Oncologists make good money

Start your own business as an oncologist

In view of demographic change and the shortage of doctors in many places, studying medicine offers excellent career opportunities. In addition, the earning potential for medical professionals is above average. But even before starting medical studies, the question arises of how to proceed afterwards: work as an employed doctor in a clinic or become self-employed as a specialist or set up your own practice?

Starting a business as a specialist in oncology (hematology)

In this article, oncology (hematology) is a discipline of internal medicine in every respect practice-oriented illuminated. Is it worth starting a business or setting up a business as an oncologist / hematologist? Which framework conditions have to be observed? What strategic options can be taken? These and other questions are answered in compact form after an analysis of the initial situation.

Developing perspectives from your studies!

If not right at the beginning, then at some point during medical studies the question of specialist specialization arises. Anyone who wants to become a specialist must be able to demonstrate appropriate training with the license to practice medicine. Here, with oncology or hematology, one of eight possible deepenings within internal medicine is to be highlighted. Oncology deals with the treatment of various benign and malignant tumor diseases. In addition to prevention and diagnostics, as an oncologist it is primarily about the implementation of therapies and the necessary ones Aftercare. In view of the increasing number of illnesses, cancer prevention has also become an increasingly important factor in recent years. Many risk factors for cancer are now known, so that holistic prevention can significantly reduce the chances of developing cancer in individual cases. Palliative medicine can be a further qualification if cancer diseases can no longer be cured directly after working as a resident oncologist. If you want to start your own business as a resident oncologist, ideally you should already gain PRACTICE experience during the necessary specialist training. Because anyone who founds or takes over his own practice must also run a business economically. This plus in responsibility brings the path to self-employment as a doctor in direct comparison to a job. This article examines the question of how things should or can go on after the specialist.

Starting a business as an oncologist: a branch with its own practice as a perspective?

  • Analysis of the initial situation

  • Develop a business plan for your own practice

  • Topics for the branch as an oncologist

  • Marketing and practice organization

  • Requirements to establish yourself as an oncologist

  • Merit as a resident specialist (oncologist)?

Analysis of the initial situation

The beginnings of this medical discipline were laid in 1908, when internists in Berlin Haematological Society founded. Hematology uses various methods of blood diagnostics in order to be able to detect various forms of cancer at an early stage. Even today, blood analyzes, along with commercial samples, play a central role in diagnostics. Oncology was not linked to hematology until many years later. It all began in the early 1970s, when chemotherapy, as a medical innovation, showed clear successes in the fight against cancer. Even if oncology is a relatively young medical discipline, it is characterized by a rapid pace of development. Today, in addition to chemotherapy, there are also gentler procedures that sick people can cope with much better. In addition, with a view to the chances of recovery, sophisticated diagnostics can detect many types of cancer earlier. The earlier this is the case with cancer, the better the chances of recovery. Thanks to constant research and new innovations, it is now possible to offer cancer patients very individual therapies, also in the field of outpatient care. In contrast to other internal medicine specializations such as cardiology or pulmonology, oncologists deal with cancers of the entire body. In addition to the blood and existing tumors, the focus is also on all blood-forming organs and the lymphatic system.

Prospects for the branch as an oncologist

Due to the indicated complexity of diagnosis and treatment, oncologists have to examine 500 peripheral bone marrow and blood smears on the way to the specialist. In addition, 1,500 so-called solid tumors and 500 so-called hematological neoplasms must be treated. Anyone who wants to become self-employed as an oncologist and set up / take over a practice can rely on promising framework conditions.For many years there has been a noticeable trend that cancer patients are being treated more and more often on an outpatient basis. It is no longer a discipline designed only for inpatient treatment. Experts assume that up to 90% of cancer patients will be able to receive outpatient care in the future. In this respect, the best future chances are given to settle down as an oncologist. New forms of treatment with high tolerability also speak in favor of the trend towards outpatient treatment. There are currently around 500 resident oncologists (hematologists) throughout Germany who, according to industry insiders, are very busy.

