One of the most common dreams that undergraduate medical students and even residents tend to harbour is their wish to open an independent clinic. Instead of toiling away within a hospital to set shifts, many admire the freedom and independence that comes with working at a small clinic. Not to add, the profits that can be obtained often tend to be higher than the average salary of a doctor working at a hospital, public or otherwise. Of course, there are also are plenty of students who aspire to work at a well-known large hospital, but in their case, the road to success is often more clear-cut. For those dreaming of opening their own clinic, the prospects of actually doing so once a fully-fledged doctor tend to be discouraging.
A good reason behind this has to with all the extra work that comes with opening a clinic. As opposed to working within a hospital, which takes care of every paperwork and administrative work with regards to both the patient and government regulations, opening a clinic means that every task now falls onto the head of a single individual (or at least, until some extra help is hired).
Besides, given the fact that many doctors complete their studies with student debt, purchasing – or even renting – a property on which to create a clinic seems somewhat impossible. This is why many doctors, especially specialists, consider transferring first to a specialist suite. This is an independent clinic, but the difference is that everything is provided for the doctors, who simply have to rent out their space and provide their services from there. However, once you gain a suitable amount of experience and funds from working at such an establishment, or even by spending a few years at a hospital, it becomes possible to actually open a clinic.
In such an instance, remember that you will be responsible for everything: even if you do hire someone to work under you, in the end, as the employer, you have to bear the responsibility of correctly training nurses, pharmacists and other staff to tend to patients, virtual practice management, work according to your orders, etc. You will also need to be on top of paperwork and other documentation that needs to be renewed yearly or so according to local laws: instead of simply attending review sessions for your position as a doctor, you will also have to keep in mind the licenses of your new workplace.
Whilst it might seem a hassle at first, remember that the beginning is the hardest part: once you settle down properly, you will finally be able to enjoy your profession whilst tending to patients (and hopefully leave all unrelated tasks to either your staff or computer software!).