Historically medical practice management has received little attention by the medical profession. There is no formal instruction in the doctors training as to how to manage a medical practice successfully and little published data available to the practising doctor.
General Practitioners are finding that this lack of knowledge is beginning to cause difficulties as increasingly it is harder to maintain incomes and also difficult to offer increasing quality of patient care that the community desires.
Management of medical practice raises the dual concerns of high quality patient care as well as the general practitioner running a successful small business. Overservicing has been the focus of much of the media attention. It is felt that doctors, in order to maintain profitability, are sacrificing high quality patient care. Successful management of the practice however, means that both objectives can be achieved: increasing quality of patient care and fair remuneration for the doctor.
Management in medical practice not 'only encompasses the management of the organisation and its people but also their interaction with the external world and the patient. Also management involves responsible marketing of the practice and its services offered. This may help to increase patient awareness of the various services offered.
Financial management is one of the major areas of difficulty for doctors in medical practice. This is reflected• in the longer work lifetimes of some general practitioners. Good financial management is proposed as a cause of increasing quality of patient care.