Partners must bring value to a medical practice

Unfortunately, doctors rarely appreciate why their group members serve as partners or what responsibilities they should assume. Compared to commercial business, professional service groups traditionally have one serious problem: The owners or executives are also the hands-on income producers.

In commercial companies, the owners and executives run the business while machines and/or employees produce the goods. Medical practices must begin to recognize the need for owner or executive ability versus producer capabilities. Hence a partner must bring value to the practice as an executive or possessor of some other skill(s) of special value to the enterprise.

A young doctor may or may not be partnership material even if he or she possesses superb clinical skills and produces revenue. A group definitely needs such workers and should pay them generously, but that effort alone does not necessarily make them good candidates for partnership. Law, accounting, and architectural firms function that way; medical groups should, as well.

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