I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits.
One of the best things about the specialty of physiatry is that it’s a very diverse field that allows you the opportunity to move in many directions and practice in many different settings.
Structure is one of the first things you want and need to determine when considering practice options.
Options include working as an employed physician, an independent physician, or under a hybrid model that encompasses both options. Typically, in an employee position, you are employed by a large hospital system or another provider. They pay you based on a contractual agreement, and, to a large degree, they have control over what you do and how you do it, as well as your schedule. As an independent contractor, you have more autonomy in terms of scheduling and what you do. You also set your own contract. Physiatrists who want to have the flexibility of both can enter into a hybrid model where they’re employed but able to do independent contract work in addition to their employed work. However, this has to be clearly stated and discussed in their contractual agreement.
Then you want to consider the different types of practice settings in which you want to conduct your business.
As stated before, physiatry is a very diverse field, allowing you to work in various settings, including outpatient. Under the outpatient umbrella, that includes:
- sports medicine
- interventional pain
- spinal cord injury
- traumatic brain injury
- Parkinson’s and movement disorders
- regenerative medicine
- pelvic floor dysfunction and women’s health
- cardiac cancer rehabilitation
- prosthetics and orthotics
This is in no way an exhaustive list, as there are other practice settings in which you can develop your business and see patients. If you’re averse to the outpatient setting, then you can practice more in the inpatient setting, which can include, but is not limited to:
- an inpatient rehab facility or acute rehab unit
- a skilled nursing facility
- long-term acute care hospitals
- acute care consultation practices
These options allow you to work within the constraints of inpatient, most likely within hospital systems and allows for a fair amount of stability. Recently, as a result of the COVID pandemic, one model that has picked up ground and has really shown itself to be a viable option for both patient and provider is Telephysiatry. As the name suggests, visits are conducted via a telemedicine platform, which allows you to provide care virtually in the home setting.
Another practice option is locums, which allow you to travel to provide coverage for other providers who need vacation or time off and don’t have a set provider available to assist them. This allows for flexibility but can also function as a way to conduct trial and error in your practice to see if it’s a good fit for potential long-term employment.
Another option for those late in their residency career or early in their career is moonlighting. In doing so, you provide coverage to an existing provider or practice either during the week, on the weekend, or during the holidays to basically fill the gap while the primary provider is away. All these practice options can be done as a stand-alone or in combination with each other.
All of them, however, present ways in which physiatrists can positively impact patients, advance the field and improve functional outcomes of patients. The flexibility and agility of the field allow physiatrists to be limited only by their imagination while developing, building, and growing practices and opportunities, or options, to practice in the field that they love.
Do you believe in yourself and your goals? Check out our blog here to read the three strategies to help you cultivate your mindset for your success.
I am Dr. Hassan, Board-Certified and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own independent practice so that they can achieve financial independence and live without limits. Please go to businessofrehab.com/guideto pick up the free guide to help you determine the best business entity for your practice.
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