Is it Worth Getting an MBA Before Starting Your Independent Practice?

Is it Worth Getting an MBA Before Starting Your Independent Practice? | HealthSoul

Like it or not, healthcare is a business. Most practitioners get into the field because they find it interesting and fulfilling, but it doesn’t hurt that healthcare also offers stability and comfortable salaries.

If you’re starting your own practice, however, it’s important to realize that you’ll be giving up that stability and guaranteed income—though you’ll also have the opportunity to make more money than you ever would as an employee of a larger group. However, if you want to be successful in independent practice, then you need to run your medical office like the business it is.

Some practitioners choose to get a degree in business, typically an MBA (Master of Business Administration) before they strike out on their own. But is this necessary? Is it worth getting an MBA before you go through the process of starting your independent practice? Here are some things to consider.

An MBA Will Help You Learn to Create a Business Plan

Opening a private practice isn’t a simple process. In the highly-regulated medical industry, there are lots of hoops to jump through before it will be legal for you to start seeing patients. Additionally, you’re going to need money (and lots of it) to pay for a lease, equipment, staff, and supplies.

It’s essential to create a business plan before you get too far in the planning process so you can be sure you’ve thought of every detail and prepared for potential challenges. A solid business plan will act as a road map and help you attract investors.

During an MBA program, you will learn how to create an effective business plan. If you’ve never opened a business before and you’re not sure how to plan for your practice five or ten years down the road, then an MBA might be a good choice.

You’ll Learn About Business Strategy

As a medical provider, you’re probably extremely passionate about medicine and achieving the best patient outcomes possible. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be skilled in business strategy.

To be successful in private practice, you really need to think like a healthcare executive. Business strategy involves looking at the business from every angle and paying attention to details like parking availability and the patient experience while they’re in the waiting room.

Even the best physicians, who are skilled in both medicine and patient relationships, can fail in private practice if they are unable to properly strategize and manage their business. Getting an MBA can be extremely valuable for learning about aspects of running a business you might not have ever considered.

An MBA Will Build Your Professional Network

One of the most valuable benefits of getting a business degree is the connections you’ll make. If you pursue an MBA, you’ll meet lots of people who are starting their own businesses. This will give you a strong peer network you can tap into when you need to.

You might also get some new connections that will help you find investors for your practice. Most practitioners need investors or loans to cover their startup costs, and it’s important to find the right investors for your project. While you work on an MBA, you’ll grow your professional network and might even make lifelong friends.

Going Back to School Takes Time and Money

There aren’t many drawbacks to getting an MBA, but there are a few to consider when deciding if going back to school is worth it.

First, getting your MBA is a financial investment. If you’re still paying off debt from medical school, then it might not be wise to take on even more student loans to pay for an MBA. You need to think carefully about your financial situation and current business knowledge to decide if getting an MBA is a smart financial choice.

Second, getting an MBA takes time. You’ll be postponing opening your practice while you earn your degree, and that could mean putting your dream on hold for several years. If you’re also working while earning an MBA, the whole experience can be exhausting and overwhelming.

The good news is that getting an MBA is more convenient and flexible than ever before. There are many high-quality programs now that offer degrees online. For busy medical professionals, this can make a huge difference.

So, Is Getting an MBA Worth It for Independent Practitioners?

At the end of the day, it’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. For some practitioners, getting an MBA first is a great choice. However, if you’ve got some prior business knowledge and good mentors to support you, then you might just be putting your dream on hold needlessly.

You know yourself best, so take some time to think about it and research programs that might suit your needs. You have to consider the pros and cons in the context of your situation before you decide whether to go back to school or not. You only get one shot at opening your first business—so make it count!