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Medical Practice Business And Marketing Articles

Article #3 - Sep. 2009                       

“Why Are Physicians So Determined To
Shoot Themselves In The Foot?”

The tragedy is that physicians rarely are ever aware of the the necessity
to learn and use the principles of successful business until they
are in financial quicksand with their medical practice.

     Regrettably, you have already shot yourself in the foot relative to your medical practice business.  It was probably just because you had no idea your “practice gun” was covertly loaded by your subconscious mind. 

By clinging to old medical school traditions you have tattooed on your brain the almost complete disregard for the small business aspect of your medical practice,
you are sailing without a wind to guide you. So, you guess which way, and
start rowing.

The hard facts about your medical practice business begin to surface when...

  1. Your practice income is dropping
    (as it has been over the last decade).

  2. Your practice income is stagnant
    (practice is not growing).

  3. Your retirement plan is harder to fund each year
    (decrease in net income).

  4. You discover you can’t quite fund your kid’s education
    (they need a job).

  5. Your med-school visions of medical practice benefits have disappeared (thinking about a second job?).

And, as usual, when you read all these “maybe true” factors, you begin to think
about what to do about them.  And, then you come face to face with your excuses
for the next hour.  That is, if you are open-minded enough to take the point seriously.  This is not put in front of you to criticize, intimidate, or chew on
your arrogance. 

It’s to get your attention on the critical problems facing every physician in private medical practice today.  And, as I see it, are the ever increasing causes among doctors for early retirement from practice, changing careers, joining managed care medical groups, and becoming part time doctors.  Would you agree?

Why would anyone think that physicians have rigid minds, fixed thoughts about medical practice, or barriers against outside influences which could affect
their practice? 

Just because medical doctors are tormented with, “doctors are all poor business people,” or even outside references to, “I gave up trying to get in to see the doctor about non-medical business issues,” doesn’t mean these remarks have any sound basis… right?

These conscious or unconscious barriers (maybe…"mind-sets") to outside influence undermine your ability to earn the profits you deserve and worked damn hard to be able to earn. I have some ideas about why that happens and what you
can do about it.

Causes of why you medical doctors do this are...

1. Negative Educational Input-- Since your college pre-med advisors and medical school educators never mentioned the word, “small business” in
your training, you were brain-washed into thinking that managing a small business (called medical practice) wasn’t important to your
profession and career. 

The myth... You can have a successful medical practice without business knowledge or education like doctors have been doing for
years in our country.

If your idea of practice success is to simply have enough money to get
along pretty well in life and do the necessary things for your family, then
your practice is certainly a success.  And, are all done without any business training at all… nor significant marketing knowledge.

That’s the common thinking of doctors today in private medical practice that I speak with, and was the thinking of my practice associates for all those years we practiced together—including me!  Have you ever heard the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” without understanding its meaning?  Then you thought, “it doesn’t apply to me.”

Business people trained in business principles laugh at physicians, their ignorance of business strategies, and their attitudes that they can be
successful in a business sense without knowing all that small business owners know.  The tragedy is that every physician throughout their career in private medical practice leaves at least one million dollars on the table without being aware of it.  That’s why they laugh... probably also feel sorry for us.

Business people earn on the average much more than most doctors earn because they understand what it takes to have a successful small business in
a true sense of the term.  If you want to understand what 95% of doctors
need to know, read Michael Gerber’s book, “The E-Myth: Physician” and it will all make sense.

2. Covert Brainwashing

    The second big reason physicians (with the exception of plastic surgeons)
are the last of all professionals to “get it” is the unbendable belief in the
dogma of medical school tradition.  What it means is; just because every
doctor in America is seemingly “successful” without ever knowing the best
or proper business way to run a medical practice small business, you
naturally assume it’s not necessary for you either. 

When you had it in your head that your medical educators thought it
wasn’t necessary
(because they never taught business principles to you)
you felt bound to the traditional common thought it just wasn’t important. 
And, now you’re held hostage to that belief—to your detriment.

It’s like you have no mind of your own to make your own decision about
“how” successful you want your medical practice to be.  And, that brings you right down to determining what you believe to be important in your life and medical practice... also what success really means to you. 

Common sense should rule here.  You know you are really running a
business of some type because you are somehow earning money.  If you practice medicine without a business, it’s called free medical care.  It would seem prudent to do everything needed to make that business thrive... but, most doctors won’t.

3. Intentional Personal Barriers

The third, yet more arcane, reason physicians never awaken to the truth
is that you establish barriers, string barbed wire fences, strap claymore mines to the trees outside your office door, and have rigid office rules of privacy you beat into your staff which Paul Bunyan and his axe couldn’t chop through.  Don’t kid me; I know the truth because I did all those things myself, as well
as all the doctors I worked with.  I still wonder why we did that. Now I know.

You hide from the very people who can help you, like marketing consultants, business advisors (hopefully not your CPA or Practice Attorney), and other business experts.  I know the rationalization—you just don’t have the time (means losing money) to spend talking to them. 

You have no real idea of what you can do with your practice, your income, and your lifestyle if you would learn business strategies and
principles, and apply them to your “somewhat successful” medical practice.

4. Disruption Of Your Comfort Zone

The fourth set of reasons for your hesitation at altering your medical
practice to improve it in outstanding ways, is a matter of fear and pride.  Inertia is always a part of it.  Even that is often the result of fear of change, fear of insecurity, fear of failure, fear of admitting to yourself that you could
do better or that it's even possible to do better, fear of taking acceptable
risks, among others. 

We all have those same fears to one degree or another.  That’s where
business knowledge enables you to make the right decision.  No risk, no
gain, it's an inside job. 

