Working in Private Practice vs Hospital | Which is the Best?

Private Practice vs Hospital | Which one is Better

It is not easy for a health provider to decide between working in a hospital and seeking placement in a private practice.

While private practices can entirely be corporate-structured for-profit businesses, hospitals have different structures.

A hospital can be structured as a non-profit, government-owned, or for-profit facility. Non-profit hospitals make up a larger portion of all hospitals in the US.

Both options have advantages and disadvantages, and physicians should understand them before determining the best workplace.

This post will seek to understand the pros and cons of working in private practice and hospitals.

What are the Pros of Working in Private Practice

As we have learned above, private practice facilities are designed in a corporate system. This means one or more physicians own the facility and hire other staff.

Here are some of the benefits of working in a private practice facility.

Private Practice Provides Opportunities to Learn Business Skills

Physicians within a private practice facility get the chance to learn about finance, marketing, contract negotiation, IT, facility management, and Revenue cycle management(RCM).

This happens because the entity is independent, and the management is responsible for empowering the staff and caring for patients.

Physicians Will Have Greater Autonomy

Physicians in private practice have greater autonomy in clinical decisions but must adhere to legal and regulatory standards.

However, their decisions should be within legal limitations. The provider is responsible for making decisions about payment plans, acquiring managerial items, and purchasing software.

With More Patients Flocking in, there are Rewards

By building a larger patient base, physicians in private practice can potentially increase their earnings.

Hospitals might have a laid down rotation system or limit to facilitate uniform payment among physicians. Private practice does not have such stiff regulations.

What are the Drawbacks of Working in Private Practice?

Like any other profession, working in private practice has various drawbacks. Let’s discuss some of them below.

Lack of Internal Progress

Career advancement in private practice may be limited due to the smaller scale and structure of the organization. What does this mean? If you are a co-founder or a senior physician, you have already attained the top position in the facility.

You May Earn Less than Your Counterparts Working in a Hospital

A private practice may offer competitive or sometimes higher salary rates compared to hospitals depending on the business success and location. As a physician, you will need to balance your expenses, and failure to do so will cause you to incur a considerable revenue loss.

What are the Benefits of Working in Hospitals?

Hospitals are different from private practice facilities in many ways. Many hospitals are already experiencing an influx of patients and the rise of more departments.

Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of working in hospitals.

Physicians in Hospitals May Have to Handle Some Administrative Tasks Despite Having Administrative Support

While physicians in hospitals may have administrative support, they may still be involved in administrative tasks to some extent.

Staff Work as a Team to Get More Done Within a Short Time

In hospital settings, team-based approaches allow for effective delegation among specialized providers.

Increase in Income

Physicians working in hospitals generally receive stable salaries due to the consistent funding and structure of hospital organizations.

A Chance to Grow Your Career

Career advancement opportunities in hospitals depend on individual skills, department needs, and available positions.

For example, a physician might start their career working in one of the available departments and finally move up the ladder to head the medical department in the hospital.

Drawbacks of Working in a Hospital

Lack of Independence

As a physician working in a hospital setting, you may have less autonomy in clinical decision-making. After you sign a contract, the hospital management can dictate where you will work and the tools you will use.


As a physician, you will have different expectations regarding where you work. In private practice and hospital facilities, what matters the most is what is suitable for you, not the best option.

Whether you choose a hospital or private practice will depend on your preferences.

See Also

How to Retain Patients

Highest Paid Physicians

Residency for Dermatology

What is a Resident Doctor

Current Version
April 11, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD
October 30, 2021
Written By
Shubham Grover

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