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Which of the 5 types of medical practices is the right fit for you?
Jun 27

The 5 Types of Medical Practices

What type of clinic is the best fit for you?

Physicians have a lot of decisions to make when thinking of where they want to practice medicine. These range from geographical location to type of practice. Focusing on the latter, there are five types of medical practices for doctors to choose from. Let’s take a look at each, along with a few of their benefits and drawbacks.

Private Practice

In private practice, a physician practices alone without any partners and typically with minimal support staff. Therefore, this type of practice ideally works for physicians who wish to own and manage their own practice. Physicians may choose to work in private practice for the benefits of individual freedom, closer relationships with patients, and the ability to set their own practice’s growth pattern. However, the drawbacks of working independently in this way include longer work hours. It also includes financial extremes, and a greater amount of business risk.

Group Practice

A group practice involves two or more physicians who all provide medical care within the same facility. They utilize the same personnel and divide the income in a manner previously agreed upon by the group. Group practices may consist of providers from a single specialty or multiple specialties. Physicians working in a group practice experience the benefits of shorter work hours, built-in on-call coverage, and access to more working capital. All of these factors can lead to less stress. The drawbacks include less individual freedom, limits on the ability to rapidly grow income, and the need for a consensus on business decisions.

Large HMOs

A health maintenance organization, or HMO, employs providers to care for their members and beneficiaries. The goal of HMOS is to decrease medical costs for those consumers. There are a variety of types of HMO scenarios, including staff-model HMOs and group-model HMOs. The benefits for providers working for an HMO include a more stable work life with regular hours. Other benefits include less paperwork and regulatory responsibilities and a regular salary along with bonus opportunities. These bonuses are based on productivity or patient satisfaction. In reality, the main drawback for physicians working for an HMO is the lack of autonomy. HMO’s required physicians to follow their guidelines in providing care.

Hospital Based

In hospital based work, physicians earn a predictable income, have a regular patient base, and a solid referral network. Physicians who are employed by a hospital will either work in a hospital-owned practice or in a department of the hospital itself. The benefits of working for a hospital include a regular work schedule, low to no business and legal risk, and a steady flow of income. On the other hand, there are drawbacks, such as a relative lack of physician autonomy. Also, employee constraints and the expectation that physicians become involved in hospital committee work can be drawbacks.

Locum Tenens

Locum tenens is derived from the Latin phrase for “to hold the place of.” In locum tenens, physicians re-home to areas hurting for healthcare professionals. This type of practice has been around since the last 1970s. These types of positions offer temporary employment and may offer higher pay than more permanent employment situations. Physicians working in locum tenens scenarios enjoy the benefits of variety and the ability to experience numerous types of practices and geographic locations. Also, they enjoy schedule flexibility and lower living costs. The drawbacks of locum tenens work include the possibility that benefits are not included, and a potential lack of steady work. Also, locum tenens physicians need to regularly uproot their families.

There are a number of options for the types of practices that physicians can choose to work in. Again, each of these feature a unique set of benefits and drawbacks. When deciding what type of practice to work in, it’s important for physicians to consider their own personality and preferences.

Have you chosen your practice setting and decided on private practice or group practice? Let MicroMD help you get the best health information technology in place to ensure that you’re able to focus on why you got into medicine in the first place – the business of healing. Check out our website at or call 1-800-624-8832 to get more information about MicroMD PM and EMR and how they can benefit your practice.

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  1. Steele Honda
    April 29, 2019 at 10:19 pm · Reply

    Thanks for pointing out that physicians working in a group practice experience the benefits of shorter work hours and built-in on-call coverage. I think that it would be important for a physician and for patients to know what kind of medical practice is better suited for them. I think that it would help make sure that both are comfortable and are having the best experience possible.

  2. Gregory Burzynski
    June 1, 2019 at 6:40 am · Reply

    We categorized as a Group Practice at Houston Concierge Medicine & Wellness Center. Thank you for simplifying the right word on how to describe the types of medical practices. For aspiring Medical students, your post is a good source of information. It’s important to has an over view for what you are pursuing and expecting how Medical practices works.

  3. Jacob Brown
    November 25, 2019 at 1:13 pm · Reply

    It’s good how you point out that private practice doctors are able to have a closer relationship with their patients. I am looking for a new doctor for our family, and I want to find one that is friendly and will become familiar with all of my family’s health concerns. I am going to look for a reputable doctor with a private practice in my area.

  4. Shaylee Packer
    January 4, 2021 at 9:48 am · Reply

    It was mentioned that group practices could consist of doctors with a single specialty, or multiple specialties. My sister is looking for a medical center for her whole family to be seen. It looks like it would be a good idea for her to look for a general practice medical center.

  5. medical recruiters
    August 27, 2021 at 6:48 am · Reply

    Very informative post, i can add this as my resources as a medical recruiter i have to learn the different types of medical practices.

  6. Jesse Ford
    October 27, 2021 at 7:40 pm · Reply

    Thank you for detailing the different types of clinics. My family just moved into a new location and want to find the best medical care now, before any possible medical emergency. We’ll be sure to find a primary care physician with convenient services.

  7. Grow Practice
    November 24, 2021 at 3:33 am · Reply

    Thanks for sharing information about the 5 Types of Medical Practices

  8. Rayan Abee
    November 30, 2021 at 9:28 am · Reply

    Keep in mind that doctors in a workgroup benefit from reduced hours and integrated on-call services. I think it is important that the doctor and the patient know which medical service is best for them. I think it would help to be able to have the two most convenient things and the best experience.

  9. Max Jones
    February 28, 2022 at 6:34 pm · Reply

    Thanks for the info about medical practices. My sister has not been feeling well. I’ll tell her to consider visiting a medical clinic.

  10. John Carston
    February 28, 2022 at 9:46 pm · Reply

    I like that you said that it is important to know the practices they are specialized in for a great service. My sister mentioned to me last night that she is hoping to find a reliable medical center for her family as they currently moved into town and asked if I have any idea what is the best option for them. Thanks to this informative article and I’ll be sure to tell her that it will be much better if they consult a trusted medical clinic as they can answer all her inquiries.

  11. Victoria Addington
    March 2, 2022 at 4:36 am · Reply

    It’s good to know that a private practice physician operates alone with a few support staff. I am looking for a family practice doctor that will supervise my family’s health. My kids are growing and I want a specialist to oversee their growth.

  12. Index Health
    May 20, 2022 at 4:56 am · Reply

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Laura Westberg
    July 9, 2022 at 2:53 am · Reply

    Good to know about the types of medical practices shared. Nice blog.

  14. Peak Medical
    October 17, 2022 at 6:48 am · Reply

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge about these types of medical business and weighting and the pros and cons of each system.

  15. Rapid Billing Solution
    March 8, 2024 at 5:48 pm · Reply

    It’s good to know that a private practice physician operates alone with a few support staff.

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