I'm dreaming of a private practice. What a great dream! You are enjoying Bing Crosby's voice singing this lovely tune in your head. Perhaps you have thought of forming a practice that addresses a specific population or disorder. You could be thinking of your market area and your love for a specific disorder and treatment and might be spinning those ideas around in your head. You may be thinking: geriatric, Autism, early intervention, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, stuttering, language disorders paired with learning differences, swallowing, feeding. Wow! Your list will be unique to to you!

I would like to share a few thoughts about specializing in a specific area as you start your practice. Unless you know that your market area absolutely needs a specific treatment, I would not attempt to do this with the exclusion of other treatments and disorders. As you begin, think of some of your hopeful, future referrals as being "bread and butter". They are the larger group that you may not be wanting to be your specialty but you probably need to treat some of them in your day to pay the bills. You can carve your specialty into your menu as those referrals come, and as you promote your specialty more will come.

Be willing to start with a broad base of disorders and gradually target in on your specialty. You also might be surprised that some disorder you were not focusing on actually becomes a shining star for you. In the beginning stages you need referrals and paying patients on your caseload. I will say that starting off pediatric only is about as specific as I felt comfortable for stating as a focus. That has changed and I now have worked out the kinks for seeing adults and the insurance needs that fit that population.

Be willing to start broad and then narrow your focus. Get your name out there. Have the physicians on your team.

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