Working through physician partnership issues

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When physician partners are disputing, their quarrels tend to disrupt the daily operations of their practice. If they are not careful about keeping their disputes between themselves, it can result in the failure of their medical practice.

When deciding to enter into a physician partnership, it is beneficial to take actions to ensure you are going into business with a reputable and reliable individual. Starting a physician partnership is an exciting time, full of new challenges, shared vision, and celebrations of small successes. During the good times, keeping a relationship on solid ground while running a practice is easy. But what do you do when you do not agree, and the honeymoon period is over? Whether you are discontent with the level of effort of one partner over another or you suspect your physician partner of outright dishonesty, disputes are going to arise.

Unfortunately, there are physicians in a long standing medical practice partnership who are not satisfied with the status of the relationship. They may feel stuck, frustrated, angry...or all of these. They know they've been silent far too long, but just don't know what to do. Like many married couples, physician partners often disagree about money and how it should be allocated. Even the best of physician partnerships go through rough times. But what if your partnership has issues you think cannot be resolved? What can cause such a change in a relationship that started out with high hopes and good feelings? In this article we address some of the most common problems medical practice partnerships face and ideas for how to deal with them.

Finding a physician partner may seem hard, but finding your rhythm with your partner is much harder. Just like any other relationship, a business relationship too has its fair share of ups and downs. No matter how strong your relationship is with your physician partner, disputes are bound to arise sooner or later. When physician partners are disputing, their quarrels tend to disrupt the daily operations of their practice. If they are not careful about keeping their disputes between themselves, it can result in the failure of their medical practice. Remember, a strong physician partnership is built on open communication. Meet on a regular basis so you can share grievances, review roles, provide constructive criticism, and discuss future plans for the growth or direction of your practice.

About the Author

Nick Hernandez, MBA, FACHE, is the CEO and founder of ABISA, a consultancy specializing in strategic healthcare initiatives for physician practices. His firm helps devise and implement strategies that will allow practices to remain competitive and solvent. E-mail him here.