If you are a brand new graduate looking to start your own podiatric practice or a foot doctor that’s been in the field a while but is ready to make a move, there are many factors to consider in choosing a practice location. At the Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED) our members have access to a wealth of experience and information to help make this very important decision. Below are some points to consider:
- Is there a particular patient population that you are targeting? Do you plan to specialize in geriatric foot care? A college town may not be your best location for that, but perhaps it would be if your focus is sports medicine and injuries. Research the demographics of an area you are considering to see if your specialty is a good fit.
- Where you work determines where you live. This may seem obvious but once you’ve targeted a specific location consider what it means for your home life. Is the best area for your practice a big city? Think about if you will live downtown or want to be outside the city and commute (factor in cost and time to do this). Climate, schools, recreational and cultural activities should all be evaluated to ensure a fulfilling life outside of work.
- Check out the competition. If the perfect place for your practice is already saturated with podiatrists, it may mean a difficult time attracting new patients. On the other hand, an area with many older practitioners nearing retirement age could offer the opportunity for an increasing patient base in the future. Find out the population of the town or city you are considering and the number of practicing podiatrists. One podiatric physician for every 25,000 people is a good ratio.
- Learn about the people you hope to serve. Use the chamber of commerce, professional organizations (like IPED) and your own observations to investigate what the biggest source of industry or employment are, the hospitals and medical facilities available and other components of community life. These will offer clues about the patient population and practice opportunities.
Sharing experience with other podiatric professionals at all stages of their careers is just one of the many benefits of membership in IPED. To learn more, contact our Executive Director, Ruth Ann Donahue by calling: 978-296-7634.