It is not what probably most people would think. Yes, you need systems and protocols. Yes, you need to hire great people and yes, you need great marketing to get patients in the door. But what I feel are two key components for your practice to thrive and maintain sustainability is:

  • Great leadership. You cannot have a well-oiled machine without great leadership. Leadership means developing the leaders around you. Let your great staff make decisions based on the vision and mission of the organization. The leader establishes the vision, and the mission is developed by the entire team. Leadership gives you freedom and without it, you then just have an organization that is constantly being micromanaged. This leads to increase turnover, and you will continue to spin your wheels daily. So, the first thing to do is become a better leader every day.
  • The second piece of advice is to have tremendous clarity on what you want and learn how to get it. What kind of practice do you want? You don’t need to be seeing a ton of patients to get the life you so deserve and desire. You just need to know what you love to do. Is it wound care, surgery, pediatrics, or sports medicine? We worry that we won’t be able to make it financially if we narrow our focus down to a single niche. That is far from the truth, and you can make more money if you focus on what you love to do, and what you are passionate about. If you market your practice for pediatrics, other types of patients will still be calling your office to make appointments. You can then decide to choose who you want to see. If you have a group practice, your associates can see these patients, so you really won’t be losing the volume. I will caution you though because it is no longer about volume. It is about the quality of patients the practice sees that is more important. You have the right to specialize in any type of practice you so desire.
  • In your practice, there are so many things to focus on at any given moment. The key is to narrow it down to one or two things that will move the needle the fastest and give you the biggest bang for your buck. There is only one way to get this clarity and that is by knowing your numbers. By learning to analyze your key numbers, you will then be able to figure out where you should put your efforts. Your statistics will tell you if you need more staff, or if you need more staff training, or maybe you should promote a certain type of treatment. Knowing your numbers will give you loads of information and if done properly, you will have clarity on how to reach your goals and have the practice you want. In my coaching programs, I totally go over these numbers and teach doctors how to analyze them properly. Having a sense of direction on where you want to go and how to get there is so important for your mental state. Anxiety creeps in when you worry about your problems, and you have no clear solution to how to solve them.

In the end, running a successful practice is more than just getting patients. First, take care of your staff, then your staff will take care of the patients.

Peter A. Wishnie, DPM
Author, “The Podiatry Practice Business Solution"
Director of Physician Programming, Top Practices
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