BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #50
Building a Solo Practice
with Dr. Reena Mehta
In this episode we talk with Dr. Reena Mehta about her experiences building a solo Allergy practice from scratch, including finding a space, staffing, essential equipment, and a successful marketing strategy.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, February 22). Ep. 50 – Building a Solo Practice [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Reena Mehta
Dr. Reena Mehta is a private practice Allergist and adjuct professor at Tulane University Schoole of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Dr. Gopi Shah
Dr. Gopi Shah is a practicing ENT at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.
Dr. Ashley Agan
Dr. Ashley Agan is a practicing ENT and assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.
In this episode of BackTable ENT, Dr. Gopi Shah and Dr. Ashley Agan talk with Dr. Reena Mehta about her path to starting her own allergy private practice, including tips on successful budgeting, hiring practices, advertising, and maintaining a work-life balance as a solo physician.
FIrst, Dr. Mehta reflects on her personal journey to starting her own private practice. Although she started her post-graduate career in academic medicine, she transitioned to a group private practice. She then decided to open a solo private practice in order to practice medicine in the location and way she had always wanted to. In order to assess the feasibility of this idea, she consulted her network of private practice physicians. Then, she did market research to understand the location and demographics of the area in which she was planning to open her practice. Finally, she was able to find a space to rent, formulate a budget, apply for a loan, and start staffing her practice.
Dr. Mehta acknowledges that cost projections and staffing were the two most difficult aspects of starting her solo private practice. There were many costs associated with private practice that she had to account for, such as rent, staff salaries, equipment, website and marketing, electronic health records, and insurance credentialing. Fortunately, she received help from advice forums for private practice doctors as well as American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (AAAI) resources. Next, Dr. Mehta recounts the difficulties of staffing her practice, including unpredictability and high turnover during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She notes that learning to not take staffing issues personally, hiring younger and motivated employees, and using a hiring service such as Zip Recruiter and Indeed really helped her be successful in hiring the right candidates.
Finally, Dr. Mehta discusses how she maintains a healthy work-life balance. As a solo private practitioner, she is able to close her clinic when she wants to but is still available via telehealth visits and remote consulting with her staff. One method she has found to be helpful is to hire second year fellows to manage emergency allergy events and give allergy shots to patients when she is on leave.
Disclaimer: The Materials available on BackTable.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.