Lessons Learned From My Medical Business Mistakes – Part 1 of 3

The full story behind this doctor’s practice downfall isn’t unique, nothing to excite the non-fiction writers unless it can be defined as a model of what not to do in medical office management. Having absolutely no background knowledge, college courses, or medical school training about business management, office management, or marketing at the time I started my private medical practice, I never thought, let alone even considered this knowledge would be of much value to me. Unfortunately, even today, most physicians continue to consider small business office knowledge and systems like a popcorn movie-entertaining, but nothing of practical value 유흥알바.

Over the next 20 years in private practice I gradually came to recognize the covert signs of a doomed medical practice. I am ashamed to admit to anyone I didn’t know how to handle the quicksand of disabling factors which surrounded me in my practice. The specific events, which spelled out and magnified my business ignorance, were:

• Violating common sense budgeting for the business. By the third year in private practice I had an opportunity to purchase a small medical building with 5 medical office suites with a very small down payment and paid the mortgage with the rental paid by the physician tenants. Seemed like the right decision.

But, to add wood to the fire, my next decision was to spend about $70K to renovate and upgrade my office in that building and figured I’d pay for that over the next 15 years, never considering I might need to move elsewhere sometime, or struggle with the attrition of my practice, or my tenants might move out, or economics of medical practice might change for the worse (as they did in 1976).

Going into heavy debt just never worried me—-big mistake! Certainly relying on my overconfidence and professional status, how could I lose no matter what came along. Could sound business knowledge have prevented this-I’d like to think so. My CPA sure didn’t help me. My corporate attorney didn’t either. None of my family had any business expertise to offer me.

• My vision of my life in medical practice disappeared. I’ll never know why but one day I sat down about 5 years into my practice to try and figure out how my practice was doing and get an idea of whether it was going anywhere. I’d never even thought of keeping statistics such as the number of new patients each month, or on anything else related to my practice. So, I relied on the monthly financial statements from my CPA, which I really didn’t know how to read or make sense of in any effective manner, as a means of formulating critical decisions about my practice business-not that you have ever been there. That methodology was and is like rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

I read the numbers, calculated amounts, categorized the results, and came up with what Winston Churchill called, “A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside and enigma.” Evidently, I had boarded the clue train. One thing was abundantly clear. It would never be possible for me to make enough money in my practice of OB-Gyn to pay for my three kid’s college education, nor ever be able to fund a retirement plan to any sufficient level.

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