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Medical Practice Business And Marketing Articles
Article #5 - Nov. 2009
“No, It’s Not Your Medical Practice”
Medical practice is a business, which will not succeed
by your efforts alone.
Just take a close look. Your medical practice would not exist without the team effort of every employee you hired to work on a job you either don’t have the time
to do yourself or may be areas which you couldn’t ever efficiently do yourself.
By the time you’ve finished medical school, like many graduates, you have that confidence, motivation, and determination to make your pistons pop in an effort to satisfy your synaptic inclination to do everything yourself. After all, if you managed to finish medical school there’s nothing you can’t do—right?
One of the most significant causes of medical practice failure comes from the
total mental inability to understand that the medical practice business is a team
effort from start to finish. Physicians, or any other professional, who make the assumption their position is to dictate to their office staff exactly what they must do every day will pave the way to repeated hiring and firing employees.
That leaves a huge footprint in the local medical community which will
Eventually, that doctor will not only find it very difficult to find new employees who are willing to work for “a dictator,” but also will quickly discover that those
who are willing to work for them are often desperate individuals who will disrupt
I received an email recently from a young office employee who was at the end
of her rope trying to decide what to do about what the physical therapist boss was requiring her to do in the business and which she knew nothing about. She had
been hired the year prior to do a receptionist job.
Over the past year the physical therapist kept piling on new job functions for her to do, certainly to avoid the cost of hiring another employee. She needed the job
so complied as best she could. She described him as very arrogant, purposely intimidating, self braggart, know-it-all, and highly critical of other physical
therapists in the area.
The final straw came when the therapist noticed that the medical community
was no longer referring patients to him. His response to that was to require this employee to personally go to each physician’s office and find out why the doctors were no longer sending him patients. She was told to do it and was given no instructions how to approach the doctors with such a quest.
After visiting a few doctor’s offices in her unprepared fashion, she was
humiliated by the process and discovered what we as physicians already
understand—“If the physical therapist has no insight about what he was doing to destroy physician referrals, then providing any response to the young lady’s
request served no purpose.”
She quit the job, was much happier in her new office job, and had learned the need to also interview the interviewer in the future. Do you believe the therapist would ever understand why he kept shooting himself in the foot? Usually, they
This real life example of a professional is a clear demonstration of how the lack
of knowledge about teamwork in running a business is the cornerstone of success
of any business.
The basis for having a medical office business team approach
Your ultimate goals for your medical practice will not be reached without a team to accomplish each of the medical practice business needs. Do you have a
goal beyond making an adequate income and staying in medical practice for a
while? If so, your mental fulfillment will not be in your destinyat least from a professional point of view.
A few goals like providing income to fund your retirement plan, put your youngsters through college, and have the lifestyle commensurate with your status are in the master plans of most physicians.
You want to build an organization that runs on auto-pilot. The quality of people you hire will ultimately determine how quickly this happens. At the
beginning, this team will most likely be you, your receptionist, your back office person, and a bookkeeper. As you grow your practice, leveraging people and time will be a crucial and a necessary component of your success.
You will find that time will become more scarce and therefore much more valuable. Relying on your team to free up your time to see patients, practice medicine, and increase your income, is just the first step.
Certain people will bring in their own expertise and talents to your business which are unique to your business and that need to be implemented into the team effort and goals like putting a puzzle together. Giving these employees an opportunity to “strut their stuff” empowers their self-esteem, confidence, and creativity. These are things you rarely find outside of team efforts.
Teams provide coordinated functions which makes the business run smoothly and efficiently. When one member performs a function, all the
members of the team know what it is and how they can fit it into their own tasks. Each benefits from the work and ideas of the other team members. Do you think a quarterback could ever throw a completed pass unless he had good linemen to
protect him—or a hat trick in hockey—or a triple play in baseball?
What’s your role in this medical office business team?
Early on your role will be quite different than a few years later in your medical practice. In the beginning you probably will be doing most everything yourself—unless you have lots of moolah to hire a bunch of employees to start with.
As your business and team grows you will be handing off the less important business jobs to various team members and working yourself up the corporate
ladder to CEO of your business empire.
Recognize that you are an entrepreneur? By definition, you are a person
who creates a business or organization and is responsible for the management and growth of the business at significant risk to yourself and commitment to
Traveling to the higher ground has its price in time commitment and problem management. And that, young doctor, may amount to more than you bargained for. However, if you have decided that it’s worth the effort to insure your medical
practice success, then you will succeed.
You are in charge of everything to start with. Extra time must be spent teaching each member of your office team what they are responsible for, how to do it your way, and then follow them along to see that they are able to handle the job efficiently. When an office staffer can’t, you have to give them the knowledge
how to improve, or replace them.