First step: Specify the supply situation at the site

Ultimately, however, the opportunities for a branch as an oncologist must always be concretized at one location: In general, it cannot be assumed that there will be nationwide coverage, so that there is sometimes a shortage of coverage. Especially in rural areas, there are very good opportunities for a branch as an oncologist if the practice can be used to full capacity thanks to a large catchment area. In metropolitan areas, however, the situation can look different, especially since highly specialized clinics may also provide competition with outpatient forms of treatment. In principle, it should be clear that outpatient care for cancer patients will entail certain restrictions. New special therapies will still have to take place in an inpatient setting and under constant medical supervision. The range of treatments must therefore be consistently geared towards the possibilities of outpatient care.

Topics for starting a practice as an oncologist

All topics that are important for the establishment or takeover of an oncological practice must be brought to the point in the business plan in a targeted manner. Only in this way can the branch become a sustainable success as an oncologist and only in this way can the financing be secured by attracting investors. It must be clear that setting up or taking over a practice is associated with very high costs. A look at the figures shows that taking over a specialist practice is usually even more expensive. From an economic point of view, however, higher costs can be justified by a well-running practice or an existing patient base. Anyone who wants to become self-employed as a specialist (oncologist) must first be clear about the type of establishment. Basically, the options of establishing a new practice or taking over a practice are to be discussed at a location. If you want to define the concept of self-employment as a specialist in more detail, you should take a look at Paragraph 24 of the Physicians Admission Ordinance throw. With this in mind, the following options are available for setting up as an oncologist:

  1. Individual practice

  2. Group practice

  3. Practice community (no economic unit like a group practice)

  4. MVZ: found a medical care center

A look at the PRACTICE developments in recent years shows that the isolated individual practice is more of an obsolete model. There is a clear trend towards the establishment of group practices or medical care centers. In this way, financial risks for the individual resident doctor are reduced and patients can use a wide range of treatments, as they are mutually dependent. In any case, an oncological specialist practice must be well networked (referrals from clinics or other medical practices) and the infrastructure must be easily accessible. This is an important criterion especially for patients who often have to undergo outpatient oncological treatment over a longer period of time.

Requirements for starting your own business as an oncologist

Anyone who would like to work as a specialist in Germany or would like to set up a business needs a valid license to practice medicine (i.e. completed specialist training). After studying medicine, several years of further training are necessary in order to be able to become an independent specialist in oncology. Doctors are only allowed to hold the relevant specialist title at the end of this successful training. It becomes clear that self-employment as an oncologist should be planned for the long term, ideally already during your studies. A total of 6 years of further training according to the license to practice medicine must be completed before a branch as an oncologist / hematologist is possible. Half of the training time to become a specialist is devoted to specific content in oncology and hematology. In addition, a 6-month practical activity in a hematological-oncological laboratory is planned. Overall, the experience gained in a practice is very valuable in order to later be able to take on targeted and success-oriented responsibility. In addition, the license to practice medicine stipulates that up to 18 months can be completed in the outpatient area. These are ideal conditions to prepare for setting up a business.

Checkout seat free? Observe admission restrictions

Anyone wishing to set up an oncology practice must observe admission restrictions and, if necessary, check them at an early stage. This is based on a (often criticized) demand planning, with which an oversupply is to be prevented, especially in metropolitan areas. There is an upper limit per population and specialist physicians. The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians is the right contact to find out about relevant upper limits with a view to starting your own business. If there is no vacancy at the cash register, you can switch to another area, which of course requires a certain degree of flexibility.Alternatively, there is the option of being put on a waiting list to take over a practice.In individual cases, special needs approvals, attending physician approvals and temporary approvals can also be checked. In addition to the admission restriction, other provisions of the Admission Ordinance must be checked. If you want to treat people with statutory health insurance as a specialist, you need a statutory health insurance license, which is usually granted on application. The approval and any restrictions do not have to be observed if only those with private health insurance are treated. In this scenario, however, it must be ensured that sufficient utilization is guaranteed. In the 'practice' only very few specialist practices can do without treating those with statutory health insurance.

