Medics can combine medical and financial nous when starting private practices. Read on to find out how…
Some want to open a crumpet shop, some a clothing store. But you’ve set your sights a little higher.
You want to help people – and make a profit while you do so. If you’re a graduating medical student, the thought of heading into business yourself probably isn’t at the forefront of your mind. You’ve got NHS hospitals and general practices to give you gainful employment, and they’re crying out for staff.
Yet, many doctors can (and do) choose to become private consultants in addition to their work on the NHS – and they’re raking in cash like Scrooge McDuck swimming through the gold in his bank vault.
According to the Royal College of Surgeons of England
, a surgeon running a private consultancy firm could earn up to £100,000 a year. When the cost of a secretary, room hire, medical equipment and other tools is taken into account (around 40 per cent of your takings), your take-home salary would amount to around £40,000.
The doctor heading into business for themselves, then, will be rewarded handsomely – and those aren’t the only benefits.
With a private practice you can avoid the tough targets, dodgy waiting times and short consultation periods with patients that the NHS demands. Instead, you’ll be able to provide more incisive treatments, and give consultation times that won’t feel slapdash.
The doctor in a private practice can also indulge in the kind of treatments that aren’t funded by the NHS. Non-surgical cosmetic training, for instance, is the ideal money spinner for a doctor
who wants to help people improve their appearance.
However, you’re not the only doctor considering going into business. The UK’s private healthcare
market is worth over £4 billion, with around 13 per cent of the population registered as insured patients. That’s plenty of dough – and A LOT of doctors want their hands on it.
So, how can you make your practice stand out from the crowd?
The look of luxury
While the NHS isn’t a filthy place (although try telling the Daily Mail that
), it’s never exactly been well-known for its décor. Its waiting rooms are bargain-basement-white and its endless corridors have the personality of a lobotomised goldfish.
Your practice, however, can pride itself on five-star interior design, the kind of style Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen could conjure on a grand budget.
This is, in part, what people expect from a private practice. They want the balance of cleanliness and style that reassures them that their extra cash is worth the effort – even if only on a superficial level.
Customer is king
Customer service can be, to put it politely, variable on the good ol’ NHS. One day you’ll be ushered into a check-up with the speed of light, the next you’re waiting for four hours as you nurse a broken arm in a waiting room.
Private practices can’t really get away with the same treatment. Service is paramount when cold
hard cash is in question – and you don’t want to lose your customers to more efficient providers.
Ultimately, the finest practitioners receive the finest remuneration. And in an industry of billions, you’ll have to raise your game to make the cut.