A month ago I had surgery. When I used to work for a nonprofit, I accrued sick days which could’ve been used for continuing to get a paycheck, even if I had surgery. One of the problems of working in a private practice is that I only get paid if I am working in my office. My pay is 100% commission on the time that I spend in face-to-face counseling. The fee-for-service model with insurance companies and employee assistance programs does not allow for sick pay or personal leave.
If you are currently in graduate school contemplating the liabilities and benefits of a private practice, or if you work for a government agency or a nonprofit, one of the things that you should consider about starting a private practice of your own is, “what happens if you have a surgery?” I hope that you do not have an accident, chronic illness, surgery, or injury that would keep you from making it to your appointments in your office. As an old Boy Scout though, I think that you should be prepared in case something might keep you from being able to perform your counseling duties, and therefore have a problem meeting your expenses.
If you would like help getting prepared to start your own private practice, then contact me and I will tell you about AFLAC and what I do to be prepared.
Dr. Ray Smith integrates theology and psychology as an ordained Presbyterian minister as well as a licensed mental health counselor and an adjunct professor of counselors in Spokane, Washington.