Overview: Formalities for obtaining the license as a specialist

  • After successful license to practice medicine and specialist certification: Entry in the medical register

  • Proof of personal suitability (see §§ 20 and 21 of the Medical Admission Ordinance)

  • formal application for a vacant cash register seat

  • If necessary, entry in a waiting list (if there is no vacant ticket office)

  • Apply for approval as a contract doctor

  • Apply for the billing approval for so-called qualification-related services

Basically, it must be decided whether the branch should be implemented with a half or full supply contract. At a full supply contract must at least 20 consultation hours a week Tobe offered.

Marketing as a resident oncologist

Anyone who takes on a specialist oncology practice is faced with manageable challenges in this field, because the existing patient base holds out the prospect of a secure future. It should be noted, however, that previous standards cannot simply be changed in order not to offend existing patients. Marketing and patient acquisition are increasingly taking place on the Internet. Reviews on doctor portals play an important role in this regard. Anyone who can score here as an expert with good ratings and positive experience reports will be able to attract many patients. The background to this is that more and more patients want to get an idea of ​​doctors and practices on the Internet beforehand. Bad reviews on portals are therefore to be avoided for marketing and the perceived image.

Successful practice requires professional organization

In this regard, a professional and well-being-oriented practice organization comes into focus. When it comes to cancer, it is important to be psychologically adept and to take fears and worries very seriously. Even if it is difficult in view of serious illnesses and uncertain chances of recovery, patients should feel completely comfortable and well cared for. All processes in the practice should therefore be designed consistently from the patient's point of view. What needs to be considered is the convenience with which unavoidable waiting times can be made as positive as possible.

Merit as a resident oncologist?

This question certainly plays a decisive role in starting a business as a specialist. Overall, doctors are among the best-paid professional groups in Germany.With your own practice you can earn far higher earnings than with an employee relationship. The health reporting of the federal government collects key business data at regular intervals, which allow a meaningful orientation with a view to the earning potential with a specialist practice. On average, a single practice for internal medicine generates almost 340,000 euros per year. Almost 25% of the expenses are accounted for by the staff, a good 23% for rent and required materials. At the end of a year, the owner of a practice has a net profit of 150,000 euros. A good ongoing practice for oncology should therefore enable a monthly wage of well over 10,000 euros. Of course, a good workload is a prerequisite. In addition, resident specialists have the income base in their own hands, apart from the fixed remuneration from the statutory health insurance companies. As “your own boss” you can achieve higher income through a wide range of treatments with private patients and services for self-payers (keyword: IGEL).

Summary for the business idea 'start your own business as an oncologist'

  1. Against the background that the care of cancer patients is becoming more and more outpatient, it is a promising and future-oriented business idea

  2. There are currently around 500 resident oncologists / hematologists: There is a lack of supply, especially in rural areas. In any case, the initial situation at the location must be carefully analyzed at the beginning: Is a required cash desk seat available at all (unless a purely private practice is to be set up)?

  3. With the business plan, the practice operation is planned holistically and the financing strategy is determined

  4. There are two basic options for setting up as an oncologist: establishing a new practice or taking over an existing one

  5. In order to become self-employed as an oncologist (hematologist), in addition to the license to practice medicine or recognition as a specialist, a vacant seat in the cash register is required. This is allocated on request

  6. Marketing for doctors is increasingly happening on the Internet: Reviews on well-known portals should therefore be as positive as possible, so that a good light is shed on the practice. When patients looking for information about a specialist practice, they often come across such image-enhancing reviews first

  7. The salary as a resident specialist with his own practice is above average (a five-digit monthly wage is very realistic).