Charting Your Path to Physician Partnership

a physician becoming a partner in a general partnership with another physician or hospital


Whether becoming a partner is a long-held leadership career goal or a newfound aspiration, the decision to become a partner or physician owner is a pivotal moment in your professional journey. Before you take the plunge, it’s crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies involved in this significant career move. 

Becoming a partner in a medical practice brings forth a spectrum of advantages and challenges. On the positive side, you gain increased financial freedom, job security, the ability to shape the work culture, and the power to build the team you envision. However, this empowerment comes hand in hand with greater liability, and you’ll find yourself shouldering managerial responsibilities—from payroll to overhead—that might be new territory for a practicing physician. 

If partnership is still the path for you, consider a few options in the path to partnership or ownership:  

Looking for a smaller option with plenty of autonomy? Consider an Independent Private Practice: 

If you cherish autonomy and seek a smaller-scale option, an Independent Private Practice might be the right fit. Operating as a solo or small enterprise, this model grants you maximum freedom. However, it also demands a high level of responsibility, as you become the sole driver of marketing, patient base establishment, and all other business aspects, including staffing and financial management. These types of practices will be less competitive in rural settings but potentially more difficult in a larger community full of practices and medical systems.

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Want to share the workload with one physician or a group of physicians? Explore a General Partnership: 

When two or more physicians establish a practice of shared responsibilities, they create a General Partnership. While you shoulder only a portion of the duties and liabilities, you must compromise on general business matters to operate efficiently. You’ll also share the profits with your partner, whether the partner is another physician or a medical entity, such as a hospital.  

These partnerships can be quite flexible on shares and responsibilities but they can also get fairly complicated. You can also enter into a Limited Liability Partnership where you are not responsible for medical malpractices other than your own.