The upside to GI private practice: Gastro Health exec weighs in

Private equity-backed, Miami-based Gastro Health supports more than 340 physicians nationwide. 

Eugenio Hernandez, MD, the group's vice president of clinical affairs, discussed the draws of private practice with Becker's ASC Review. 

Editor's note: This interview was edited lightly for brevity and clarity. 

Question: What will draw the next generation of physicians to private practice?

Dr. Eugenio Hernandez: To attract the next generation of top physicians, private practices will certainly need to remain competitive with overall compensation and work-life balance. Beyond compensation, private practice may offer important benefits that other employment models cannot, such as a higher degree of autonomy in clinical decision-making and work schedules. Furthermore, private practices can show value by providing a culture of active mentoring. Experienced physicians can demonstrate how to build relationships with referring physicians, operational management of staff and understanding the financial skills necessary to run a business. Private practices can offer additional income opportunities with partnership in ASCs, imaging centers, pharmacy services, real estate and even potential equity in a larger private practice organization. Given the current competitive labor market and the anticipated physician shortage, the total value of private practice is more important than ever.

Q: Where does physician education fall short?

EH: The primary goal of physician education should always be to provide quality and compassionate medical care, regardless of the setting. Instruction on the different employment models, business finance and long-term career planning will help better prepare future physicians for an increasingly complex healthcare system.

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