The time has finally come. After all the schooling, residency and training, you are finally ready to open your own podiatry practice. Your location will play a significant part in your patient base and ultimately the success of your business. At the Institute for Podiatric Excellence (IPED), many of our members are veterans in the field who have decades of private practice under their belts. In polling them, we’ve come up with a few questions you should consider before you set up shop:
- Who are the patients I want to serve? If you have a specialty that you plan to focus on, such as pediatric podiatry, you want to make sure you are opening a practice in a community that is growing and has a large number of young families (as opposed to a 55+ retirement community). Take into consideration not only who lives there but also who works there. Are there factories or large corporations located in the city or town you are focusing on? Check the demographics of the area and make sure it fits the goals you have for your practice.
- What’s my competition? You’ll want to know how many podiatrists are already practicing in the area. One podiatrist per every 25,000 people is a good ratio. Also, what are the ages of the podiatrists currently in practice? If any are nearing retirement, it could mean more patients looking for a podiatrist in the near future?
- What will my commute be? Assuming you already have a place to live, you’ll want to take into consideration not only how far away the office locale is that you’re considering but also what kind of commute it will be. Do you have to travel on crowded highways where daily traffic jams are the norm? Is public transportation available to get to your office? Your commute will affect your overall quality of life and that is an important consideration in making this and other choices about your practice.
Although no one can see into the future, it’s important to take the long view when choosing a location for your practice. Take your time and use all the resources available to make this decision. At IPED we believe in podiatrists sharing information and learning from each other. To find out more about our organization or to become a member, contact us online or by calling: 978-296-7634.