Ashdown & Associates, LLC - Transforming medical practices at the speed of light

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"I'm a great doctor, but a lousy businessman"

Over the past several months, we've been warning one of our providers that they're on pace for a huge loss. Patient load and services are way down while vacation time is way up. His response was one we've heard many times: "I'm a great doctor, but a lousy businessman." Seriously? That's the problem?

Sadly, providers have been conditioned to believe there's something inherently evil and/or immoral about making money as a healthcare provider. Do good for society, they've been told, but don't you dare make money because making money means you're in "it" for all the wrong reasons. Medical schools coupled with societal pressure have churned out a slew of providers who believe making money and helping people are mutually exclusive concepts. As a result, providers often wear that "I'm a lousy businessperson" moniker like it's a badge of honor.

I agree that this brainwashing is certainly a big part of the problem, but it's nothing we can't change. First, we need to stop wearing the "I'm a lousy businessperson" badge. There's nothing honorable or noble about that statement. In fact, it's a curse, and will, in time, become a self-fulfilling prophecy in your life. So stop it.
Second, come clean. "I'm a lousy businessperson" is usually nothing more than code for some people excusing themselves from all the "business" things they hate to do. Well, get over it. Life is filled with little jobs we all don't like to do.

Third, the real problem our aforementioned provider is having has nothing to do with "I'm a lousy businessperson." As I stated at the beginning, services and patient load are way down while vacation time is way up. You caught that, right? Yes, I thought so.
It's okay that you want a little time off, but ask yourself what price your willing to pay for that luxury. And if you don't care about the cost, well that's fine too, but then own it -- don't blame everybody else for your choices, and certainly don't tell us it's because you're a lousy businessperson.

As for trying to get out of doing the jobs you don't like to do, don't misunderstand. Delegating is good. What gets a provider in trouble, however, is that they delegate the parts of their business they hate doing (always the most crucial parts) without thoroughly knowing how that job should be done, and done well. If you want to delegate, great, but learn the job, delegate, then make sure you oversee.
Life really doesn't have to be this hard. Simple solutions are always the best.
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