If you are a new podiatric physician just starting out, you’re probably looking for ways to save money at every turn. One solution may be to hire your spouse to run your office. At The Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED), our membership consists of practitioners with varying levels of experience from beginners to veterans on the verge of retirement. Many experienced practitioners can testify that the husband/wife employment arrangement worked very well for them. There are significant pros: your spouse will be highly-motivated for the practice to succeed and will usually work cheaply and be understanding of the ups and downs of getting a new practice off the ground. There can also be a serious downside: it can create tensions that follow you home at the end of the day, other staff members may resent your spouse’s presence and may not be completely candid with you about discussing any issues that involve your spouse. It may turn out that your spouse is not qualified to do the job you’re asking, and then what? The bottom line is if you are going to hire your spouse to run your office, put the following safeguards in place:
- Keep work at work and home life at home and agree between you that never the twain shall meet.
- Set an open communication policy with your other employees regarding discussing office policies and problems with your spouse. Be up front with employees about what their promotion options are if your spouse runs the office.
- Put your spouse’s duties in writing just as you would with any other position or employee.
- Be extra vigilant to make sure that you treat your spouse the same way that you treat the rest of the staff.
As a member of IPED, you will have access to a large number of podiatric professionals. Sharing information about practice management, regulations and best treatment outcomes is a hallmark of our organization. If you wish to find out more about how to be a part of IPED, contact us at: 978-296-7634.