Practice Transitions

Transitions are part of every physician's professional life. At a minimum, there is the transition that always takes place from graduate medical training to practice, and then years down the road, from practice to partial and ultimately complete retirement.

Increasingly, however, other kinds of transactions are taking place that did not used to take place very frequently. For example, a doctor may elect to leave one practice and join another (or start a new one), either within the same geographic area or not. Alternatively, the group in which he or she practices may merge with another group or it may fractionate in two or more subgroups. These kinds of transitions tend to be a function of today's increased mobility as well as changes in the economics of healthcare.

It is important execute all transactions with care. In effect, you need to plan the plan, and then carefully monitor progress against the plan. Obviously, the steps in your plan will depend on what transition you are making. For example, if you are completing graduate medical training, you will be doing things like identifying existing groups that appeal to you in terms of character, geographic location, and so forth, and you will need to familiarize yourself with the basics of contract negotiation. Conversely, if you are thinking about leaving a group to start your own practice, you need to first decide if this is a good business or personal decision or not, and then identify what needs to be done to accomplish the divorce with a minimum of upheaval for all parties.

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