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How To Sustain A Business In Medicine

Matthew J Gillogly shares what he believes is the key to a successful business model for medicine.

October 6, 2023

One of the most amazing phrase I hear from doctors, who want to open their own cash practice sounds something like..

“I’m just a dumb doctor. I don’t know how to run a business and don’t know what to do. ”

The good news is, business is a skill that can be learned. Just like anatomy, physiology, etc. But more on that later.

The fundamental problem is doctors get as much training on business in medical school, as I got in business school on medicine.. which is zero..

This immediately puts the doctor/biz owner at a significant disadvantage. The same disadvantage if I was to work in the ER treating patients.. it would be a disaster.

Imagine me, with zero training, working a shift in the ER on a busy Friday night. The only medical training I have is some basic CPR and first aid training.

 

The fundamental problem is doctors get as much training on business in medical school, as I got in business school on medicine.. which is zero.. Click To Tweet

 

Well, when a doctor goes into business, it is just like the scenario above. It is most likely going to be an unmitigated disaster.

The good news is, the skills and fundamentals to run a business successfully can be learned.  Plus it is easier to learn and develop vs. learning anatomy, organic chemistry or some other challenging medical class.

If you are going to open your own practice, outside of the insurance racket, then there is NOT a choice in this matter. If you want to have a successful medical practice, away from insurance, where you take cash, treat your patients as you see fit, you MUST learn business skills.

Not tactics like social media marketing, advertising, marketing. Yes, those are important. You must learn the fundamentals.

 

"Imagine me, with zero training, working a shift in the ER on a busy Friday night."

 

If I can learn medical stuff, as painful as it is for my ADHD brain, you (the smartest people on the face of the earth) can learn business fundamentals. Just like the fundamentals of the human body are true, there are similar ones in business.

The first step is your belief in yourself.

You are one of the smartest people on the planet. You have done something that less than 5% of the people in the world can do. You became a doctor.

How many people started with you in med school, only to drop out? Probably more than 70%? You have the skill and intelligence to be successful in business.

The second thing is find a mentor. Someone who is currently running a successful business, preferably in our field.

 

"You have done something that less than 5% of the people in the world can do. You became a doctor."

 

When you want to learn a new medical skill what do you do? You attend a weekend training. Or if  you really want to get great, you do a fellowship.

That fellowship is run by someone who will show you the proven path. Where the land mines are located, the traps, pitfalls and more. In the end you come out with a roadmap. Plus you have a community of others who are on the same journey.

Fellowships are critical in our industry. Not just for medicine, but for your success as an owner.

You can and MUST do this, the future of medicine depends on you developing your skills in business.

 

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You can choose not to build those skills, but then you are less likely to have true autonomy over your patient care.

We are at an inflection point in our industry. Soon we will reach a point, where there are zero choices for patients and care givers. The doctors will have surrendered, the insurance and pharmaceutical companies will have won.

The time is now.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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