Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 August 2009
Medicine as a profession has been changing drastically over the past quarter century. Business concerns now dominate the delivery of health care services. Thus a resident nearing the end of their training and planning to enter practice needs to become familiar with the basic elements of the business of medicine in order to establish a successful practice. This is needed as an adjunct to mastering the clinical skills relevant to their specialty. Obtaining familiarity with the business side of medicine will enable the physician to advocate for patients with insurers, understand billing procedures in order to avoid government audits, be able to properly negotiate, if necessary, capitation and managed care contracts, and manage to decrease expenses while increasing productivity in the office. Being qualified to handle the business aspects of a practice not only will enhance the chances for financial success, but also will make your practice a more efficient, reliable, and worthwhile venture.
The revolution in medical practice has resulted from the evolution of managed health care and the consolidation of hospitals and clinics into vertical health delivery systems. By becoming adequately acquainted with the changes that have taken place in this area, you will find it easier to adjust and prosper in the new environment that you will be entering upon the completion of your postgraduate training. You will then be in a better position to make the critical decisions that can strongly impact your future success financial as a practitioner.