tem and become an independent practitioner in the hope of providing better treatment to patients and earning a higher income.
Today, Zhang is not only a vascular surgeon, but also the founder and head of Dr. Smile M
edical Group, China’s first group medical practice, which he established in Shanghai in July 2014.
Back then, group practices, in which doctors partner together to offer medical servic
es to patients and share operational costs, was a fairly new concept in China.
But in many other countries such as the United States, group medical practices are c
ommon for doctors who work independently instead of being employed by hospitals.
Since 2014, group practices have sprung up across China, and many established doctors have left hospitals to start their own practices.
A recent example is Zhou Yuehua, one of the most acclaimed eye surgeons in China, who made headlines when he left the re
puted Beijing Tongren Hospital at the end of 2018 and founded Zhou Yuehua Myopic Doctor Group in Beijing.