Pros and Cons of Starting a Medical Practice

Pros of starting a medical clinic in Canada:

Starting a medical clinic of your own might seem like a daunting task, but there are significant advantages associated with being self-employed and owning a medical facility.

1. Independence in the Work Environment

A key benefit of setting up your own medical clinic is the ability to provide healthcare services in the manner you believe is best. Without having to answer to a higher authority, you can create protocols and enhance patient care without encountering any opposition.

You are responsible for all decisions, which makes it easier for you to practice according to your preferences and what you believe to be the best evidence-based medicine, rather than following the dictates of an institution.

2. Adjustable Work Timetable

Owning a medical clinic grants you the power to manage your schedule and be available for patients at your convenience. This allows you to arrange your work according to your lifestyle, rather than the opposite. With the necessary support to maintain your clinic operational, you can enjoy flexible working hours.

3. Enhanced Management of Your Enterprise

Launching your own medical facility affords you the autonomy to establish your own procedures. Possessing such control can make it challenging to work for someone else, primarily because you understand how things should operate regarding scheduling, billing, staffing, and more. Once you’ve experienced this level of control, it’s difficult to adapt to a situation where others make these decisions.

4. Financial Rewards

While it is costly to start a medical clinic, careful planning and assembling the right team can lead to higher earnings than you would achieve working elsewhere.
As an independent practitioner, your income is determined by the number of patients you see. However, operating your own clinic allows you to manage your income through additional factors. For instance, you may choose to continue seeing patients and earning through fee-for-service (FFS), while also assigning yourself a salary or investing the clinic’s profits.

Combining the lifestyle advantages of being your own boss and having control over your work environment makes it clear why owning a medical clinic can be a promising endeavor.

Some cons associated with starting a medical clinic include:

1. Payment Collection

Although healthcare in Canada has universal coverage, occasionally, treating uninsured patients can complicate the financial aspect of the business.

This would entail liaising with insurance providers and chasing claims, which might result in not receiving payment. The time spent on this activity detracts from time spent treating patients, potentially increasing long-term costs.

2. Practice Management

A major challenge of pursuing entrepreneurship in medicine is learning to handle the business aspects of the practice. As a business owner, you need to evolve and adapt, assuming responsibility for all aspects of the practice – a stark contrast to being an employee.

3. Compliance and Regulations

Complying with industry standards is often cited as one of the most difficult challenges faced by those starting their own medical clinics. The increasingly complex regulatory environment in healthcare can make assembling the necessary documentation overwhelming, even for seasoned physicians.

4. Financial Hurdles

Generating profit can be difficult, particularly in the early stages. Although some specialties yield considerable revenue, they are often expensive to establish. Additionally, the location and facility where you intend to set up your clinic can significantly impact your overall expenses. If you plan to start your own medical practice, it’s wise to view it as a long-term investment.

Make sure to check out our Healthcare Startup blogs for additional resources: Part 1: Types of Practice , Part 2:Writing a Business Plan , Part 3: Budgeting , and Part 4: Choosing Location