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Discover the strategic methods for reaching your maximum potential as a doctor and never have to worry about having enough income ever again.

Article #43 Mar. 2013

Why Doctors Fail --- Series #5

 “Physicians Violate Every Business Principle
Known To Create Lasting Medical Practice
Success, Says It All”

Every athlete knows that winning is entirely dependent on the discipline to abide by the well known physical and mental requirements to win.

Undoubtedly, every medical doctor today in the medical
profession is to a great extent disregarding the rules for business success. If you have never been taught what those rules are,
then you are a prime candidate for failure in your medical
practice business.

The practice of medicine is a business that can’t be successful outside of some kind of a business structure. Even if you start a medical practice with a cardboard shack in the center of Main Street, in order to stay in business you must receive payment for your services and pay for your business license… and several
other things as well.

Simple logic tells you that medical practice is a business, and
that fact is not hidden from a reasonably intelligent doctor.

You know it, and yet you have a profound mental barrier to obtaining the business knowledge necessary to run your medical practice business with maximal efficiency, profitability, and productivity. Inevitably, your self-destructive attitude of disregarding this need permeates every aspect of your future in medical practice. Sure it costs money to get business
knowledge, but the cost of it will serve you for a lifetime.

If you wanted to increase you surgical skills you wouldn’t swagger into the operating room one day and try your new
ideas out on one of the patients you found in the preop room.
Not likely.

You’d recognize the necessity to get the training from surgeons who have expertise in the procedure before swaggering into the operating theater. So the question is, “Why is it that almost
100% of doctors assume they can run a successful business of medical practice with no significant business knowledge
or training?” 

I don’t really know why that happens but I have some ideas. It happened to me in my medical practice which I’m ashamed to admit. That lack of business knowledge destroyed my practice. When I recognized my practice was going down hill I had no idea how to reverse the process.

A business education would have resolved that problem for me or prevented that tragedy from happening in the first place.

Don’t try to tell me you haven’t had a financial problem with your own medical practice or that it never happened to you! Since you didn’t have the business knowledge, you must have hired some help to resolve the issue. Did you receive good help?
At what cost?

The business mistakes that force you in a poor to mediocre medical practice, or worse (not in order of importance)

What amazes me is the extreme amount of rationalization that
any physician or other professional health care provider has to
stick to in order to tell themselves that their practice is “good enough and they aren’t a failure.”

The debate about what failure means or what real success is to each physician will go on forever. But, it does seem reasonable to apply some specific way of grading or categorizing degrees of failure or success. My personal criterion for evaluating those
issues is a concept about how passionate you are about being the best doctor you can be.

Here it is... Is your heart in it?

If one enters the medical profession to spend their life treating and curing illness, deep down inside of every
doctor there is a passion to become the best doctor
possible by obtaining and using the skills and knowledge required to do that.

That’s my baseline also for obtaining and using necessary
business knowledge
in order to raise your money machine
(medical practice) up to a level that enables you to be the best doctor you desire to be. You can’t do it without earning enough money to afford it.

In order to afford to make yourself a top doc you will have to
have a top of the line medical practice business machine. And,
how do you do that? Well… doing something about each of
the following business violations.

The solution today for avoiding all business issues is to become
a physician employee where someone else takes care of business stuff every day. And, you hope they know what they are doing.

Violation #1 - Assuming that you don’t need to know how to
run your medical practice business, leads to all the others below.
It seems unbelievable that highly intelligent physicians could in their hearts know this mindset is wrong and then don’t take
action on it.

The thought of taking time out of your medical education or medical practice to learn the criteria for smart business management with an eye on profitability is far from
most doctors’ minds.

The consequences are numerous in spite of the fact that doctors can learn enough about running a business properly through reading business books and online business courses when not seeing patients. As of March 2013, no medical school is teaching students anything about business (a tragedy).

Violation #2 - Nearly all physicians have no understanding
about hiring and firing employees. Most doctors rely on
recruitment of office staff by a classified ad, employment agency,
or referral from another doctors’ office. When it comes to interviewing a perspective employee, doctors are blind and suffer the consequences of hiring bad employees.

As a result, office employees come and go on a frequent interval, never are trained to do what is expected of them, never
understand the concept of a team effort. They are there for their own personal reasons not the doctors, which they should be, are not held to strict responsibilities of their job, and end up doing
what they learned in other employed positions because the doctor
never sets the rules for what he or she wants done.

