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

Private Practice vs Hospital | Which one is Better?

As a health provider, deciding between working in a hospital and seeking placement in a private practice is not easy.

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. But still, you should know that for-profit hospitals represent less than 20% of all hospitals in the US.

There are advantages and disadvantages of working in both options, and physicians should understand them before determining the workplace that suits them best.

This post will seek to understand the pros and cons of working in both 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. What this means is that one or even 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 Learning Opportunities in Different Subjects

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 Full Independence

Healthcare providers within this setting have the independence to decide according to their preferences instead of a rigid hospital principle.

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 handling more patients every day, physicians get an opportunity to build their professional experience and earn more.

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

The Environment at Private Practice is Relaxed

Without restricting hospital regulations and principles, private practice entities allow their physicians to build their preferred company culture.

As many patients say, private practice facilities have a family-like experience that they do not get in hospitals.

What are the Drawbacks of Working in Private Practice?

Just like any other profession, working in private practice comes with various drawbacks. Let’s discuss some of them below.

Lack of Internal Progress

Your chances of advancing your career in private practice are very minimal. 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 will Earn Less than Your Counterparts Working in a Hospital

A private practice facility cannot match hospital salary rates. As a physician, you will need to balance your expenses, failure to which you will 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 do not Have to Handle Administrative Tasks

There are various hospital departments and many employees that can handle billing and debt collecting, human resources, overhead and rent, and administrative tasks.

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

With different hospital departments, some healthcare providers can delegate patient care tasks to the appropriate providers.

Hospitals can Expect to Increase their Income

Hospitals have more operating capital. By working in a hospital, you can be guaranteed better pay than in private practice facilities.

A Chance to Grow Your Career

A standard hospital will have numerous vacant positions, meaning that staff has a high chance of progressing in their careers.

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 within a hospital setting, you may struggle to follow the laid down principles. After you sign a contract, the hospital management can dictate where you will work and the tools you will use.

Unsustainable Compensation

While you may be attracted to the initial monetary compensation, hospitals can change the systems depending on their production-oriented formulas.

To avoid unnecessary disagreements, you should have legally binding documents.


As a physician, you will have different expectations in terms of where you work. In private practice and hospital facilities, what matters the most is what is suitable for you and 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

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