Pros and Cons of Hiring Your Spouse
At the Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED), we know that if you’re a brand new practitioner just starting out, a primary concern is keeping costs down. One way many new physicians do this is by hiring their spouse to manage the office. At IPED, we have an entire association of members’ experiences to draw on. Whatever your practice management issue, chances are many veteran practitioners have faced the same challenge before and can offer advice. After all, an important part of our mission at IPED is bridging the gap between all career stages in the field of podiatry and having a forum where professionals can share and learn from each other. Below are some practical points to consider about hiring a spouse.
Most physicians agree, if you are starting a group practice, it’s best not to hire your spouse to manage the office—just way too many complications and potential pitfalls when multiple physicians are involved. If you are starting a solo practice, however, it’s an option. Pluses and minuses include:
- It’s usually cost-effective.
- Your spouse is likely to be highly motivated to help your practice succeed.
- Having your spouse manage the office can cause tension among other staff members.
- Team members may not be completely candid when bringing forward problems in the practice, especially if they involve your spouse in any way.
Tips for Making it Work
If you do decide to hire your spouse, here are a few recommendations.
- First, and this may seem obvious, but make sure your spouse is qualified and able to do the tasks needed to efficiently run the office and manage the rest of your team.
- Put the duties of the job in writing as you would with any other employee. This will help your spouse decide if it’s a good fit for him or her and also make it clear to your staff what’s expected.
- Be up front with your staff. Let them know whether this is a short or long-term plan and how it impacts their chances for promotion.
- Treat your spouse the same way that you treat the rest of your staff.
- Keep home issues at home and work issues at work.
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