When you’re starting out as a new practioner there are many decisions to make. Once you’ve narrowed down the type of practice you want, where it should be located and whether you plan to rent or purchase office space, you need to focus on how much space you actually need? The good news is, you don’t have to pull a number out of thin air—there’s a formula to help you figure it out.

A traditional one-physician office would typically have 3 examination rooms, a consultation room, a reception area and a business office and/or storage space. A good rule of thumb is 1,200-1,500 square feet for one physician and an additional 1,000-1,200 square feet for each additional physician (up to four or five doctors).  Within that square footage, you can then go on to calculate how much space should be devoted to your waiting room. Generally speaking, the more exam rooms you have the smaller your waiting area can be.

To determine appropriate waiting room size, figure out the maximum number of patients you would see during your busiest hour. Multiply the number of patients by 2.5—this takes into consideration parents, spouses or friends accompanying your patients on their office visit. Subtract the number of exam rooms you have and this will leave you with the number of chairs you need for your waiting area.

For example, 10 patients x 2.5=25. Subtract 3 exam rooms: 25-3=22 chairs needed for your waiting room. (Now, of course, if you are in a solo practice you will most likely only be able to see 5-6 patients max in an hour but the formula remains the same.) For each chair in the waiting area, you’ll need to allow 20 square feet. 22 chairs x 20 square feet = 240 square feet of space needed for your waiting room.

At The Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development we know that new practioners have many factors to take into consideration in starting a podiatric practice. We also know that experienced physicians have been down that road and have a wealth of experience to offer that can greatly reduce the amount of time (and mistakes!) in the process. Our mission is to bring podiatric professionals at all stages of their careers together to share information and create an idea exchange that will benefit all our practices and ultimately our patients. To learn more, about becoming a membercontact our Executive Director, Ruth Ann Donahue at: 978-296-7634.

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