In A Perfect World Blog Series – Part Two
By Andrew Craigie,
Are you a physician ready to change the game in your medical practice?
You are committed to excellence for your patients, and realize that your business has become all-consuming. It’s time to put into place a new way of thinking, and receive the lifestyle you deserve inside your practice, and within your own life. We would like to review with you a timeless author’s perspective on thinking, and new areas to examine that can open up endless opportunities. Your perfect practice can exist, it’s simply time we look at things through a new lens.
Medical Practice and Family Life
For the physician practicing in today’s healthcare marketplace there are really four pathways to consider: independent practice, group practice (partnership), contracted, or employed. The path the physician chooses is usually influenced by several personal realities such as risk/reward, location preference and, most certainly, lifestyle. To “tick the most boxes”, many physicians welcome the idea of being in private practice. The allure of being an Entrepreneurial Physician is genuine; then they learn just how challenging it is to manage the business side of their practice effectively and profitably. I would like to suggest an even greater consideration, is the toll this can take on personal relationships if they do not have a plan for balance.
The first reality for any physician launching their own practice to realize is that all business is “family” business. If you are an independent business owner every decision you make about your business, every priority, is influenced by the business and therefore has an impact on your family and personal relationships. Being the captain of your own ship can be a great joy, but it is very important to remember that your family is also coming along for the ride.
In his book The E-Myth Physician, Michael Gerber shares a story of Keith and his wife Susan. Keith is inspired to go into the field of medicine. He and Susan make the sacrifice to put Keith through medical school and residency. Keith goes to work for a medium size medical practice in Sacramento, California, they start a family and life is good. Eventually Keith becomes increasingly frustrated with how the medical practice is being managed. He and Susan talk again and agree to take the risk of striking out on their own, in private practice. “Thus began the practice of Dr. Roberts. He quit his job, took out a second mortgage on their home, and leased a small office.” The practice grew and gradually consumed more and more of Keith’s time, managing employees, negotiating with insurance companies, seeing patients, and paying the bills. He became consumed by the business and gradually became more distant from Susan. You can finish the story… It doesn’t take much thought to see how this might end.
Start with a big dream, the dream starts to unravel. STOP! As Gerber says, “Business is only business, it’s not your life.” I can attest, the physician who makes the bold decision to launch their own practice, can be successful, thrive in their medical practice and have a life outside of the business. To accomplish this, they must plan for life with at least the same level of commitment that they plan for the success of their practice.
Gerber suggests three distinct steps to succeed in life and business…
- Innovation: Continue to find better ways of doing what you do.
- Quantification: Once that is achieved, quantify the impact of these improvements on your business.
- Orchestration: Once these improvements are verified, orchestrate this better way of running your business so that it becomes your standard, to be repeated time and time again.
The principle is simple (but not easy) – Take control of your business; take control of your life. Take Gerber’s advice start to conceptualize work in three areas: Entrepreneur, Manager & Technician. Then organize your work and life into day-tight compartments, standardize your work, and commit to a disciplined approach. I like to think of this as “Clarity of purpose & discipline to process”. There are tremendous opportunities and innovations in the marketplace of ideas that can help create real margin in your business. Leverage these opportunities to create more margin in your life also.
We would like to introduce you to a team that can help you succeed in business and life, iPX Physicians https://www.linkedin.com/company/ipx-physicians/ . iPX is bringing a fresh perspective to the physician office, harnessing advancements in technology and innovative practice design so our physician partners can work on their business and experience the joy of practicing medicine again.