Setting up a Medical Practice Part 1: Types of Practice

Many of you are probably thinking about setting up your own practice, whether it is group practice, Associations and Partnerships, solo or private practice, hospital-based employment, or locums. We are outlining the various types of practices in today’s blog.

Group Practice

  • Two or more physicians with the same or different specialties providing medical care in the same facility.
  • Opportunity for collaboration, cross coverage and referring patients when needed.
  • Work and staff resources are shared, including running and administering the practice.


  • Legal agreement that specifies how expenses will be shared amongst the staff.
  • Expenses range from sharing the cost of rent and waiting room to sharing all the costs associated with running a practice (such as staff, equipment, medical supplies, and office resources).
  • Associates do not share income and are not professionally or legally liable to each other.
  • Physicians manage their own clinical schedules


  • Share expenses as you do in an association, however income, personal and medical liability are also shared. 

Solo or Private Practice

  • One physician working on their own, without any partners. 
  • Usually the patient roster is smaller with relatively fewer staff.
  • Typically in suburban or rural areas.

Hospital-Based Employment

  • Can count on a stable income and work schedule. This was proven to be important during the pandemic when various smaller practices were forced to shut down.
  • Has a regular patient base coupled with a strong referral network and more resources
  • The administrative side of running a practice is carried by the hospital which allows a physician to focus on practicing medicine.. 
  • Less liable for legal complications.
  • Hospitals, however, may lack the freedom and autonomy compared to other types of practices as they must meet specific hospital standards. 


  • Physicians relocating for temporary employment to areas or facilities in great healthcare needs.
  • May offer higher pay than permanent positions.
  • Schedules are flexible and you may choose where and when you’d like to work.
  • Work is, however, temporary and may not be steady.
  • Common for early career physicians who are in their first 5 years of practice, or those who are near retirement.

Make sure to catch up on Part 1: Types of Practice , Part 2:Writing a Business Plan , Part 3: Budgeting  , Part 4: Choosing LocationPart 5: Leasing vs Buying Office Space , and Part 6: Getting Commercial Insurance