Does your practice need a tune-up or overall? Do you feel that you are working hard, managing your patients but not seeing the reimbursements flowing in like you desire? Or maybe you are doing well, but are not enjoying medicine as much as you used to?
Maybe what you need is a radical shift in your practice and not just a tweak. When I was in college, I remember one of the professors telling us that sometimes to make change in life, it is better to go all the way to the opposite extreme and then slowly (and usually surely) you will come back to the middle with a different perspective.
All three of my ideas are not radical to all, but I think everyone will find at least one of these ideas is a way to take you to that opposite extreme.
1.) Ditch the office and become an old school house call doc:
We have come a long way since the country doctor made house calls and you can use this to your advantage. Patients always complain about not having enough time: not enough to wait for you to see them and not enough time to remember to follow your plan. In addition, everyone uses e-mail and the Internet every day for nearly every other service sector in their lives (we bank online, we buy stamps and postage online, and we get online advice from the myriad of blogs and Facebook walls we scour).
It is easy to communicate with your patients through these platforms, the phone, and seeing them in person at their work or office. This actually seems to make more sense when you think about it. No more overhead. No more office conflicts. Your patients on your time. In addition to having more personal freedom, you will get to be home more with your family and you will have such a marketing advantage against your local competitors.
2.) Start your own nutritional supplement line:
Nutritional supplements are a billion dollar industry and nearly every patient is taking some type of vitamin, herb, or natural sleep aide. Why shouldn't your patients take yours? In addition to the extra revenue stream this will bring, your patients will enjoy the options you start providing in addition to the prescription meds you write for.
Starting your own supplement line is easier than you think. There are a handful of supplement companies that can help you with this process. And once you start, you may want to expand to having your very own online supplement store and watch as this passive income rolls in. Again, your patients are taking supplements, it is a fact. By having your very own supplement line you will not only increase your revenue but also your credibility as a doctor.
3.) In addition to your clinical medicine, become a medical … (fill in the blank):
Medical filmmaker, medical writer, sports medicine expert, medical blogger, medical expert witness, medical accountant, medical chef, medical nutritionist, medical designer.......you get my point. As physicians we are not limited to clinical medicine (although that is what it feels like many times). We have valuable skills as well as unique perspectives that lend themselves to other industries.
Instead of re-evaluating your practice based solely upon its clinical merits, now is the perfect time to think outside the box and explore a non-clinical adjunct. The most important facet is to choose something that you are interested in. Once you are willing to open up these unexplored doors in your life, I am confident that you will find more satisfaction that can enhance your clinical practice.
Most of us have been trained to work only in the parameters of clinical medicine. But waiting outside, sometimes on the edges and sometimes hanging on a cliff, are the opportunities waiting for us to explore. It is difficult to make these types of leaps, but now more than ever, our practices and our individual approaches to medicine need a makeover of some degree. The better you are at being open to all types of ideas, the easier it will be for you to find what you are looking for, or even, not looking for to revitalize your practice.
"Leap......and the net will appear"
— Zen saying
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