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Medical Practice Business And Marketing Articles
Article #40 -- Dec. 2012
Why Doctors Fail --- The Series #2
"Lack of A Doctor's Due Diligence Is A Major
Cause of Medical Practice Failure”
Don't confuse due diligence with laziness. It's not because you don't
work hard, but because you spend you efforts on much less
profitable and productive obligations.
The first thing that comes to mind about due diligence is how it has anything to do with failing as a person or as a business. Failing at any effort you intend to complete, can quickly be attributed to one or more of many causes. Such contributors to most failures are laziness, distractions, fixation, priorities, lack of common sense, and fear of the consequences of stepping out of your comfort zone, to name a few.
Due diligence process means, done or pursued with persevering and painstaking intensive attention and constant in effort to accomplish.
Digging deeper into those apparent causes, reveals a common thread that lies at the core of failure. If you equate this thread to those who fail and those who don't, you'll notice only two basic categories of humans. Both categories are comprised of super talented and competent people who accomplish their goals in different ways.
There are those who are “results oriented” and those with that are “activity oriented.” The latter group tend to find satisfaction with learning, keep busy with things that interest them at the time, and inherently choose activities that aren't difficult or distressful. They don't see the advantage of having plans or ultimate goals.
The former group lets their objectives and goals dictate their activities and progress. Which group fits your medical practice style?
If you examine your original thoughts about the possibility of failure, you may see yourself working a ten hour day, certainly not a lazy person, while hoping for more new patients to keep coming through your door just because you are there and you are a great doctor.
There's a lot of B.S. out there about doing what you love to do by working your butt off and magically having the money materialize, delegating and outsourcing your office work, and chasing your passion towards a 4-day workweek.
The additional undeniable influence on you of 30 years media and books touting easy success brainwashing you into believing success can be had much easier and faster than ever before. It leaves blind scars that make it difficult to understand that hard work is still a requisite for real success as well as optimal wealth.
What doctors, among others, fail to see is that the word “hard” work camouflages the essential meaning here of the word “work.” Work, by itself, is a scattering effort without direction or purpose. Work in this case needs definition.
Work should be understood as a mental and physical effort that has specific aims and lives under a hood of requirements. The greatest of these requirements is what we call “due diligence.”
Diligence shouts the need of knowing exactly and completely that the work done is not wasted. Diligence means you have real knowledge through evaluation and examination beforehand that your “work” has great rewards at the end. You expect to find, use, and benefit from those rewards that you know are there. There is no hoping, guessing, or feeling that the
treasure is there.
The greatest threat to your medical practice goals, accomplishments, and wealth is lack of due diligence.
Most professionals prefer not to have to work hard or to do what they hate to do. For doctors and other healthcare professionals it usually means medical office management and financial chores. It becomes a formidable chink in your medical practice armor.
Admit it. You hate to do certain jobs that you should be doing, primarily because those jobs interfere with your practicing medicine. This leads back to the thread connecting the various supposed causes of practice failure.
The common thread is the lack of due diligence to every function of your office system, if you have one. Once you open your private practice business you are obligated not only to your employees, but also to your family and yourself to insure your medical practice business plan survives.
It further commits you to insure that it remains productive and profitable throughout your medical career.
Isn't that what all doctors want?
Do you truthfully believe that just practicing medicine, treating patients, will provide everything you desire for your professional lifestyle?
Do you honestly believe that your success and wealth will evolve without serious, continuous, and in-depth attention and time to the business of medical practice and its necessary management?
Due diligence in medical practice includes your doing what needs to be done whether you hate doing it or not.
The well known truth is that every highly successful business is run by wealthy leaders who permit their goals to dictate their activities. They all spend evenings, weekends, and holidays doing that percent of their business they hate doing. It varies from 40 to 60%, but never goes completely away.
A close look at “burnout” and medical practice failure
Medical practice failure or burnout do not occur in any medical practice where the doctor(s) take this diligence concept seriously. If you dive into the chores required of a medical practice owner and manager, you will find and prevent every aspect of your medical practice business that will lead to ultimate failure of your practice, if not tended to early on. Only you as the owner of the practice can do this... no substitutes.
Some of you do not have a clear understanding about what being diligent really means. So here it is. Every step of every job, activity, and performance issue that makes your business run must be scrutinized for everything from efficiency to profitability on a regular basis: (A few of the questions you should be asking yourself)
Can this procedure step be eliminated or improved?
Is it doing the maximum of what it could do?
Can it be replaced with a better tool or system?
Can several issues be handled efficiently with one person?
Do I need additional staff?
Can each office job be performed by all the office
Why do I need an Office Procedures Manual?
Are my office employees working efficiently and at their
Does every employee understand my goals and objectives?
Do You have a marketing plan in place?
Do you have a referral marketing plan in place?
Do you allow your office staff to be creative in their jobs?
Can you recite the number of new patients you have
gained in the last 3 months?
Do you have the statistics that show whether your practice is
growing or declining?
