A doctor’s guide for setting up practice

Qualifying as a doctor or a dentist is an amazing achievement and potentially the start to a road paved with respect, riches and the ability to change people’s lives. It really is an amazing position to be in. But, just like all the studying that lead up to the graduation, it is still a long and difficult road to traverse and one that needs a lot of investment – both intellectual and financial. With the academic qualification in the bag there is a lot more that needs to be done if you want to start your own practice and start operating in the world as an independent, not under the umbrella of somebody else’s practices or at a state hospital.  If setting up a practice is something that you want to do, here are some of the considerations that you will need to factor in.

Your rooms

Doctors and dentists need rooms and for the most part these need to be kitted out quite extensively. Granted if you have specialised as a psychiatrist then you might be able to get away with a couch and a desk, but that is the exception rather than the rule. So first you will need to find rooms and then you will need to get them fitted out appropriately. Rooms in close proximity to other doctors are always a good idea – think private hospital or medical clinic. But if you are going for General Practitioner or dentist then you will need to look where there is demand. Once you have found the spot find a company that specialises in kitting out and creating medical rooms. An internet search for something like ‘medical fitouts Melbourne would be a good place to start. Engage an expert who does these installations on a regular basis and rest assured that you will have the type of rooms that will impress your patients.


Malpractice insurance is critical, and you must have it. Certain types of doctors need it more than others, but the reality is that everyone needs it. Accidents happen and we live in a litigious world – you don’t want to be taken to the cleaners in the event something goes wrong, so do the right thing and make sure that you are covered. People like to complain about the price of medical consultations, what most don’t realise is that a huge portion of the bill goes towards insurance cover.


You might be a great doctor but are you a good administrator? In order for a practice to function it needs more than just good medical personnel, it needs a receptionist to book patients, it needs a book-keeper to handle the financial side of things and it may well need a nurse or an assistance to help out with the additional medical requirements. You might think that you can do it all, and you probably can, but that is also self-limiting thinking as a one-person operation you will soon discover that you make more seeing patients and paying others to do the admin.