Questions to Ask When Evaluating a Practice

Finger pointing at a blue question mark

If you’re starting your nephrology career or considering moving to a new employer, it’s vital to ensure you and your new employer are a match.

While you certainly should ask the general new job questions about issues like salary, vacation, and retirement, there are key medical-practice specific questions that must be asked.

Evaluating a new practice can be tricky, but having as much information as possible will allow you to accept the job offer that best fits you.

Important questions to ask include:

What is the leadership structure?

Will this be a physician-led clinic? Is it part of a larger health system managed by non-physician administrators? Are decisions made by an elected board of directors? Understanding how the leadership structure works will help you determine your own place in the hierarchy. 

How stable is the clinic or practice?

Nobody wants to start a job only to have that position vanish a few months later – or worse – the clinic itself be closed. How long has the clinic been open? Is it growing? Who are the clinic’s competitors? Are the population numbers in the area increasing? Or is the community losing residents? 

What are the plans for the future?

Are you interviewing with a physician-owned clinic that plans to sell to a large health system in the next few years? Would you be working with retirement age physicians looking to downsize? Are there plans for the clinic to expand or are the leaders satisfied with the status quo?

How busy are the current nephrologists?

Understanding the current workload will help you gain a picture of the work-life balance you can expect. If the current staff is too busy, you may be facing long hours and limited personal time. If there’s not enough work to keep the staff busy, it could be a sign of trouble for the clinic’s stability.

Are nephrologists expected to do administrative work?

Paperwork can be a hassle, and it may be impossible to escape all paperwork, but it’s a good idea to learn just how a clinic handles its administrative work. How much will be your responsibility? Is it a day-to-day reality, or does the clinic offer ways to offset the burden?