Setting up a Medical Practice Part 4: Choosing Location

Setting up a medical practice is not an easy task, and choosing a location is no exception! Here you’ll find six things to consider when choosing a location for your medical practice:

1. Access & Convenience

One of the crucial factors that patients consider when choosing and researching their doctor is access and convenience. For example, if you’re a pediatrician, an area with a good school zone would be ideal to set up your medical practice. It is important to do your research on the available demographics of your patient base and match it to the area you’re hoping to operate in.

2. Neighborhood & Developments

Choosing an open, walkable, and friendly neighborhood that is safe should be a top priority when searching for your medical practice’s location. 

In terms of zoning plans and developments, make sure that you are checking zoning records for your area to identify whether there are any large public works slated for development in the neighborhood where you wish to have your practice.

3. Parking & Traffic

Once again, accessibility is very important here. If your medical practice is located somewhere with minimal parking, no access to public transit, or includes barriers to accessible entry, this could lead to loss of potential clients or patients coming in late, which would result in lost billable time for you.

Having accessible parking at or near your medical practice or even having designated parking spots for your patients, can make a world of a difference. 

4. Costs

We must also not forget the costs associated with operating your own medical practice. Costs will of course vary considerably with the type of office space you choose.

Firstly, you’ll need to consider the number of practitioners working for as either partners or associates, the number of other staff you need to hire (administrative, nurses, etc.), and the costs of overhead and utilities. As you know, different neighborhoods will have different patient needs and expectations for service, this might mean different rates for staff and utilities. Shopping around is important as little differences here and there can really start to add up. In addition, there may also be hidden costs that you would begin to realize after the practice starts operating.

5. Competition

Be sure to consider the number of competing businesses near your medical practice and the number of available doctors in the area. Too many doctors will crowd the market, but too few might mean there aren’t enough patients to support your specialization. Research into your local directories or business listings, and find other medical professionals who work in the area who will have great insight into any problems you might face.

6. Work Life Balance

Most importantly, you need to ask yourself where do you want to live? Having your own medical practice is a long term commitment for you, as well as your staff, and your families. The best location for your medical practice needs to be balanced. One of the perks of opening up your own is having the ability to set your own flexible work hours and design your own office space!

Make sure to catch up on Part 1: Types of PracticePart 2:Writing a Business Plan , and Part 3: Budgeting