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    Being a practice partner requires leadership skills

    Q: I've just become a partner in a medical practice after spending several years honing my patient service and clinical skills. I believe that I know the clinical side of the business well, but I want to handle the management side appropriately, too. What does it take to be a practice partner versus merely a practice physician?

    A: Becoming a practice partner involves more than being with the practice for a long time. Partnership standing also means being a practice leader—a role that comes with different expectations and possibly a different compensation model.

    Today's partners need to govern the business rather than just manage it. Governing involves administering, directing, and controlling an organization, whereas managing means skillfully handling tasks and people. Allow your managers to deal with such issues as staffing, employee supervision, and similar tasks while you focus on your practice's strategic vision by developing policies and maintaining oversight.

    If you find that you're implementing policies rather than creating them, it's a sign that you've stopped governing and have returned to a management role.

    Answers to our readers' questions were provided by Thomas J. Ferkovic, RPh, MS, managing director, SS&G Healthcare Services LLC.

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