The consequences include lazy employees, work and job chores screwed up frequently, office staff friction or combat, significant increase in need for office management to keep things
working right.

Nothing is worse than employees irritable and nasty to patients,
no teaching of employees so they do what they “think” the doctor wants and the way they “think” the doctor wants it
done. The office can be a war zone. I’ve seen examples of this.

Violation #3 - Lack of medical practice business management
by the doctor leads to the greatest blunders and creates the most critical barriers to business productivity and profitability.

This is likely the most common reason for financial failure of a medical practice and secondarily the reason that most doctors never become wealthy, while leaving a million dollars on the
table during their medical practice career.

You doctor, are the boss, teacher, inspiration officer, team
leader, persuasion expert, punisher, mediator, follow-up
contractor, assignment director, financial manager, public
affairs director, advertising and marketing expert, and check signer, whether you want to be or not. CONTROL is the word
you need to use here. Farmers do it with a harness and reins.

(More information about staff motivation articles 22A,
22B, 22C

You owe it to yourself to be totally in control of your medical practice business in addition to your professional duties. Who’s going to do it, if you don’t? Actually, I’m setting up a coaching program to help you with all these things.

This assumes that you sincerely want to earn enough money to send your kids to any college they want and completely fund
your retirement program early in your practice career. When
such thoughts are not on your list, living in poverty is still an acceptable position to be in, as long as the government entitlements continue.

Violation #4 - Your lack of financial management of your
medical practice business is mandatory. Who is responsible in
your office for handling financial accounts? I’m not talking about
a remote CPA across town or your attorney who has about as
much financial knowledge as you do.

Being knowledgeable about your business finances, is how you prove to yourself that you are doing the right thing…or not. Meaning, that when you have a staffer write out your business checks, you must be the person who signs every check.

This trick is a means of seeing where your money is going and
what it’s paying for. You will notice when you don’t have the income to cover the overhead and is where you can spot places where you should cut back on.  

Supporting a mistress is not what I’m talking about here.

Most doctors in my experience don’t know how to evaluate a financial statement. It’s a lot more of a challenge than you may think, especially if you use the information to guide the finances
of your practice.

Just knowing the total income and expense total for the month doesn’t cut it. Have you ever gone back into the last 6 monthly financial statements and compared the figures and the “drift.”
Most doctors could care less about checking financial statements.

The trends and drift of your business flow can only be of value when you can document the direction of the flow accurately.

To manage the pulse of your finances you must be continuously monitoring the financial details of your medical practice.

Violation #5 - Means that you have no written business plan. Having a business plan in your head permits you to change the plan anytime without a good business reason. You also lose your focus on your goals for your practice and career. It’s no different than pulling the lever on a slot machine.

Written business plans are not expected to remain intact for the next 30 years. An annual or 6 month review is important so that you can revise the plan (usually only a couple pages of it) to match the situation of your practice business and the changes you have made in your goals and objectives.

Writing out a business plan fixes those steps in your mind and remains in your memory banks constantly. Mental plans don’t.

Business plans are necessary for bank loans, for bringing in a partner, and for protecting your business from legal attacks.

How many physicians have a written business plan do you think?  My guess is about 5%. Ever revise them?

Violation #6 - The lack of marketing knowledge in today’s economic environment leaves most medical practice businesses wanting. Knowing how to market your medical practice business
is a mandatory long term requirement for any doctor that wants
to remain in private practice.

Financial survival of private medical practice in view of
competition for patients, increasing fee restrictions, and
untethered medical malpractice assaults on physicians can only
be maintained by physicians who are knowledgeable in the
use of marketing businesses as well as themselves.

Yes, marketing yourself is something few doctors know how to
do. They leave that job to the integrity of their reputation...
which is never enough. Marketing is a standard necessity for
any business seeking to reach a level of profitability and success beyond all other similar businesses.

Further, marketing is the most powerful component of successful businesses that has the capacity to separate the men from the
boys or winners from the losers. Interestingly, it is the one area
of medical practice business that nearly all medical doctors feel incompetent doing… for good reasons.

How can you market your practice in a continuing fashion when you have had little or no education in marketing? But, that does not let you off the hook for making it a permanent part of your medical practice business. 

