> Starting and Running a Practice

I Wish I Had Known: Practice Management

I wish I had known the most difficult matter for the newly-trained dermatologist is practice management.

A huge part of practice management is personnel. It requires many years to develop and train a stable, capable support staff. There are many unsuccessful “try-outs.” Some individuals may not have the necessary personal and professional skills, work ethic, or reliability. These individuals must be replaced rapidly.Staff issues such as salaries, bonuses, paid time off (PTO), 401-K programs, paid holidays, and health care benefits require constant vigilance. In small practices, the physician handles essentially all administrative and personnel matters. In larger practices with multiple practitioners, a full or part-time administrator is usually required.

Practice management is constantly changing. The Association of Dermatology Administrators/Managers (ADAM) has an annual meeting and seminars that are consequently very useful for support staff. Some dermatologists have completed MBA degrees in order to manage their practices more effectively. Consultants are also available.