Do you routinely review your financial reports, income and
expenses, and act on the below standard ones monthly?
Do you have a business system and plan in place to increase
efficiency and income of your practice?
Do you really know how to read and interpret your financial
statement from your CPA?
When you ignore what you hate to do, serious repercussions to your medical practice business follow.
Not only do consequences occur, but they are additive over time. That factor leads directly to medical practice failure unless you make changes to avoid them.
Some things that due diligence resolves or relieves...
Due diligence in your practice means you know your business in every
detail. It means you are able to answer any question about your business that any business expert can ask you about. It only takes three questions to you by a business expert to find out how little you know about your own practice business. If you avoid the work required of your medical business, it is certain you will fail to a significant degree sooner or later.
Due diligence to every function your medical practice business right from the time you start medical practice will inevitably prevent your practice from financial failure and you having to close your practice.
Due diligence is how you discover what's working in your practice
business and what's not. Because you can identify quickly the weaknesses in your practice business early, you can correct the problems easier and without much disruption.
Due diligence to each aspect of your practice and business enables you to know when to make changes and uncovers the reasons why.
Due diligence prevents burnout because it uncovers all the serious
problems in your practice business that worry you so deeply and that you feel helpless to prevent or cure. It gives you a chance to correct those problems before they become truly un-repairable.
Due diligence is the means for relieving practice frustrations which often lead to financial failure of your practice. If you don't know how to read, evaluate, understand, and make decisions about what your monthly financial statement is telling you, you are on your way to bad times.
Due diligence happens only when you firmly commit your time to the
business of medical practice. After all, your greatest talents, medical
knowledge, and remarkable skills will not accomplish anything without
having a sound practice business foundation to accumulate the rewards
of your highly respected education and training.
The typical story of a failing medical practice
The lack of due diligence is what actually destroys a medical practice and your career in private practice. It's a matter of whether you take responsibility for your medical practice business plan requirements or not.
Regardless of the fact that you may have had no business or marketing education, you have the ability to search out and fix the elements of your practice that are causing problems. You can easily discover what you need to know by subscribing to our newsletter.
Predisposing symptoms of medical practice failure
When a doctor avoids 100% management of the medical practice.
Meaning that any doctor who does not set aside at least 30
minutes a day about 3 days a week, an hour and a half per week,
or 6 hours per month to work on his or her medical practice business
plan improvement, serious erosion of the practice will occur
in the future.
Doctors don't understand profit and loss statements nor how to
use them to make practice decisions. Leaving the financial advice
and the following fixes to your office CPA or Financial Manager is
practice suicide and makes you a fool. There is no one but you
that knows your mind, where you are headed with your practice,
how you want to get there, nor what you want done with your
Even if you carefully tell them exactly what you need and want,
they will forget what you told them in a week (they also work with
50 other people expecting them to provide what they need) and
end up doing what they “feel” is best for you and best for them
getting paid each month. Be smart about this.
Doctors who don't recognize that the medical practice business
can only reach its maximum profitability and efficiency when
everyone in the office is working as a compatible team. The pain
caused by each employee pulling in different directions is
escalated by confusion among the medical office staff.
Simply not understanding what the overall goals of the practice
are, and never being informed on repeated occasions by the doctor
about the steps necessary to take those goals to reality, insures
that the medical office staff will never be a responsible supportive
team working for the good of all.
Any practice without a means to measure and prove the actual
health status of a medical practice is not only dereliction of a
doctor's duty, but also is unspoken permission for the practice to
sink into the quicksand of management ignorance.
The monthly financial statements of the medical practice doesn't
tell you what you need to know and are not a reliable source of
information for creating your practice progress measurements. Just
knowing the number of new patients joining your practice each month
and those leaving the practice is the bare minimum of what factual
measurements are needed to tell you how you are doing.
Doctors who deny that business knowledge and marketing strategies
can help their medical practice in this present economy of 2012, are
predestined for unrecoverable practice failure and should be looking
for a different career.
This is also true for those doctors who masochistically attempt
to run their own medical business either based on their own
superficial business knowledge or by obtaining the necessary
knowledge and not using it the right way.
Often, they give up on their efforts because they expect immediate
results and don't get them. They don't know what they don't know.
Our free newsletter resolves that issue and my book tells you the
details about creating a successful medical practice.
Doctors whose medical practice is already in trouble and don't
recognize it, or ignore that possibility, is the primary factor in medical
practice failure for most physicians. The reason is that by the time
they do see big bad changes happening to their shrinking pot of gold,
it's too late to do anything about it... at least to reverse the process.
They then understand (usually too late) why due diligence and all
the important business factors described above were proven methods
of ensuring that they would never fail.
By this time they don't have the funds to pay for the real expert
help they need so badly. By this time they normally are frustrated
to the point of helplessness, can't think logically, and make even
worse decisions that escalate the downward spiral.
1. Somehow, get the business help and knowledge during medical training or soon after, because your practice busyness will prevent you from doing it later.
