Published 6/1/2009
Marty Krawczyk; Jackie Ryan

Don’t trust your future to a coin flip

Online tool helps you find the right practice

Are you just starting out in practice? Are you looking for a new professional challenge and practice? Or are you and the significant others in your life contemplating relocating for personal reasons?

Whatever your reasons for looking for a new practice, the challenge will be finding one that meets your specific needs, meshes with your goals, and provides you with the benefits and challenges you want. Putting a little effort into the process from the start will help to ensure that the new practice and the broader environment will be right for you and your loved ones.

Whether you are considering moving to a practice across town, or one across the country, relocating can have a significant impact on your spouse and family members. Your decision should take into account not only your professional needs, but also your personal needs and values and those of other individuals who will be affected by the move.

Online help from the AAOS
A new online tool developed by the AAOS Practice Management Committee can help you organize your thoughts and make the right decision. The Practice Evaluation Inventory worksheet enables you to assign an importance value to criteria in the following five primary sections: Personal and family needs; location and lifestyle; practice issues (type, call, ancillary services); practice stability (patient characteristics, hospital relationships, payor mix); and income and financial issues.

You can rate up to five practices based on these criteria and their importance to you. The worksheet will calculate a weighted score on each criterion for each practice.

For example, one of the criteria under Practice Stability is “Financial health of the practice.” If you assigned this item a personal value of “3–Extremely Important” and rated Practice A as “2–Good,” the weighted score for Practice A on this criterion would be 6.

When you’ve completed the process, you will have data that compare how each practice under consideration matches your needs and values as well as how they all compare to each other. This tool can help alleviate the stress and “second guessing” that usually accompanies major life decisions.

Easy to access
In the online
Practice Management Center, look for “Transitions” in the left navigation panel. Select the link, then choose “Practice Inventory Instructions.” Download and save the form to your computer to make your comparisons.

Marty Krawczyk and Jackie Ryan are practice management program coordinators in the AAOS practice management group. They can be reached at krawczyk@aaos.org or ryan@aaos.org