Physicians who are drawn to leadership roles have different options when it comes to a career path.

On one side, doctors join a hospital institution for resources and infrastructure and large scope of influence. On the other hand, doctors put up their own an autonomous private practice, an entrepreneurial venture that provides the freedom of making decisions on your own.

Which path is better? It really all depends on what sort of leader you wish to be.


Many doctors choose hospital employment. In fact, a 2016 report showed that more than 90% of new physicians are choosing employment over having their own private practice. Why? Because there are many benefits to being part of a large institution.

In a hospital, doctors don’t have to worry about the administrative duties or financial or business-side burdens. The organizations provide support that allows physicians to focus on treating their patients, which is why doctors get into the profession in the first place. This support also allows the doctors to take on leadership roles without having to worry about the job they would leave behind.

So what does leadership in the setting look like? Well, you can be in charge of medical staff, or be a senior manager or executive. Here, you can get the opportunity to effect broad change, with hospitals’ governing bodies having the influence on health care systems and processes that can be felt in wide-reaching ways.


Though they are now becoming “endangered species”, private practices still exist and can provide a different kind of fulfillment for physician-leaders.

A private practice is smaller than a hospital, but it does give its leaders plenty of autonomy to decide what’s best for the business. Whether that means the medical process, the financials, team management or the many other responsibilities that goes into running a business, leadership is felt strongly on a real-time, day-to-day level.

There is much more flexibility required from leaders in a private practice, and though it can be difficult, it also very rewarding.


So how do you choose? Well, just decide what kind of leader you prefer to be. Is a wide-ranging influence on health care systems what you want? Or are you the kind of leader who works in the trenches, handling every aspect of a practice but maintain autonomy from a larger organization?

There is a level of security in a hospital that maybe a private practice doesn’t have. But also, the freedom to make decisions in a private practice can make things easier as well. Don’t like the administrative side of the practice? Delegate to other team members or hire an outside company to handle some of the tasks. Whatever works best for the business.

In the end, though, either position is valuable and much-needed in health care today. It’s up to you to decide what kind of leader you are.

Could your practice benefit from delegating tasks or responsibilities to a third-party company? Get in touch with TukkoMed to find out what services can help your company operate at its best.


“Why It’s Critical to Preserve Private Practice Medicine.” MedAxiom, 18 August 2016, Web.

“Private Practice or Hospital? A Choice of Autonomy vs Reach.” American Association for Physicial Leadership, 27 April 2018, Web.

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