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February 2nd, 2012
Being a GP is an opportunity to access one of the most stable incomes in the medical world and perhaps even the whole professional world. There is a range of incomes within general practice, with procedural GP’s (e.g. those who do anaesthetics, obstetric care, minor ops, skin cancer work) having access to increased financial rewards than non-procedural colleagues.
The advantages of being a GP are that:
There is a substantial shortage of GPs nationally and so work opportunities are plentiful.
There is the opportunity to leverage your income by employing other GPs within your practice either through a profit-share agreement (% of gross billings), associateship or as salaried employees.
There are plenty of lucrative locum opportunities for GPs to earn income whilst establishing their own general practice.
There are substantial opportunities for all GPs to increase their average hourly earnings by undertaking lucrative procedural work, occupational health, specialist clinics, medico-legal and fly-in-fly-out locums to rural areas
There is an excellent opportunity to achieve work-life balance through outsourcing out-of-hours work to a deputising service and/or working part-time
The disadvantages of being a GP are that:
GPs will usually have to employ non-revenue generating staff (e.g. practice managers or receptionists or practice nurses) which will affect practice income in the early stages of establishment.
There is a substantial amount of red tape associated with running a general practice to meet the requirements of AGPAL, RACGP and the ATO.
Since most GPs do not have a concurrent public hospital appointment, they are unable to access the benefits of salary packaging available to employees of public benevolent institutions.
Work options for GPs:
Practice Principal or co-owner
Salaried employee of a practice
‘Contractor’ on revenue-share (% Split of gross Billings – typically 50-80%)
GP in contractual relationship with a Corporatised General Practice on profit share agreement where a lump sump has been paid in advance in exchange for % of gross billings