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“You can get past the dead end. You can break through the ceiling. I did and so have countless others.”

How to Find a Physician Collaborator.

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For the nurse practitioner who practices in a restrictive state, having a physician collaborator is a necessary evil per state law. Some nurse practitioners will utilize the collaborator to help them clinically, but most nurse practitioners who are at the point of starting their own practice do not need one, it is simply a legal requirement. How much you should pay a collaborator is discussed here and here.

So, how do you go about finding a collaborator? There are multiple ways to do so.

1) Ask a physician friend or colleague: This will be the cheapest and easiest option for you. Even if you do not have close relationships with physicians you have worked with, it is still a connection. You should utilize this relationship. These physicians know how you work and can trust you as long as you have shown value and safe clinical practice.  So, this should be step one in finding a collaborator! It will be the fastest way to obtain your collaborator.

2) Ask friends if they know anyone: You would be surprised who a fellow nurse, nurse practitioner, or other healthcare worker might know. There are physicians out there that make a living doing nothing but supervising “mid-levels.” I hate that term… You might not know who these physicians are, but I guarantee another nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant knows who they are. Ask around your local area. Even go online to various Facebook groups and ask there. This is a simple, cost effective, and easy approach to take as well.

3) Post a job posting online: If you do not have the luxury of knowing a physician to assist you, then this will be your best option. Many nurse practitioners find their collaborator this way. You would be amazed at how many physicians will respond to a simple job posting that states “Looking for a physician (MD or DO) to collaborate with a nurse practitioner ran clinic.” I have talked to many nurse practitioners who have stated they literally received a dozen applications in 1 week. This is good, you can pick the cheapest one out of the litter!

Where should you post these ads? I would stick with Indeed, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist first. Do not complicate this and post all over the web at dozens of sites, or god forbid hire someone to find this collaborator for you. Try this first, you would be surprised how many physicians will apply!

4) Cold call offices: I know a lot of nurse practitioners who have gone this route. Go to Google and start looking up all the primary care, pain management, alternative medicine, and psych offices in your area. Call each one and state “I am so and so, I am a nurse practitioner wanting to start a clinic and I am in need of a physician collaborator. I wanted to know if the physician there would be interested in collaborating with me for a fee. Could you please relay this message to them? Thank you.” It is that simple. You might have to call 10 offices before one calls you back, but trust me, there are plenty of physicians out there looking to make an easy buck.

It is that simple guys. Do not let finding a physician collaborator pose a barrier to your success. You can find one easily if you look hard enough, I guarantee it! Just make sure you negotiate the rate. Do not settle for the first physician that approaches you. You need to ensure that you work out the cheapest price possible. Do not pay $2,000 a month for a collaborator for a part time niche practice… That would be very unwise. Remember, everything in business can be negotiated!

5 thoughts on “How to Find a Physician Collaborator.

  1. Thank you for this simple and straight to the point article. I love the way you skip the BS and get to business. You are really doing something great here for NPs.

  2. This is exactly what is holding me back. Your cut to the chase way is much appreciated. My question is, what pay would be appropriate for a side gig that is just starting off with less than 10 patients? Thanks!

    1. JB,

      For a startup, talk with the physician to see if they will base it off patient volume. Or simply ask to cut you a break as you get started. Something like $250 a month until 30 established patients, then $500 a month, then once you are over 100, cap it at $750.

  3. How can I find what the collaborator is supposed to do in my state of Ohio. Like how many charts do they have to review per month or year? Is there a certain type of lawyer I need to make sure I’m in compliance?

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      There is no need to hire a lawyer for this. This should be in the nurse practitioner scope of practice act in your state. A simple phone call to the BON will answer all those questions! Plus, the collaborating physician should know all of this as well. Remember, it is a partnership between you and them.

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