Change Is Good

September 1, 2005
Ken Karpay

You asked and we delivered - a new look, added features, and more ways to access Physicians Practice.

Fifteen years ago, the challenges of running a medical practice were hurting physicians like never before. That prompted two young media entrepreneurs, Gerry Hartung and Scott Weber, to launch Physicians Practice. Their goal was to help physicians navigate the rough waters of business.

Through partnerships with more than 50 medical centers in the U.S., who help us distribute this journal to you, Physicians Practice is now the largest practice management journal in the country, with a circulation exceeding 300,000 physicians -- twice the number of our closest competitor, and the third-largest healthcare journal in the U.S., according to BtoB magazine.

We don't have any secret formula. On the contrary, we've spent the last 15 years advising you to do in your world what we've done in ours: identify a need and fill it with a quality service; listen to those you serve; be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses; never rest on your laurels.

That's why last year we decided to do the hard work necessary to make Physicians Practice even better. We undertook extensive research, asking physicians like you what you like and don't like about us. One thing we found was that those of you who've been reading Physicians Practice love it. You told us the articles are informative, accurate, and relevant. But we learned something else, too: with all the mail flooding your office every day, our magazine wasn't standing out enough, and so some of you weren't seeing it. It was time to redesign our look and inject more energy into our pages. The results are in your hands.

Our purpose has always been to provide you with the most relevant, useful practice management information available, in an engaging, candid manner. We've long made three promises: to provide you unbiased, practical solutions to your real-world problems; to be your partner in building a successful practice for today and tomorrow; and to respect your time.

None of that has changed. What has? In addition to our fresh look, we've added some new features: "The Great Practice Makeover" helps real-world practices identify their problems and fix them; "The Guide" is a straightforward roadmap to products and services; "Physicians Practice Pearls," which many of you receive in e-mail form, offers useful tips to solve everyday challenges. And we've polished the writing; it's snappier, livelier, more provocative. We know that for many of you, learning about business is like eating your spinach; we're trying to make it a little more like dessert.

Who's behind all these changes? Among many others, Pam Moore, our senior editor, answers your questions in our "Ask the Experts" column, offers guidance in "The Great Practice Makeover," argues and commiserates with you in "The Bigger Picture," and interviews you for countless articles. Joanne Tetrault, our director of editorial services, manages our many projects, such as our annual Practice of the Year contest. Bob Keaveney, a longtime staffer and our new executive editor, is charged with making sure it all comes together.

You'll see the return of my regular "Politics and Your Practice" column next month. But for now, please excuse my playing the boastful publisher. We thought Pam Moore's March 2004 article "We Bought the Wrong EMR!" was helpful and engaging when it ran last year. The American Society of Business Publication Editors agreed, and gave her a Silver regional award in its 2005 competition.

For several years we have offered advice through in-person and live audio conference programs. Now we will have a new outlet. Beginning in January, you will be able to attend live practice management education sessions developed by our staff. Pri-Med, a provider of medical education programs around the world, recently selected Physicians Practice as the exclusive provider of practice management content for its programs in Anaheim, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, and Houston. Beginning next year, when you attend a Pri-Med Conference & Exhibition, you will have the opportunity to attend sessions with many of the experts you read about in the pages of this journal, as well as others.

I hope you enjoy the new Physicians Practice. Thank you for your continued interest in our common mission.

I welcome your comments about our new design, about the challenges you face thriving as a physician, and on how we can help you further. Please write to me at kkarpay@physicianspractice.com.

This article originally appeared in the September 2005 issue of Physicians Practice.