Unless you somehow learn the options for marketing your
practice and yourself (some call publicity) you will very soon be
left in the dust of the other doctors who are taking time to learn the processes. You might say, “Doctors are getting smarter,” but
it took a hell of long time before most were persuaded about the remarkable value of marketing a medical practice.

Violation #7 - Physicians commonly do not think of
themselves as salesmen or a salesperson. Selling yourself to
your peers, your patients, your friends, and your whole medical community is a required business function for creating a very successful medical practice business.

Most physicians are doing it to some degree intuitively… but it
must be done with intention to be noticeably effective.

I’m sure that you have met a few doctor’s that you would never refer your spouse or patients to for one of many reasons. Sometimes those distasteful characteristics severely compromise that doctor’s life long career in medicine.

Tragically, most of them don’t have any idea they are turning everyone away up until a raging husband or spouse or another doctor threatens to harm them in some way.

You don’t have to be beautiful, play a guitar, or sing well, just be
a pleasant, friendly, helpful, and compassionate doctor that everyone is happy to refer patients to.

What sells you to others is your basic attitude about things,
people, and patients. That’s what first impressions are all about when you meet someone.

Open-mindedness and respect for the ideas and opinions of
others is an extremely valuable means of showing people you
are a good person. Normally, these characteristics carry over
into how you treat your patients.

Have you ever told a patient, “Your symptoms are all in your
head?” That’s the quickest way to lose a patient that I know.

You sell yourself to every patient you treat. You sell yourself by persuading the patient to trust you. Once they trust you, they
are far more willing to take your medical advice and follow your instructions. Am I right… or what!

Keep this business tactic in mind and continue to use it every
day, even with your neighbor across the fence in spite of their barking dog that interrupts your sleep.

Violation #8 - When you don’t know that every successful
and profitable business has implemented business systems into their business to get to the top, you find your business hurting.

If you haven’t been told about what business systems do for your
business and how to use them for maximum efficiency and productivity of your medical practice, it brings tears to my eyes.

Highly successful businesses all over the world use business systems to power up their profitability. Even medical schools and hospitals use business systems for the same reasons.

If you have never heard of business systems and need to learn about them, you should read my eBook explaining the process in detail.  GO HERE.

Read my article_20.htm in the article archives on my website

for a shorter summary of business systems. More information
also available in Article 21 and Article G .

B rief business systems summary

Think first of what an assembly line does for the auto industry. Thank you Henry Ford. Essentially, that’s what a business system does for your office business.

In your office a business system starts at the bottom and works upwards. Every job and work function in your office is performed using a rigid set of sequential performance steps that must be followed to complete the function properly.

When an office staff member deviates from that process, they
are shot. Well… least they are reminded of why the process
is used and are then taught the reasons it helps to increase the medical practice income, which in turn enables increases in their salary. Might there be a motivation to do the job right next time?

Each function in your office is done by a set of steps start to
finish. Above that level is a second business system in place to handle the results from each job function in a tight stepwise manner exactly the same each time.

Finally the top “over all” system is created exactly the same way and the sorted and evaluated results are given to the one in
charge (No, that should never be your spouse.).

This system insures that any newly hired person or any other
office staff member can step into that job and handle it easily
and instantly by following the sequential steps required. It eliminates teaching people over and over again, which costs
time and money for any office to do.

You create the system and process sequences for your own office exactly like you want each job done. I think you get the idea
of it all. It’s an ideal system of processes that always does what
it’s supposed to do. However, you have to modify it to make it compatible with the way you want your practice to be managed.

Sure it takes work and time to set up your systems, but you only have to do it once in your career. It’s simple to adjust and make changes when needed.

You can’t fool me. You would much rather forget the “systems thing” and put up with the constant and repetitive much larger work load of teaching, reminding, and correcting your office staff daily because they forget what you said to them three days later and resort again to doing their job the way they please—not the way you want it done.

Violation #9 - Most doctors think that the staff they hired already knows how to manage customer service in their medical practice business. Customer service regarding your patients is considered the least important issue of your business. After all every body knows how to be nice to patients… right?

You may be surprised to know that how your patients are treated by your medical office staff is the most effective means of creating loyalty to your practice, of persuading patients to  refer patients to you, and of enticing patients to market your medical practice for
you… free of charge. 

