Still loving the work: Most practice leaders say they’d do it all again

By Kenneth T. Hertz, FACMPE
February 16, 2017
Body of Knowledge Domain(s):

It’s time to renew your vows. No, this isn’t a wedding blog – I’m talking about you and your medical practice. This is a long-term relationship – like a marriage, your practice can be viewed as a living, breathing organism with ups and downs, good times and bad. And as in a marriage, some folks think we read minds. But I digress.

If you had it to do all over again, would you become a medical practice administrator? These are not easy times to be in this line of work, with a lot to contend with: Regulations, a new administration, declining reimbursement, increasing costs and a litany of issues with providers, patients, payers, staff, acquisitions and mergers. 

And did I mention the work-life balance? Sometimes there isn’t much of a balance, is there? At least that’s the way it seems many days.

All those are challenges, for sure. For 18% of respondents in a recent MGMA Stat poll, they may be enough reason to consider leaving the profession.

If you’re like the 67% of respondents who said they would re-up, good for you. The future is exciting in healthcare if you are open to change, innovation and collaboration.

If you’re unsure (as 15% of respondents in the poll were), perhaps this is a good time to consider why you became a practice administrator in the first place. What was your motivation? What did you find most interesting and attractive about the field? Did you know how difficult it would be? Are you flexible and open to change? Are you creative, innovative and curious? Sit down, answer these questions and see if the process doesn’t help illuminate and rekindle some of your earlier interests and passion for the position.

If you are sure that you want to look into another line of work, having spent time as a medical practice administrator likely helped you develop new and useful skills that will be transferable to other fields. Take your knowledge and skillset, develop a solid plan for moving into a new career and execute the plan.

The field is changing. The skillsets required are changing, but the concept of working together with the broad range of people, personalities, skills, challenges and opportunities will endure. And remember, it’s all about our patients.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Kenneth T. Hertz, FACMPE, principal consultant, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group

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