8 reasons to start your own practice

Priya Kamani, MD, Founder and CEO, LivingMatrix - Print  | 

New to practicing functional medicine? If your answer is Yes, congratulations on joining a fast-growing field of healthcare for treating chronic conditions.

Is your boss as excited as you are about incorporating functional medicine into your current work? If your answer is No, then you’ve probably wondered lately about starting your own practice.

I have discovered that you can put your heart and soul into a job, working harder than everyone else, yet, despite all the claims of objective employee evaluation, you feel overlooked and unsatisfied. The best decision I ever made was to leave my then-job and start LivingMatrix. For many of us, self-determination is, simply, a better option. For me, building my business and working in functional medicine is more rewarding than anything that has come before it. I am doing something I am passionate about and truly feel like I’m making a difference.

While being self-employed or an entrepreneur is not for everybody, here are eight reasons functional medicine practitioners like you can feel good about taking the plunge to launch your own practice.

1. Life-changing outcomes. The demand for functional medicine is significant. You will have the satisfaction of being able to help patients achieve significant, life-changing outcomes. The lack of viable solutions for patients with chronic conditions are driving them to seek functional medicine in large numbers and they are looking for a guide like you to help them through.

2. Metrics that matter. Your success will not be measured by RVUs, the number of patients you see per day/week/month or other random metrics that don’t really matter. Your success will be driven by making your patients feel better. When you help patients feel better, they are ecstatic and refer other friends and family to you. Many of our most successful practices have been built entirely through referrals.

3. Flexibility. If you have children or care for elderly family members, having your own practice allows you to set your own hours and gives you the flexibility you need.

4. Make an impact. As an employee, you have limited opportunity to effect change. You may be able to make suggestions, but the likelihood of catalyzing true change in all except the most enlightened practices is very low.

5. Build a great team. When you are employed you have little influence over who you work with. When you build your own practice, you can decide who you bring on. Moreover, you can focus on hiring people who have your same values and are as passionate about making a difference.

6. Test the waters. You can test the waters by starting out part-time. If you are a hospitalist, ER doc, or in another role doing shift work, then this is ideal for you. If your employment contract allows it, you could even have a practice where you are seeing functional medicine patients a few days a week. This ensures that you have tested the waters before making a leap into full-time functional medicine, and if you are like most who go this route, you will not turn back.

7. Reduce work-stress. Work stress is one of the top reported reasons for burnout. If you have a tyrannical boss or are in a situation where you have difficult colleagues, these factors could be taking a significant toll. Setting out on your own allows you to leave this kind of stress behind.

8. Income growth. You have the opportunity to grow your income much faster than you do in an employed situation with limited opportunity for advancement in your pay grade. Plus, you can claim business expenses that employees typically can’t, such as auto-related expenses traveling to and from your practice.

As an industry growing at a rate upwards of 30 percent year-over-year and on the cutting edge of innovation in so many ways, functional medicine brings all the tools and technologies a fledgling practice needs to build, accelerate and scale. With a vast research arm actively working to build the evidence base and a significant network of think-tanks and thought leaders, practitioners like you are well positioned to thrive. So are your patients.

Want to learn more about starting your own practice? Visit livingmatrix.com/practitioners

About the author:
Priya Kamani, M.D., is the founder and CEO of Living Matrix, the fastest-growing patient information management system for personalized and functional medicine. Under Dr. Kamani’s leadership, LivingMatrix has established the most extensive clinical and research network in the industry and the largest database for personalized and functional medicine research in the world. Dr. Kamani is a serial entrepreneur with significant experience in health technology. She earned her MBA from Wharton, trained in pediatrics at University of California San Francisco and received her M.D. from the University of Colorado.


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