New Year's Un-resolutions Philosophy

New Years UnResolutions for 2011

December 31, 2010

I’ve sometimes wondered about the amount of importance attached to the arbitrary selection of the date we call January 1, New Years Day, as the date on which to make resolutions about our future behavior. Perhaps I’ve waxed way too philosophical, but why January 1 – after all, prior versions of our calendar began the year on March 1 and didn’t even have a January – and why not make resolutions any day . . . if you intend on keeping them?

But the notion of a fresh start is important; a clean break from the past. Last year at this time I suggested that instead of making resolutions to do something, you consider resolving to stop engaging in some destructive physician business behavior. You can watch that videocast, New Years UnResolutions, Wisdom. Applied. No. 12, on the YouTube.

This year, I’d like to continue that trend, with some UnResolutions for 2011:

Number 1. Don’t buy into thinking that the hospital is “forming” an ACO. Instead, adopt the mindset that you and your fellow physicians will work with the hospital on ACO formation and governance — and then hijack the process to assure “cooperation” with terms dictated from the physician standpoint.

Number 2. Don’t believe that you play a part in the “healthcare system.”  Remember that those who say that “it takes a village” see themselves as the mayor.

Number 3. Don’t think of your practice as being in one particular business, the provision of your specialty’s services.  Think in more entrepreneurial terms and consider unlocking the potential value of its intellectual property, either as a separate service line or as a separate venture.

And last but not least, Number 4. Don’t consider your professional services as your practice’s product.  Your practice is the product – make that product unique.

Happy New Year.

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