Whether you are a recent graduate or a medical practitioner with a few years under your belt, you might be wondering about your own private practice. There are many benefits to starting your own practice, but do you have what it takes to be successful in such a competitive field?
Having a Vision. Any type of medical practitioner (not just eye doctors) need to have a vision for their practice. Without vision, your business cannot live up to its full potential.
Your vision is a reflection of your personal goals and beliefs. As a business owner, you should use these ideas to define your practice’s mission, goals, and code of beliefs and behaviors. How employees are trained, every policy you have, the setup of your office, how you treat your patients﹘ all elements of your business need to be aligned with your vision.
Without knowing where you want to go, you might end up in the wrong place. Without a vision to give you direction, you could end up with a practice with a poor reputation that doesn’t reflect your beliefs at all. Success doesn’t happen accidentally. Be intentional.
Striking Out “On Your Own.” It’s true, when you are the sole owner and doctor at your practice, you’re the boss. But you can’t succeed without a team to support you. Every business owner needs a solid group of trusted advisors that you can turn to for advice when faced with new or tough situations.
You can’t expect to know everything when you’re first starting out, so mentorship is vital. Look for those with decades of experience, as well as those who have found success in a relatively short period of time. Your peers in the industry, other medical professionals, lawyers, accountants, and business people can all add tremendous value to your team. The more perspectives you have on your council, the more informed your decision-making will be.
Plan to Train. In addition to a team of advisors, you will need a motivated and energized staff to ensure your patients have the best experience possible from day one. Before you begin, decide how you will train your staff. As I stated earlier, everything comes back to your vision. Staff need to act, dress, and communicate with everyone who walks in the door in a way that is in alignment with the mission and goals of the practice.
Patients First, Always. Lastly, the most important question to ask yourself when going into private practice is am I willing to put my patients first? The answer has to be an undeniable, resounding yes. Your patients’ experiences and wellbeing come first. Period. That’s the only way to create a client base built on trust. People go to the doctor to be cared for and listened to. If you aren’t prioritizing their needs, they will know, and they will find another doctor.
For more information, pick up a copy of my book, One Patient at a Time, a guide to creating a successful, patient-centered practice.