What you can do to overcome your barriers, fixations, and fallible reasoning

Michael Gerber said it.  And I believe it (paraphrasing him); “Only by developing an office business system using known effective business principles where you (the physician) control it all, will any physician ever reach their ultimate potential for achieving maximum practice value to their patients, maximum talents and skills which improve the quality of your practice, and maximum practice income which will fulfill all expectations you have for practicing medicine.”

Homework-- Read the book.  It’s short, easy to read, and packed with
knowledge and advice.

“Your success depends mainly upon what you think of
yourself and whether you believe in yourself.
                ---William J.H. Boetcker

The author, Curt Graham, is a highly experienced business and marketing expert, copywriter, and entrepreneur who has been published in various media over 50 years while in medical practice and after.
Discover what it takes for you to reach the optimal limits of your potential in medical practice, and how to do it: Click Link NOW!

© 2004-2011, Curt Graham M.D., All rights reserved.

handwritten signature of Dr. Graham

Article #3A


Why People Fail

Dan Kennedy riding on a bull

A series of No B.S.  Articles from Dan Kennedy

"The Complaint Department"

“Every year back spring comes, with nasty little birds
yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked
up with plants.”


So said: (a) W.C. Fields or (b) Dorothy Parker or (c) Woody Allen.


Dorothy Parker, and if you haven’t read her, you’ve missed one of the most vicious biting wits and grand cynics of all time. When you visit NYC, you can stay at or have a drink at the Algonquin Hotel, home for years of Dorothy Parker’s famous roundtable, where literary lions met to drink and spar.


“You can be married and bored or single and lonely. Ain’t no happiness nowhere.”  So said: (a) Chris Rock or (b) Elizabeth Taylor or  (c) Ann Landers.  The correct answer is Chris Rock.


It just seems few people are really happy or even content with much.  We are all too eager to complain, myself included – and I stop myself often. Truth is, everybody does have something to complain about because no business, no career, no relationship, no one’s health, no life is ever free of problems, hassles, annoyances or disappointments for very long. 

Having a lot of money helps but I doubt there’s enough money, period, to insulate somebody from things worthy of complaint. I certainly have been willing to spend any sum, have spent quite a bit, and brought in a dozen experts, technicians, people from the manufacturer to fix my fireplace but, after 5 years trying, I still have a gas fireplace that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, with no rhyme or reason. It’s not as worthy of complaint as, say, coming home from Iraq missing a leg. But it’s still worthy
of complaint. 

Right now, everybody’s complaining incessantly about gas prices – even though they pay more per gallon for bottled water and Starbucks, even though our prices are a bargain vs. other countries, even though we could easily go out less and cluster errands but don’t, and even though the economy’s booming. Nuts. 

Well, we’re never going to stop others or ourselves from complaining at times we should be celebrating and giving thanks. To a degree, our ever-restless dissatisfactions and complaints are the forces leading to invention, innovation and, in some cases, improvement. But I would offer this observation, for whatever it’s worth – the most successful people I know keep more of their complaints to themselves than they air and operate in a broad, general way, happy and enthusiastic, “on fire” about what they are doing and where they are going.


I talk to a lot of people who complain about parts of their businesses, some of the work they must do. Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones says: “If you can’t get excited about the miserable job you’ve got right now, you’ll never get a good job worth being excited about.”  I think that’s true hour by hour, day by day.  Certainly there are lots and lots
of people who would follow you into your lucrative business if they could only do the pleasant tasks – like kids licking the crème filling out and discarding the rest of the cookie or cake.

The reason there’s so little competition at the top levels of the prosperity pyramid in America is NOT barriers erected to keep riff-raff out and the elite small in number; it’s mostly because most people won’t get their hands filthy doing all the ugly tasks that are required in order to get to do the
pleasant ones

When I was speaking a lot, I got approached at least 1,000 times by people who wanted to be on stage and speak to thousands and make $100,000.00 in an hour or two.

I found none were eager to learn the craft, create and perfect a presentation; study the  100 or so speakers and stand-up comedians I pointed them to; go find inconsequential venues like local car dealership sales meetings and Chamber meetings to practice; to create their own business filling seats so they could prove they could sell from the platform before asking someone to give them a valuable slot; then develop marketing materials; relentlessly mail to people who might hire them; write books and articles
and newsletters to create prominence. 

And it doesn’t take long for most people to complain a lot about the endless hours in airports, the delayed or missed flights, the bad hotels, the bad food. Everybody’d love
to be rich. Most people just aren’t willing to put up with all the crap you have to shovel and occasionally swallow for the privilege.  In this American life, you pick your place
and the prices you will pay for admission – so you really have little right to complain
about either.


So if this is one of those days, think twice before complaining. Because the secret of secrets that we know and never speak of is that our exceptional success and prosperity has only a little to do with all the things those wishing they had what we have think it does – with education or expertise or who-you-know or luck, etc.  What we know that we won’t speak of is it mostly has to do with a willingness to do a lot of things others can do but won’t. 


The WHY PEOPLE FAIL articles are provided by Dan S. Kennedy, serial entrepreneur, from-scratch multi-millionaire, speaker, consultant, coach, author of 13 books including the No B.S. series (, and editor of The No B.S. Marketing Letter. WE HAVE ARRANGED A SPECIAL FREE GIFT FROM DAN FOR YOU including a 2-Month Free Membership in Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, newsletters, audio CD’s and more: for information and to register, visit:

Articles © 2008/Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle LLC. All rights reserved.



masonic emblembright colored American flag  Curt Graham, M.D.
   2404 Mason Ave.  Las Vegas, NV 89102
    E-mail = cgmdrx(at)
       © 2004 - 2015 Curtis Graham, M.D., All Rights Reserved.