It's deeply satisfying professionally to work with physician clients who want to leave their clinical medicine and create new non-clinical business opportunities. And I'm equally committed to helping physicians navigate and thrive in the ever-evolving world of medical practice. After all, I'm going to need your services sooner or later and I want you to be excited about caring for me!
So let's work together for a few weeks, through this short series I've called, "10 Questions to Take the Pulse of Your Medical Practice" and see if I can get you enthused about what you have already accomplished, and still plan to do, with your medical practice.
I'm setting this article out in a way that allows you to print it up and write in your responses.
"Let's start at the very beginning ... a very good place to start"!
Time for a bit of "history taking" with the first 10 questions:
1. Why did you choose to go into medicine?
2. Why did you choose this medical practice? When was it founded and by whom?
3. What have been key events in the history of this medical practice?
4. What have been your greatest successes in practice? Why were they your successes?
5. And what have been your failures? Why were they failures?
6. What is the nature of your current business entity? A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)? A Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)? A "C" or "S" Corporation? Why did you choose that? Tax advantages? Other advantages? Is it time to revisit your choice?
7. How recently have you (and your partners if you have any) done any planning? Planning for improving your infrastructure? Planning for growth? Planning to add new physicians? Succession planning? Planning to protect your medical practice's assets?
8. To what extent does your current medical practice arrangement and organization permit you to take advantage of new business opportunities?
9. How well-supported is your medical practice by an appropriate "team" - for your legal, financial/tax, personnel, insurance needs?
10. What time do you intend to commit to working through a medical practice business planning process?
Okay -- enough with the homework for today!
I invite you to reflect on your responses, either alone or with your partners, as a way to revisit your work as a physician and your medical practice in the freshest way. This will put you squarely in the driver's seat as true business owners and captains of your soul.
If you'd like the assistance of a work book, I recommend "Medical Practice Business Plan Workbook" (2nd Edition) by Peter Lucash.
Oh ... and please let me know in the comment section if this is useful stuff. If it's not, I'll shut up!
Philippa Kennealy, MD, MPH, CPCC, PCC is President and founder of The Entrepreneurial MD. She is a business advisor, coach and teacher to physicians grappling with the challenges of launching, building or growing their own successful practices or businesses.
The Entrepreneurial MD blog serves as trusted resource to help you thrive as a physician entrepreneur, and to provide the encouragement, accountability and support to help you build your dream business or practice.