Physicians, Medical Practice Managers Must Find Strength in Numbers

February 8, 2014

When you run up against a problem at your medical practice, reaching out to colleagues across the country is easier than you think.

I remember the very first piece of really good business advice that someone gave me. It came from my cousin, Jeff, who is 14 years older than me and was working in business development at Oregon's main power company at the time. I had a dilemma as a new manager at the tender age of nineteen, and I needed someone I could trust but that had some decent management experience.

Who better to trust than family? So, I called up my cousin and asked to take him to lunch (on my measly salary). He immediately agreed, and he was fine with the little deli on the corner instead of the nice restaurants he was used to power lunching in. I explained my situation, and over the course of about 45 minutes, I learned more about business and management than I could have ever hoped and expected. It was well worth the 11 dollars I spent.

Jeff understood that I needed his advice and although I could not pay much for it, he was willing to share because I had made the effort. I still carry his words of wisdom with me today, and I hear his voice almost daily saying, “Respond. Don't react. You do not have to take care of any situation immediately unless it's life or death, and how many of those situations are we going to run across?” Then he smiled.

He taught me to slow down and look at all sides of a situation before jumping to an answer that will, most likely, not be the most appropriate one.

I urge you to find a business mentor, or a trusted colleague, who can help guide you through your business life as my cousin helped me.

Right now, I'm working with an amazing group made up of individuals who are all in the same boat with a group of payers. These payers have no idea that a group of people from over the state of California is collaborating to determine how it can be paid correctly.

Payers would never think that competitors would be willing to share information, right?

This exemplifies how building an amazing group of like-minded and like-career individuals with a common goal can initiate big improvements.

If you are not in some sort of networking group with your colleagues, regardless of your position in the company, I urge you to find one, or start one yourself. LinkedIn has numerous groups, including Physicians Practice, that always have a lot of great information available at your fingertips. It's really a non-compete forum, and it's great to see how some people are resolving long standing issues just by chatting in a group and asking for feedback.

Expand your network and reach out to your colleagues. You'll thank yourself for it.