Went out for a beer last night with one of my consultant colleagues from the hospital where I used to work.
We got talking about the usual stuff: patients with cans of deodorants lodged in delicate places requiring removal; the desirability of the medical director being fitted with such a prosthesis, might improve his breath and general demeanour…
You know. The usual stuff. The politics of the workplace.
And we got talking about his private practice and his mood fell even further – ‘bloody charity work – bollox to it’ was the phrase he used.
Now he didn’t really mean that of course. He’ll be down the nash tomorrow afternoon as usual.
I understood what he meant.
But what I didn’t understand was this: he has complete control over every single aspect of his private practice. Staff, case mix, patient-mix, the location of the practice, hours of work, everything.
Yet here he was moaning that he wasn’t earning as much as he thought he should be.
Crazy, crazy, crazy.
Because in the NHS we have very little freedom to do what we want to do to improve the service, improve the level of care we give our patients – and indeed improve our own working lives.
But in the private sector was have absolute freedom.
So if you don’t like the set-up, change it. Get a new PA. Target a different group of patients/different clinical conditions to treat. Find a new hospital to work from. Grow your practice in one of the hundreds of ways it could be grown to get the income you desire.
So Private Practice Success Tip #8 is this: If you don’t like some aspect of your private practice, get out there and change it right away. Buy a book (mine is coming out soon and will be a great place to start), take a course, find an expert to assist you with the skills you don’t have. Take whatever steps you need to to treat the problem you’ve diagnosed in your practice.
You CAN have more income, provide a better service, have more time off – you can have all these things at once if you want to. It’s up to you.
Do it right away.
But for heavens’ sake don’t moan about it.
By Dev Lall FRCS