Patients enjoy having “an experience” in your medical office and not simply an office visit with the doctor. That experience is what they remember, and is an effective way to retain patients who otherwise may migrate to another doctor’s office where they have a unique experience every time.

Having a doctor’s visit, waiting in the reception area, and keeping the little kids from dumping over the lamps is not the greatest experience of their day, for sure.

When you neglect to make your patient’s visit to your office fun, unique, enjoyable, and go out the door with a smile, you have violated a rule of business marketing etiquette.

Much more detailed information about customer service in your medical office you can read in my article HERE.

Violation #10 - For private practice physicians, the necessity
of maintaining continuous and perpetual attention to upgrading, refining, applying more effective strategies to the business of medical practice becomes an after-thought or worse.

Think of your medical business as the home you just built or bought. The day that happened, an obligation to repair,
maintain, and upgrade it became a commitment that never
goes away.

Maintaining your medical office business demands
that same “contract” agreement with you, except that it is far
more important to your life and career than any other obligation you may consider essential.

For the great majority of physicians that concept is lost in the wind... at least until the symptoms of a failing medical practice show up. Spending at least 4 to 6 hours a month concentrating
on improving your business side of medical practice will recharge your money machine batteries.

Since there is no one to keep reminding you of that, your
attention to the business is left to your conscience, due
diligence, memory banks, or being thrown to the mat by worry about paying your overhead bills.

Every successful business that is profitable and productive has
an owner who recognizes the requirement for continuous
attention to oiling his money machine twice a month.

Doctors frequently forget, ignore, or, unbelievably, just don’t
know that it’s necessary. Some call that business ignorance.
One fact is true. The end result is predetermined. Your medical practice will fail, judged by any successful business standards
you apply.

It’s a sad fact that permeates the medical profession and is a profound reason your private medical practice career is doomed from the beginning… at least for those doctors who have been brainwashed by their medical training professionals.


As of 2013, all physicians shoulder the responsibility of obtaining
a solid business education on your own. Not only that, but you
also have the responsibility of implementing those business principles into your medical practice as soon as possible.

Business knowledge and education is clearly available and
doesn’t mean you have to blow your bankroll to get what you
need to do well. All you have to do is make the issue a priority, determine how you want to get that knowledge/training, and choose the timing you will use to do all that.

Ignoring this necessity will definitely cause you to suffer during your medical practice career. If you are masochistic, then you
may be able to handle it. But, you will have to admit that a business education does nothing but help any doctor in
medical practice.

Don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself. Make
it a priority to interview 30 gray haired doctors who have spent their medical career in private medical practice, and give
yourself a huge dose of reality.

I do have one last suggestion for you. Having a medical
practice coach
will insure that you will do the right things
and do them in the ways that are known to create great wealth
and eliminate your money worries.

It so happens that I will have a coaching program available to physicians in the next 8 weeks that you are welcome to join.

I will be soon sending you all the details, fees (reasonable ones), and program content for your information.

handwritten signature of Dr. Graham

P.S. Remember, you are the only one making the choices and goal setting that will determine your destiny in your medical career. Don’t leave it up to the circumstances as so many doctors do.

The author, Curt Graham, MD, and experienced physician, author, marketer and
expert in medical practice business and marketing strategies, motivator of
professionals in the business world, published widely in web article directories,
in Modern Physician and Medical Economics Magazines, and has three books
available online.
Discover how to make your medical practice flourish and exceed all
expectations with simple business and marketing strategies.
Click this link now: http://www.HowToPropelYourMedicalPractice
© 2013, All Rights Reserved

handwritten signature of Dr. Graham

 Business Nudges......

                        photo girl red shirt with the word HATE on 
                                          shirt and seen in mirror as LOVE

The fact that a medical business must be managed like a business to be totally successful, creates a love vs. hate relationship between doctors and their responsibilities to their medical practice businesses.

By learning about and implementing business principles into your medical practice, you will open new opportunities for increasing your medical practice profits as well as documenting for you that you are more capable than you imagined.

Become a business person and a better doctor.


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In This Issue:

1. Powerful Business and Marketing Articles You Can Easily Adapt to Your Own Medical Practice.

2. Dr. Graham's Practice Views And Opinions That Should Provoke New Ideas For You to Act on.

3. References For
Maximizing Your Medical Practice Potential, Income, and success.

4. Businesses For
Your Kids. The Smartest Thing A Parent Can Do For Their Children Is To Teach Them Business Tactics And Strategies, And Stimulate Them To Start Their Own Business
At Any Age.

