I Hit Rock Bottom for the World of Private Practice

In the summer of 2018, I hit rock bottom for the world of private practice. I was burned out, in debt, and ready to quit. I had lost a 10-year associate on very negative terms. I had constant employee disarray. Constant drama at the office. My office manager at the time frequently made us lose staff. I felt like my “sandbox” had fallen apart.

Additionally, I was always behind on charts, invoices, job reviews and pretty much any other paperwork needed. I personally also found myself always trying to do too much.

In early August of 2018, I received information about the Top Practices Summit. I had been aware of Top Practices since its inception in 2007 but never gave it much consideration because I thought I knew what I was doing. Boy was that a HUGE mistake!

Because of my (awful) “mindset” at that time (Summer of 2018). I was very interested in attending the Summit because I knew I needed something to help me. I looked at it as a weekend to myself and a retreat because I needed a “reset”. I made the arrangements to attend and went with an open mind.

On the opening evening, Peter Wishnie was the first speaker. He began his initial lecture discussing Key Performance Indicators and their importance. I sat there and started to sweat a little because I didn’t even really know what they were and therefore I knew I was in trouble. But, it was then and there I found that this is exactly what I needed. I needed Top Practices.


How did I get to rock bottom?

I opened up my own private practice in 1997 and it was a very part-time practice – only several half days a week. However, it grew and grew and by the year 2000 I was totally focused on just that practice. I thought to myself then, “Hey, I’m a doctor, I’m good at what I do, the money will come”… lol…Little did I know how wrong I was.

As we got bigger and busier, I lost focus and I figured “we made it”. The money will come and “Hey, after all, I’m a doctor and I have a Joint Commission accredited O.R.” Marketing? What marketing? KPIs? What are KPIs? I just knew there was money in the bank.

Well, during the next few years I would run into nothing but more problems with staff, finances, and daily problems at the office. Every day I was running as fast as I could to see as many patients as I could to generate as much money as I could without stopping to look at the big picture and really understand what was collectively going wrong. After all, “I’m a doctor”, the money will be there. 

And, during that time I always had this little voice in my head screaming at me about how wrong the scheduling was and how annoyed I was at the lack of staff being present or understanding what they needed to do when they were assisting me.


Enter Top Practices

As I mentioned earlier, while I attended my first lecture at the summit in 2018, presented by Dr. Peter Wishnie, he spoke about KPIs and knowing your numbers and it was then and there I was in trouble, because after 20 plus years of private practice, I was just learning the importance of truly watching these.

As the weekend passed by, I was fully engaged in all of the lectures presented and I knew I had finally found the means to finally achieve the success I had always envisioned. And that means I would become a member of Top Practices.

By doing this, I would finally have the guidance, the coaching, (Dr. Wishnie, Tina Del Buono, and Rem Jackson) and the resources to make my practice what I had always desired and envisioned it to be.

It boiled down to me finally setting goals, getting the right people in place to make it happen, and sticking to a plan. It still took a lot of mopping up old messes, rolling up our sleeves and sinking our teeth into fixing the many issues that had plagued the practice for years. But, I finally had the right people to do it with. 


Dr. Dan ShanahanThe list of what we have changed and accomplished is tremendous.

Bottom line, it begins within oneself – to become a better leader and then surrounding yourself with the best people possible. Once you’ve done that, you can pretty much begin to accomplish everything you’ve envisioned.

Excited to see what happens next…

Proud Top Practices Member,

G. Daniel Shanahan IV, DPM, FACFAS
Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates

G. Daniel Shanahan IV, DPM - Township, MI