You hear it all the time. “Doctors aren’t good businessmen”. That is good news for most of us not in the medical profession. We want our doctors to focus on taking care of patients not maximizing profts. However there is no mission without a profit margin and if the doctors in our midst cannot remain solvent, we wont have doctors but instead the medico-industrial complex.
Now that I defended them, did you know that there are still doctors out there taking care of patients only making $30-50K per year? Some of them think that they are making more but one I just talked to just figured out his overhead was over 90%. He wanted to cut costs (a typical action) but came to find out that seeing only 5 more patients a day and leveraging his time in the office using staff to do non-essential clinical/clerical duties, he could triple his income. He wasn’t even thinking that he could trade 3 of those procedures of 5 of these.
Once the thinking started to clear up, it takes about 10-20 minutes before these smart folks start to see how their business can thrive and how they might be able to have a life outside of the office and with their family. Sometimes a bit of accountability helps too because without a consultant or peer to keep you focused, it is easy to spend time talking to patients about their latest trip to the Bahamas, while the clock of productivity spins slower and slower. Get a partner, get an adviser, get someone to help you rehab your practice. Maybe it is an accountant, maybe a fellow physician, maybe a board of directors, but we all need someone looking out for us to help us get better.