George Tkalych – Starting Your Own Private Practice

Posted: April 25, 2016 in Health care
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For much of his medical career as an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon, George Tkalych operated a private practice. Armed with years of knowledge from medical school and useful work experience from hospitals in Alabama and Georgia, a young Tkalych knew very early that running a private practice was something he wanted to do. Thanks to a good work ethic and maintaining solid relationships with patients, hospitals, and other medical professionals, he was able to operate the practice for 32 years before retiring in 2011.

George Tkalych

Like George Tkalych, many other medical professionals might be thinking of starting their own practices. It’s not an easy process, plus there are many other professionals to consider in doing so – accountants, health care attorneys, medical consultants.

In modern times, it’s not common to see practices with one or two professionals, mainly because it is expensive to establish a private practice. Additionally, one has to consider the processes involved in dealing with health insurance companies, not to mention navigate their way through health care legislation.

Starting a medical practice

When establishing a small business, you need a business plan, finances, and legal advice. You also have to consider knowing the federal/state regulations and compliance issues. Here are some aspects to think about.


Medical practitioners who seek to set up a practice need the capital to cover the cost of starting. If you already have medical school debt to think about, then it might be challenging to find more funds. But most importantly, you have to figure out the costs required to set up shop.

Many practices often have to consider the costs of equipment, construction, office space, legal, and consultant services at the beginning. Other expenses to consider include disposable supplies and office furniture. These costs can add up, but it can be money-saving if you don’t establish the practice from scratch. Indeed, it can be less expensive to take over a retiring doctor’s practice than build from the ground up.

Getting the right credentials

For you to accept private or government health insurance, you have to go through a “credentialing” process that can take months. Insurers will want to know about your medical qualifications and whether you have the proper license(s) to practice. They might also want to see malpractice insurance, but this might not be a requirement in all states. But having it will come in handy should a patient sue you.

Legal structure

As a small business, you have to determine the legal structure to adopt for tax purposes and also to determine your level of liability. Many practitioners choose S corporations, where taxes are only paid on personal income gained from the business. It’s advisable to have a health care attorney to provide legal advice and draft the necessary documentation.


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