5. VIP Newsletter Articles Library. Cutting Edge Articles Telling You How To Grow Your Practice In Any Economic Environment.

6. Practice Ideas And Tips For Improving Your Practice Income
And Efficiency.

7. Library Of My Views About Medical Practice. Practice Alternatives, Problem Solutions, And The Things You Should Do and Should Not Do.

8. List Of My Medical Business Websites Meant To Offer You Another Whole New Look AT How Your Medical Practice Interacts With Other Medical Career Demands + Responsibilities. 

9. Humor In Small t.i.d. Doses. Meant to lighten your stress load, if even for just a few  minutes.

Profitable Practice Tips

1. Learn how to position yourself for success by "Positioning" tactics.
(Article 29)

2. Learn how to increase patient compliance with your advice.
(Article 26)

Borderless Humor

"There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves."

Goals - Plans

Business plans are the secret to......

  • Reaching the top tier faster

  • Staying on track to your practice goals

  • Making you create your priorities in medicine

  • Remind you to adjust your focus on goals when circumstances have changed

  • Getting a loan from your bank

  • Coordinating your business with your patient care plans

  • Prevent you from forgetting that medical practice is a business that has to be run like a business

Inspiration Time

"The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business--or almost anywhere else for that matter."

----Lee Iacocca

Views I Only Share With My Friends--

What my medical career taught me.......
Click Here... and how it can help you manage your medical practice business at the highest level of expertise.

 Facts And Stats

1. Warren Buffet started out as a pinball machine repairman.

2. The first Ford cars had dodge engines.

What Your Kids
Are Capable Of-

When you want to understand what your modern day kids are capable of and have the ability to do, regarding starting a business of their own, then hit the link below and give yourself a dose of inspirational enlightenment.....


New Important

My New Ebook, the keys to your medical practice survival is now available:

"How To Rapidly Propel Your Medical Practice Income To Unlimited Levels In 6 Months"
Click Here When you need expert help and advice,
and when........

red arrow pointing rightyou just don't know where to turn to get honest and reliable help with your battle to fight the external forces that compromise your practice revenue and growth.

red arrow pointing rightyou want to improve your medical practice income dramatically in a short period of time.

red arrow pointing rightyou prefer to find the means to reach your highest level of practice income and productivity.

red arrow pointing rightyou demand effective and reliable means for preventing the financial collapse of your medical practice.

red arrow pointing rightyou are determined to find ways to combat govt. fee restrictions that continue to increase.

red arrow pointing rightyou recognize that what you are missing in your medical business are implementation of business principles and marketing strategies.

red arrow pointing rightyou want to do it yourself and save a bunch of money.

red arrow pointing rightyou are sick and tired of putting up with what you are being forced into doing with your practice to stay afloat.

red arrow pointing rightyou are aware that no other physician author is making any effort to tell you what to do and how to do it effectively to reach your expectations you had for your medical career when you started.

red arrow pointing rightyou understand the severity of being in a business without ever being taught the business knowledge to run it profitably.

red arrow pointing rightyou insist on having a blueprint for your medical practice business that provides every key to your practice success at the highest level. 

References For Maximizing
Outside Income

best references for doctors who invest.......

For Investing advice :


2.The Palm Beach
   Letter-- Mark Ford

3. Retirement Millionaire Newsletter.......
published by David Eifrig Jr., MD, MBA, Ophthalmologist, stock  market expert. (my choice)

call 888-261-2693

Note: I have no personal or business connections with these references other than subscriptions to their publications.  I suggest them because I do think they have unique value for investors.  You decide.

My Other Medical Websites 






  photo of Dr. Graham with two corpsmen in Vietnam 1965    photo of Dr. Graham early in practice    photo of Linda Dr. Graham's wife     photo of Dr. Graham late in practice     photo of Dr. Graham's practice associates    

Flight Surgeon Vietnam1965--

Diet Worked 1980

 My Wife Linda

Retired 1999

Our Medical Practice Group
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Curt Graham, M.D.
2404 Mason Ave.  Las Vegas, NV 89102
E-mail = cgmdrx(at)
© 2004-2015  Curtis Graham, M.D., All Rights Reserved.