Perspectives from a Physician/Administrator Spouse Team

December 15, 2014

Eight years after opening their medical practice, a physician and administrator spouse team reflects on what makes them successful.

Eleven summers ago, while on a cross-country move dictated by the U.S. Air Force from Ohio to New Mexico, we started talking about Terence’s post-military career. At the time we had been married for just under three years and the only thing we were sure of was that we wanted to move home to Massachusetts when Terence’s air force commitment ended in 2006.

Terence, as a primary-care pediatrician, also knew he didn’t want to practice medicine the way the military required him to: high volume, short visits, “top of his license,” which translates to little-to-no meaningful patient interactions. That conversation led to months of research and planning, an MBA for Leann, back and forth between the two of us about the way a medical practice is run and why it has to be that way, and eventually the birth of our micropractice in Plymouth, Mass.

We opened Performance Pediatrics eight years ago this month and we couldn’t be happier. We each work 40 hours/week (and much of that is flex time), run our practice the way we want and, according to Doximity, earn quite a bit more than the average provider in our region.

It’s funny to us how many friends, family members, colleagues, and especially strangers comment that they can’t believe how well we work together. Of course, we know the negative comments say more about their marriage than ours, but also, haven’t they noticed that the world is run by powerful couples: Melinda and Bill, Ellen and Portia, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Gisele and Tom?

We are partners in all things (parenting, business, and life). There is no one who knows us better or whom we trust more. We make each other successful.

We understand, though, that people outside our relationship have curiosities about us. So, as our holiday gift to our readers, we offer a couple-style Pivot Questionnaire from each of us that we hope amuses you and helps you get to know us better. Enjoy!

1. What is your favorite word?
Leann: Opportunity 
Terence: Innovation

2. What is your least favorite word?
Leann: Mrs. 
Terence: Confrontation

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Leann: Humor 
Terence: Intelligence

4. What turns you off?
Leann: Judgmental people 
Terence: Arrogance

5. What sound or noise do you love?
Leann: Our son Andrew singing to himself when he thinks no one is listening.  
Terence: My son and wife singing in the car

6. What sound or noise do you hate?
Leann: Guns during hunting season near our home.  
Terence: Whining and complaining

7: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Leann: Writer
Terence: Research

8. What profession would you not like to do?
Leann: Sales
Terence: Pharmaceutical sales

9. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Leann: It’s just like Albert Brooks wrote in "Defending Your Life." Come on in! 
Terence: What do you want to know, we have all of the answers right here.

10. What one quality does a physician need to possess to run a successful practice?
Leann: Humility
Terence: Dashing good looks

11. What one quality does a manager need to possess to run a successful practice?
Leann: Strong communicator
Terence: Vision