Medical Practice Excellence: A Pathway to Success for Physicians

As I was having a beverage with Dr. J, I asked him the question, “of all the things that you would like to improve right now in order to improve your life and be even more successful than you are, which one area stands out above all the others?” Dr. J answered by saying, “I want to work fewer hours. I make enough money and love helping my patients but I need to work fewer hours to enjoy my family and improve my health.” As he said it, I could see the frustration and stress of his current experiences cause his eyebrows to furrow and his forty seven year old, now graying head, to droop ever so slightly.

In that moment, I decided that I would dedicate myself to helping him and many of the medical professionals who have given their lives to helping me and millions of others protect, preserve and improve our health. In that instant, I realized there was a chance that the essential tendencies, attributes and focus that energized someone to pursue excellence in medicine might often be removed from the tendencies, attributes and focus that were required for excellence in business or wealth management, areas of my pursuit.

The outgrowth of that conversation and many others since then has been my engagement in capacity building and the organization of expertise, processes, technologies and people who are able to support the delivery of insight and tools for building extraordinary medical practices. These are the medical practices that want to deliver outstanding patient outcomes, the pinnacle of career satisfaction and financial reward for medical practice teams, and the lifestyle and life balance that sustain enthusiasm for transformational work and living well. These are the leaders in medicine and health care who want to improve the physical health of their communities but also want to maximize revenue streams and profits so they can invest in surgical suites, institutions and businesses that enhance the lives of people in their communities.

I’m curious. What’s your answer to the question that I asked Dr. J?

Whatever your answer is, my conversations with medical professionals over the months since that beverage with Dr. J. have led me to observe some common situations that affect their enjoyment of life, the relationships they have with their spouses, family members, staff and friends, and their health. I have come to realize that there are several approaches that can be applied to leverage and combine my expertise from entrepreneurship, strategic development, and wealth management with the expertise that resides within medical offices, and forge medical practices that become truly “remarkable” and defy comparison.

I have provided a synopsis of those finding so that they might trigger in you some heightened awareness of the areas that might warrant attention. I trust that you will reflect upon these matters, review them with your team, and even arrange conversations with your business advisors, so that you might gain clarity and secure the commitment of your team to building a remarkable practice.

Common situations in medical practices:
• Too many hours at work
• Little time for spouse and family
• Insufficient exercise
• High personal stress levels
• Unhealthy lifestyle habits
• Spiritual atrophy
• Overspending
• Inattention to financial matters
• Estate planning neglect
• Social disconnection
• Underrepresented community leadership
• Staff anxiety and dissatisfaction
• Stressful work environment

Common opportunities in medical practices:
• Assess performance and results – individual and practice wide
• Redefine and crystallize success
• Define the culture
• Establish performance metrics
• Institute business management practices
• Hire and/or develop the “right” assistance
• Streamline schedules, patient flow and workflow
• Adjust cost structures
• Modify reward and compensation models
• Enhance practice leadership
• Improve organization and productivity
• Develop patient relationship management
• Improve communication – message, media and timing
• Team development
• Results management
• Celebration of progress

In the words of my recently deceased mentor and friend, William R. McClain, “insight precedes change…and what right do you have to deny anyone an opportunity to benefit from what you have, do or know?” Build your pathway to success!