You must have a commitment to yourself you are willing to terminate their employment regardless of their pleasant attributes, their willingness to work hard, and their friendship with other staff members.
If they can’t think quick, learn quickly, and show efficiency and creativity in
their work, you have to replace them. No physician likes terminating a staff
member that they like—but it has to be done. Your business requires efficiency,
not just a pleasant personality.
It’s always beneficial to support your thoughts and beliefs about the positive results of coaching your office team. Ask your associates in practice if they would
be willing to give you their advice about how they create efficiency in their practice. What have they done to be able to see 50 patients a day in the office, while you're barely able see 30 patients?
You know the rule---the more patients you see the more money you make. Often, you’ll find that they have office meetings to discuss what improvements are needed or send office staff to educational meetings and seminars.
Isn’t it obvious to you that a well oiled office machine will return more rewards than the disjointed, intermittent and non-productive attempts to spend time only
on reacting to business problems and their solutions rather than focusing on preventing those in the first place using a team that’s coordinated and pulling in
the same direction?
A team effort in any business always results in ten times the productivity.
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.
Why People Fail
A series of No B.S. Articles from Dan Kennedy
"Will 'The Secret Millionaire' Arrive At Your Door?"
Not If You’re Sitting Around Waiting For Him
A new TV program, loosely swiped from a TV show of long ago, debuts tonight on Fox. As I understand it, in “The Secret Millionaire” we will see millionaires go undercover, work for a week in some poorly paid job and live as the oppressed workers and economically troubled live. The millionaires will find one of the downtrodden they meet especially worthy and, revealing themselves as “secret millionaires,” will whip out their checkbooks and give the deserving individual big bundles of money. It’s sort of a privatized bailout.
It’ll be exciting, like Oprah gifting cars. People will cry, just like on the home make-over show, where they give people remodeling jobs or entire homes for free. On the surface, there’s nothing seriously wrong with it, and its clever television, especially now. It does, as I said, borrow from a TV show of decades back, when a millionaire arrived as a surprise on a doorstep.
Secret Millionaire” even borrows a bit from the ancient “Queen For a Day” show – because that’s all it is: like lottery winnings, most entirely unearned windfalls disappear “in a day,” leaving behind more harm done than good. “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish” – and require that he go fish – “feed him for life.”
Therein is the problem. In “Secret Millionaire” we can see TV reflecting and reinforcing societal and political trends that put us all in peril.
This is basically a game show with no game. Most game shows still require some skill, and contestants actually prepare by drilling in advance for ‘Jeopardy,’ or getting into fit shape for ‘Survivor,’ or rehearsing for ‘American Idol.’ The tireless ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ requires you know the difference between vowel and consonant. On NBC’s wildly popular “Deal or No Deal,” they wisely eliminated all requirements of knowing anything or having any skills; you need only guess the right suitcase and be able to tolerate Howie Mandel to win a million dollars.
But “Secret Millionaire” goes a step further. It asks nothing and hands out money for free. It asks for no special preparation, effort, skill or talent in advance. And of course, it asks for nothing in return.
As such, the show reinforces the dangerous idea so harmful to the working poor that simply because they are working poor, they deserve to have somebody hand them a bunch of money. They need only and hope for such an occurrence. Even better, the money is transferred to them from the rich, who have too much of it.
Fox missed something here that would have made the show much more popular. The secret millionaires should be ripped from their mansions and office penthouses by force and compelled to play, their money taken from them involuntarily. But even as is, we shouldn’t miss the point that it could be called ‘The Re-Distribution Of Wealth Show.’
Now, here’s what you won’t see on any major network: A show where “The Secret Millionaire” rewards people based on their productivity and investment of time and effort. Nobody doles out cash to those who have worked hard, educated themselves, scrimped and saved, responsibly bought homes and cars they could afford, started and built businesses, and created employment opportunities for others.
Nor will you see a show called “The Self-Made Main Street Millionaire” about people who have started with nothing or less than nothing and made fortunes through relatively ordinary small businesses and prudent financial behavior over time. There are far, far, far more of those than there are Paris Hiltons, A-Rods and Wall Street types.
You won’t see this not just because no one would watch, but because it’s reality TV that would contradict the philosophical belief the media folks hold dear and the ideas they wish to sell: Pulling oneself up by bootstraps is passé and freakish and no longer practical in today’s America. The Have’s only have by luck and theft and have too much. And the Have-Nots can only be helped by hand-outs.
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 (www.NoBSBooks.com), 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.
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Curt Graham, M.D.
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E-mail = cgmdrx(at)gmail.com
© 2004 - 2015 Curtis Graham, M.D., All Rights Reserved.