Remember these medical practice lessons...
2. Spend the time to thoroughly know your medical practice business inside out.
3. Make sure you have medical office employees that all work towards your goals... not theirs... and you have shared your vision with them.
4. If you follow these golden rules of due diligence, you will never have to admit your practice failed to anyone. However, bragging how well you are doing,
5. When you have finally met your full responsibilities to your medical practice business, you will know what fulfillment means, what peace of mind feels like, and what one doctor is able to accomplish in his professional medical career that goes far beyond expectations.
The author, Curt Graham M.D., is a published expert author with 40 years experience in the medical profession. His expertise extends to medical practice business and marketing, coaching, teaching, and consulting for professional medical care providers. Need a coach to go above the normal? To learn how you can create rapid medical practice growth and income, persistently..........
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© Copyright 2004-2012, Curtis Graham M.D.
Sometimes, we are distracted from our due diligence, not paying close enough attention to our business and forget to be constantly improving each functional part of it. Over 95% of doctors in private medical practice ignore due diligence in their practice.
It's the management side of practice business that usually succumbs to complete neglect. If you don't understand what that means in practical terms, then what you learn in this article can and will save your practice in more ways than one.
If I asked you about your medical business, would you be able to tell me what the last 12 improvements to your practice business were... maybe even as few as 3?
Renegade Millionaire Way
by Dan S. Kennedy
" The Truth about Quitting"
My father told me that the reason doctors whack babies on the ass immediately after they are born is to communicate a fundamental truth they need to know to survive: outside the womb, life is tough. (Do doctors still do this? I don’t know. I’d guess not; today, it’d be viewed as infant abuse and threatening to the tiny soul’s fragile self-esteem, like, say, playing dodge ball and keeping score a bit later in life. But in 1954, the year of my birth, the Doc at
Deaconess Hospitalin delivered that whack.) Cleveland, Ohio
Everybody is presented with countless opportunities to quit. We stumble into places far most hostile than we anticipated – my daughter’s full term in the Peace Corps, in some godforsaken jungle with rats on her tin she’s roof, peeing through gaps, that leaps to mind.
We sign on for things that quickly seem more challenging and difficult than we’d hoped for – maybe putting to use what is being provided to you by the publisher of this; maybe putting together furniture from IKEA. We walk into a dark alley, perhaps stupidly or ignorantly or arrogantly, figuratively of course, and then get the crap beaten out of us, literally, and limp home, humiliated.
The list of celebrated, influential and rich entrepreneurs with at least one embarrassing bankruptcy or very close call, past and contemporary, is long, long indeed. I, myself, am on the list, and in very fine company. And if the doc’s message is true, that life is tough, life for those who claw their way to the peak of the business success and money pyramids is even tougher.
Entrepreneurship is all about managing a never-ending in-flow of crap, and diligently looking for the pony occasionally in it; about converting adversity to opportunity when you can, and not being overly troubled when you can’t. And, of course, not quitting.
Quitters are very uninteresting. What’s interesting and instructive is those who are unabashed, who are quickly resilient, who achieve redemption, who have a greater and grander next act.
Over the long haul, this ‘resiliency’ may be the single most important of all personal characteristics. How well you can take a punch. How quickly you can recover. How you can weather storms of criticism or humiliation. How adept you are at reinvention. How courageously and creatively you respond to difficulty.
If you want to cultivate a characteristic, this is the one. And one way to do it is with little stuff. The day to day. A lot of people are easily derailed. Easily put into a funk lasting hours or even days. Easily compromise their agenda. The breeze from a missed punch is sufficient to send them to the canvas. They wonder why they don’t get more accomplished. It’s "their glass jaw.”
At least be honest whenever you quit – especially if your reason is “gee, where’s the Easy Button, anyway? Don’t see it here. I’ll go look over there.” That kind of quitting isn’t about the place you walked into, the activity you started, the toolbox you opened up, the learning curve and time required. It’s about YOU.
DAN S. KENNEDY is a serial, multi-millionaire entrepreneur; highly paid and sought after marketing and business strategist; advisor to countless first-generation, from-scratch multi-millionaire and 7-figure income entrepreneurs and professionals; and, in his personal practice, one of the very highest paid direct-response copywriters in America. As a speaker, he has delivered over 2,000 compensated presentations, appearing repeatedly on programs with the likes of Donald Trump, Gene Simmons (KISS), Debbi Fields (Mrs. Fields Cookies), and many other celebrity-entrepreneurs, for former U.S. Presidents and other world leaders, and other leading business speakers like Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Tom Hopkins, often addressing audiences of 1,000 to 10,000 and up. His popular books have been favorably recognized by Forbes, Business Week, Inc. and Entrepreneur Magazine. His NO B.S. MARKETING LETTER, one of the business newsletters published for Members of Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, is the largest paid subscription newsletter in its genre in the world.
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Curt Graham, M.D.
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E-mail = cgmdrx(at)gmail.com
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