Choosing whether to look for a salaried position or taking the leap into private practice can be a daunting task.  Sue Scharf RD(SA) outlines some pro’s and cons of private practice to help you decide whether or not private practice is for you.

Pro’s of private practice:

  • Determining your salary to a certain degree (based on input)
  • Working hours are fairly flexible
  • Leave can be planned according to your own circumstances.
  • Opportunities to use your own initiative, develop your own working methods, and implement your own ideas, which contribute to work satisfaction.
  • Design your own work environment and atmosphere
  • More personal patient contact

Con’s of private practice:

  • Being your own boss is demanding in it’s own way
  • Workload and income variable and unpredictable.
  • High overhead expenses.
  • No income during vacation.
  • No income during sick leave.
  • No pension fund, unless provision has been made for a retirement annuity.
  • Work environment can be lonely and one can feel isolated.
  • A home-based private practice can have certain disadvantages: the office and home have to be separated; and work has to be consciously separated from home activities.
  • Rental of a consulting room involves financial obligations.
  • It takes time to establish a practice – thus personal income only increases over time.

Sue Scharf RD(SA)