AMA STEPS Forward® Private Practice Playbook

Knowing your priorities regarding how you want to practice is important. There are a variety of private practice models, and they each have advantages and disadvantages. The greatest advantage for most physicians who choose private practice is flexibility and more autonomy to make decisions.

Private Practice Playbook

Access key STEPS, best practices and resources for thriving in private practice.


The health care landscape is changing rapidly, driven by the growth of payment models other than Fee for Service, regulatory changes, technology and consumer demands, among other factors. AMA advocacy, resources and research help make private practice a viable option for physicians. For physicians contemplating a move to private practice, several important considerations outlined below contribute to the success of this model of care.

7 STEPS to Starting a Private Practice

  • STEP 1: Location
  • STEP 2: Licensing and Credentials to Practice and Prescribe
  • STEP 3: Professional Advisors and Peer Collaborations
  • STEP 4: Payer Contracting Payment Models
  • STEP 5: Professional Insurance
  • STEP 6: Equipment and Supplies
  • STEP 7: Staffing

Efficient operations to ensure more time with patients

Many physicians are drawn to private practice because of the potential for long-lasting relationships with patients, the ability to have more control over the patient-physician experience and the knowledge that the care team and administrative staffing are the physician’s responsibility. Succeeding in the private practice setting takes astute clinical judgment, effective collaboration with colleagues and innovative problem-solving. One of those innovative problem-solving opportunities may be selecting and adopting your EHR.


Outside of, but equally important to, the business and patient care aspects of private practice come additional considerations to ensure your practice’s sustainability.

This section will help you thrive in private practice by:

  • Outlining important marketing aspects to consider for your practice
  • Identify ways to use social media to promote your practice
  • Discuss how professional and community organizations can be of support to your practice

Download the playbook (PDF) to learn more about starting and sustaining your private practice.

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