I told you once the story of how I got started in helping colleagues with their private practices.
About how learned the skills you need when I ran my sportscar company as a surgical SpR, and one day it dawned upon me that no matter how good the car was no-one would buy it unless they actually knew about it…
And once I sold the company I moved on to applying the skills I learned in growing my sportscar business to growing private medical practices.
Now when I started out, I basically did it for free; for fun, whilst I was learning, learning, learning. But one thing bothered me, and that was despite the great results I started getting, so many colleagues didn’t ask for my help, even declined it when freely offered.
I didn’t understand at all why that was so, but I think I understand it, at least in part, now.
It’s because promoting themselves in their private practice makes many doctors feel quite uncomfortable.
They think it is somehow wrong.
Interestingly the same issue has even come up with a couple of my mentoring clients.
So Tip #2 of my 21 Private Practice Success Tips is this:
Get used to the idea of promoting yourself and your private practice. And understand that not only is it ‘OK’ to do so but you have a duty to do so.
A duty? Am I crazy?
Nope. Let me put it this way:
Are you any good as a doctor?
Can you and do you actually help people with problems in your specialty?
When a patient comes to see you, do you genuinely do everything in your power to help them?
And do you always strive to act in your patients best interests? To send them elsewhere if they need input beyond your expertise, for example?
If the answer to these questions is ‘Yes’ then surely you owe it to people who need to see a consultant in your specialty to make sure that they know about you and your expertise?
Because by NOT doing so you are doing both them and yourself a disservice.
Them because you’re not giving them the benefit of your training, experience and hard-won expertise to treat their problems; Yourself because you are wasting time and money piddling around in an under-performing practice which you could spend far better elsewhere – say with your family/lover/kids. Even in the NHS.
So if you are any good in your specialty and you’re a decent human being (so you’re not out there to rip anybody off) sing out about it loud and clear to anyone who will listen. Because patients out there need your help. And if they are willing to pay for that help, then great. Patients are happy and you earn more money as your private practice grows. And if they can’t pay – well, there is a route to the same expert help for free, universally available, isn’t there?
It’s called the NHS.
Think about it.
By Dev Lall FRCS