Business aspects of medicine a challenge to urologists

New York—Urologists in private practice find balancing time to practice medicine and manage their practice daunting—and they don't expect it to get easier.

According to the 2005 Medical Practice Monitor by OPEN from American Express, 88% of the 100 private practice urologists surveyed said that over the past 5 years, the demands of their dual roles as physician and business professional have become a challenge, and 89% expect that won't change. Further, 94% of the respondents described managing the business side of their practice as challenging or very challenging. Forty-three percent said they spend at least 7 hours per week and 14% spend almost twice that time on practice management. In 2004, 55% spent at least 7 hours and 20% spent three days per week on practice management.

"Today's private practice urologist is increasingly torn between caring for their patients and keeping their business afloat," said J. Max Reinboldt, CPA, a medical practice management specialist and consultant to OPEN. "Most doctors put in many extra hours just to keep from sacrificing valuable patient time to mounds of paperwork and financial responsibilities that come with running a business."

The Medical Practice Monitor is based on online interviews conducted by International Communications Research in July and August, with a nationally representative sample of 360 medical doctors in private practice (regardless of specialty). Additionally, 100 urologists, 100 oncologists, 102 dermatologists, 101 ophthalmologists and 116 dentists in private practice were surveyed. The results have a sampling error of +5.2% (for the sample of 360) or +9.8% (for the specialty samples).

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