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What you need before you open your own practice

We interviewed Matthew Christie, Provide regional director of finance, to gain an understanding of what providers should consider before they open a practice and how to get over their fear of failure.

We interviewed Matthew Christie, Provide regional director of finance, to gain an understanding of what providers should consider before they open a practice and how to get over their fear of failure.

With over 20 years of specialized experience, Provide Regional Director of Practice Finance Matthew Christie sheds light on what it takes to become a successful practice owner, how to reduce risk and how to eliminate the fear of failure many aspiring business owners experience.

What is your experience in the practice finance industry?

I have been in small business lending for over 20 years and have specialized in lending to dentists, veterinarians and medical doctors. Throughout my career, I have funded approximately 1,000 loans to healthcare professionals to help them get into private practice. I am currently Provide’s local representative in Southern California, where I assist dentists looking to obtain a loan to purchase their own office.

What should providers consider when evaluating whether now is the right time to purchase a practice?

Once providers are confident in their clinical skills, have a good handle on their personal finances and have gained real-world experience, they should explore the idea of practice ownership. Learning how much production they can generate per day will give them a better understanding of the size of the practice they should look for; understanding their personal monthly expenses will give them a good idea of the profitability required in the practice that they acquire; and working as associates in different offices will give the providers a solid idea of the type of practice they want to acquire.

In your experience, what’s the most common reason providers are reluctant to make the transition from being associates to becoming practice owners, and how do you respond?

Sadly, I feel the number one reason providers hesitate to become owners is the fear of not being successful. Proper planning and having a strong team in place mitigate that risk. Today’s providers have access to volumes of information that can better prepare them for ownership than any previous generation, and doing some homework, along with gaining a better understanding of the business side of dentistry, will be the best way to inoculate this fear.

If you could give associates one reason to become practice owners in today’s market, what would it be?

Although a bigger paycheck is nice, I feel the best reason for providers to become owners of a practice is the autonomy that ownership brings. Ownership can be a much more fulfilling career, since owners have the ability to lead and mentor their own team, control their hours of operation, and choose their equipment, lab and materials.

In your own words, when acquiring their own practice, what can providers expect when they work with Provide rather than our competitors?

The biggest difference between us and other banks is our dedication to the healthcare industry. Everything — from our incredible technology to the people we hire, in addition to our flexible loan options — has been put in place to make the loan process easier for the providers we serve.

Feeling inspired? If you’re ready to chase your practice ownership dreams — and a more fulfilling career — pre-qualify, browse current listings and learn more about how we can help you at, or call us at 877–341–0617.

This content is for informational purposes and it does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, tax, or investment advice or other professional services by Provide or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and it is being provided without any warranty whatsoever. Please consult with appropriate professionals related to your individual circumstances.

All lending is subject to review and approval. Provide, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank, National Association.