on Wednesdays.
 

Law2Doc

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You could do MD/MBA. Or do night classes at business school. In the end, you have plenty of time to decide that and should focus on more important matters.
An MBA doesn't teach you how to run a small professional practice. People get MBA's in order to move up in the ranks of larger companies, go further in management (including healthcare management), marketing, finance, accounting or consulting industries, and the like, not to run their own small practice. The focus simply isn't the nitty gritty that you'd need for day to day practice. It's a big and poorly targeted gun for this purpose, and would be a waste of a degree if this was your goal.
 
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Law2Doc

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D: from what i've seen, you don't even need that. :scared: but the salaries i've seen for private practice managers tend to be 35-45k, with some outliers in the 46-53k. if you're going with ambulatory services manager, it's 45-60, i think.

to the 2nd point, ah ha. gotcha.
A small office manager probably earns in this range, depending on cost of living in the region you are talking about, but bear in mind that the expenses don't end there -- you also are going to need an accountant/bookkeeper, as well as a good business lawyer. Generally to run a small practice it makes more sense to surround yourself with ancillary professionals (office manager, accountant, business lawyer) rather than trying to get up to speed and then do all the paperwork on your own. Every minute you spend with the paperwork is a minute you don't spend earning income by seeing patients. You probably save 1/3 of what you could be earning during the same time interval. So you absolutely want to free yourself up on this. There is some advantage in having business skills to provide some oversight over your employees and talk intelligently with your accountant/lawyer, and for this some management knowledge might be of value -- I would suggest a single course in business management skills and some self reading of how-to books on running your own business would make far more sense than a business degree program. A lot of people simply join existing practices because a lot of this isn't worth the hassle.

In terms of courses that would be assets in private practice, I'd suggest foreign languages (particularly spanish in most parts of the country). Being able to converse in foreign languages opens up your practice to a much larger and often overlooked potential patient base.
 
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