Dr. Lanza said bringing Dr. Solyar on board has helped his practice expand to allergy therapy and allowed him to follow some academic pursuits. Dr. Locandro agrees that partnering is beneficial because it can reduce start-up costs and spread the burden of office expenses and staffing over several physicians, rather than just one.
Explore This IssueJanuary 2014
“I think doctors feel more comfortable joining existing groups for many reasons: guaranteed patient flow, support of staff that’s experienced, having other doctors that are more experienced in your group who can provide help or advice—that’s a big factor. And of course, there’s less [financial] risk, rather than starting out by taking loans and hoping it works,” said Dr. Locandro.
Regardless of how carefully physician partners are selected or multi-physician practices are structured to maximize career goals, job satisfaction and benefits for participating doctors, partnerships sometimes dissolve. Dr. Vaughan said an inability to reach accord when it came to staff was behind his decision to break off from one group. “We just had different views on how to run a practice,” said Dr. Vaughan. “There was a divergence of opinion in how to approach staff between myself and the other group.”
One of the most valuable elements of his current partnership is a healthy ratio of professional give-and-take and the ability to take advantage of shared expertise among physicians, said Dr. Vaughan. “In our group, we push each other to validate our opinions, both subjectively and objectively,” he said. “You can find business partners, but what you really want to find are brothers and sisters and mentors, because they become this family on a professional journey with you. They help you learn from your mistakes. If one of us fails, it’s all of our faults, and if one of us succeeds, it’s all of us succeeding.”
Donna Petrozzello is a writer and editor with Wiley.