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Are you ready?

-- this is the hard part
This is the hardest part.
Questions to ask yourself before you jump too far too fast:


How ready are you to be on your own, responsible for generating business?


Are you ready to make a clean break with your current employer or do you want to hedge your bets and work part time?
Do you just need different hours or a different venue, or are you done with clinical medicine completely?


Will you be working more hours or fewer?


Have you done a complete financial analysis?
Are you ready for a temporary (or permanent) salary drop?
Is your goal to increase your income or improve your quality of life? (It is hard to do both)
If your are taking steps to retirement, have you done a complete financial analysis?
Getting started
Are you looking to be hired for a non-clinical job or are you hoping to work as an independent contractor or start your own business, or are you unsure? There are definitely benefits of both. It is important to do some soul searching to determine what you want. It is critical to look at your insurance situation.
Many entrepreneurs work as many or more hours as an intern.
What is your plan for medical insurance?
Are you old enough for Medicare?
Can you be covered on your spouse’s plan
Are you willing to pay for private insurance through the Market Place
Have you considered or willing to join a Christian Health Care sharing organization?
Do you have your own life insurance or is it only through your current employer. If you have children and a spouse, consider maximizing your life insurance before you make a big change. Then you’ll know where you stand. Ideally, you’d have enough to make it easy for your spouse and children if you suddenly died.
Generally, if you cut back your practice, your income will suffer significantly. When I got of the call schedule and took Fridays off, my income dropped precipitously, down to about 25% of what it was, because I was no longer a partner.
If you have small children and a a spouse who raises them and manages the household, but you are the sole breadwinner, this probably won’t work. Even if you keep working full time, you should have a boatload of life insurance to protect them.
On the other hand, if you have a spouse who makes a good income, self-sufficient children who are out of college and no debt (college, house, car), the above plan should be easy. Honestly, I can’t imagine doing the two-weeks-a-month Locums with small children.
Taxes take a big bite out of any income stream. You will have to pay estimated income tax that covers state and federal income tax, plus

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