Like it or not, the practice of medicine is also a business.
In many specialties, your competitors are businesses: the so-called national groups and practice management companies.
Complain about those aggregators as much as you wish – and there’s a lot to complain about – but the one thing that you cannot criticize is that they fully understand the importance of operating as a business.
My advice is that you must adopt the same mindset.
Now, before you complain, I’m not telling you to lessen the compassion you feel for your patients, the time and effort you spend developing expertise, or any other aspect of high quality, high touch patient care. In fact, I believe that that is your competitive advantage: you are small enough, whether you’re a two-person group or a 200 person group, to deliver an experience monopoly to your patients, referring physicians and facilities.
However, your structure has to be that of a business. It has to think be beyond slavish devotion to one facility. It has to deal with administrators, referring physicians and payors as equals, not as “service providers.”
Change your mindset and significant improvement will follow. You are not running a practice: you are running a business which is a practice. You are not a physician: you are an entrepreneur in medicine.
Either that, or you’re an employee, actual or virtual. Go complain. Go unionize. See how far that will get you.
Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.
Mark F. Weiss