Practice mergers: Steps to a smooth transaction

January 1, 2007
Neil H. Baum, MD

Neil H. Baum, MD, is a urologist in private practice in New Orleans. He is the author of "Marketing Your Clinical Practice-Ethically, Effectively, and Economically."

Robert A. Dowling, MD

Dr. Dowling is president of Dowling Medical Director Services, a private health care consulting firm specializing in quality improvement, clinical informatics, and health care policy affecting specialty care. He is the former medical director of a large,

The United States is witnessing a consolidation of physicians into groups, and urology is no exception. AUA estimates that only 22% of its members in 2006 are in solo practice (down from 48% in 2003).

Editor's note: This issue of Urology Times introduces Robert A. Dowling, MD, as the new co-author of the monthly "Bottom Line" column.

New urologists, who are usually just out of residency or fellowship, are typically employed for 3 years at a predetermined salary structure based on national and regional benchmarks for urologists. After the 3-year employment period, the physician is evaluated for partnership.

This graduated partnership track replaces the lump sum "buy in" that has characterized the path to partnership in traditional medical groups in the past, which can generate resistance from the new partners because of the hefty buy-in amounts.