Richard Quinn is a freelance medical writer based in New Jersey.
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Explore This IssueMay 2014
Starting an ENT Practice: Dos and Don’ts
- Plan ahead. It can take three to six months to properly prepare to find office space, buy equipment, and staff up.
- Pick the right location. Running a practice in a rural area will never work for someone who craves the big city—and vice versa. Choose the right community for you, or the community will likely not choose your practice.
- Figure out how the first bills get paid. Bank loan? Help from a hospital? Being bought out of an existing group practice? Answer these questions early.
- Lease office space. Buying office space can be prohibitively expensive. Also, the up-front cost of real estate could backfire if the practice doesn’t succeed.
- Define the scope of practice. This decision will drive hiring and equipment decisions.
- Forget to do market research. Know how many otolaryngologists in your service area there are. Understand what services they offer, and, perhaps most importantly, what they don’t offer.
- Underestimate your relationship with the nearest hospital. Specialists are reliant on referrals. So, even if there is no formal affiliation, maintain positive relationships with an institution that can send streams of patients.
- Do something you aren’t already clinically interested in pursuing. If rhinology is your preferred practice, don’t focus on allergies. Find the clinical niche that satisfies you personally and professionally.
- Skip ahead. While you must make myriad little decisions, be sure you have a vision for the practice first. Then worry about implementing that vision.