Marketing Your Medical Practice – 8 Reasons to Make Time to Do it and Watch Your Income Accelerate

Marketing Your Medical Practice – 8 Reasons to Make Time to Do it and Watch Your Income Accelerate

You can’t fix “stupid!” Only a blundering idiot intoxicated with the fumes of depression would deny they want their medical practice to bring in more income than your CPA tells you that you’re earning now. By simply reading the AMA’s past Socioeconomic Characteristics of Medical Practice, 1986, as old as it is, should provoke a soul-sucking compelling truth in the mind of every physician to market their medical practice now……not later.

What you’re going to find here is an understanding of how it is—not how you hope it is relative to medical practice. Ever wonder why the large marketing groups stay away from physicians? Because well informed marketers are well aware of the inability of physicians to keep their hard earned money and invest wisely. They go after the affluent segment of our society, which physicians in general aren’t.

Does that surprise you…….physicians not affluent?

The sobering thought that only 1 in 10 physicians in this country will ever become a millionaire compared to 1 in 4 of the McDonald’s franchisees who are millionaires, may be a rude awakening for you. And some of these franchisees never got past high school. You physicians deserve to have higher incomes than you have now. You’ve already paid the price for affluence.

Do you have it yet?

Let’s get into the reasons to take the time to jump full-blast into marketing your own practice in one way or another.

1. Financial Education you missed out on can be redeemed: On the day you graduated from Medical School did you have the financial where-with-all to start and run a small business, like a medical practice office, or to know how to hire effective productive employees? Did you have any financial academic or experiential education on how to run a business successfully? I didn’t. So, we stagger out blindly using the trial and error business method. Wouldn’t it be nice to compensate for that lack of financial know-how?

That’s what marketing does for you and your practice.

2. Time Factor to attain what you are worth may be too short: You have only a short number of years to practice medicine and earn income. Physicians are in debt from the start—often in the range of $200,000. The new solo practice requires renting office space, paying employees, covering the overhead costs, and paying medical liability insurance, all of which are increasing relentlessly. If it takes 2 to 4 years to build a practice income flow you can get by on, how long will it take to pay off all the debts lingering around you?

And after that begin to accumulate net income for investing and funding the kid’s education. By my calculations you will be in your mid thirties before you even start to see that net income beginning to fill up your bank account. I know….you join a group practice or HMO to avoid much of that. Even that may turn out to be way too restrictive for your creative talents, ambition, and lifestyle where the “group” decisions run your life. It’s why I resigned from the HMO I had been working for

over 2 years.

3. Fact: Physicians who market their practice make considerably more money: Physicians who are actively marketing their practices (best example are plastic surgeons) on the average in a lifetime of medical practice make about twice the income of those who don’t. Surgeons, radiologists, and invasive cardiologists have incomes significantly higher than any other physician categories (estimated to be 50 to 100 thousand dollars per year more) without marketing. You have the opportunity now, with the Internet as an ally, to catch up to them.

Marketing your own medical practice is the key to leveling the “practice income” playing field…….that is without having a second job, hiring your wife to manage your office, or asking God for help

(Deut. 8:18).

4. Tracking statistics show clearly the decline in physician income since 1995: Tracking Report No. 15 coming primarily from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) flatly states what you don’t want to hear.

“Between 1995 and 2003, average physician net income from the

practice of medicine declined about 7 percent after adjusting for inflation.”

Guess what……..the trend isn’t about to change! Is it a good thing to enter medical practice knowing that all your education, talent, heartfelt motivation for a career in medicine, and —- Oh yes—-all the money you’ve spent through all those years has such a bleak outlook for your future?

What armor are you planning to put on for this battle? As an experienced physician specialist I won’t attempt to tell you what’s best. But I can tell you with certainty that marketing your practice must be one suit of armor you need now.

5. Business trends offer an opportunity to implement new goals: Intelligent alert professionals with a desire to become successful learn to seek out oncoming trends in the changes occurring in their business. Doctors need to do the same. When you read headlines like ……………

—Decline in Physician’s Real Income Continues.

—Physician incomes fail to keep pace with inflation (Medical Economics Survey 2003)

—Losing ground: Physician Income, 1995-2003.

Does it raise the hair on the back of your neck—or have you already jumped on your horse and run for the hills? To reinforce visually what you are facing right today, check this chart out at:

6. Medical practice competition for patients will decrease for you: Since most all of the physicians who practice in your area are unlikely to attempt to market their practices, if it follows the pattern found in most communities, you will immediately have the upper hand when patients are looking for a doctor. Your name and stature will be widespread among patients who are repeatedly running into your name and reputation. And that sir—is a viable over the top demonstration of one-ups-man-ship which certainly will be envied by other physicians. It’s a unique benefit of medical practice marketing!

You can’t beat the competition by standing still!

7. Simple understanding and knowledge of marketing strategies can help guide your practice success—but not guarantee it—-even if you never implement any form of marketing into your medical practice. You don’t need to whip the horses. You can ride shotgun, pick up the marketing principles, apply them in clever ways, and infect your practice with an acceleration virus. Then, when it becomes obvious how well those light bulb moments ignite your patient flow, you’ll have solid proof of your need for the real marketing muscle.

Amateurism just doesn’t cut it. That’s because using the principles you have ferreted out of your knowledge of how to do your own “generic marketing” is like trying to describe colored noise. And, it works too slow, wastes time and energy, while you follow short paths that fall way short of the long trail of planned documented marketing strategies that work every time. I don’t mind telling you that I hate to see physicians suffer business-wise when they refuse to see such a fantastic opportunity to improve their income, lifestyle, and family dreams.

Do you need a jolt to disengage your inertia?

8. What are you working for? You know and I know nothing in this world happens without money. Your education, food, home, clothing, entertainment, medical office, salaries, and the like are not possible without some form of money. Sure, your passion to treat and cure disease in patients is foremost in your thinking. That’s laudable, but without income to do it you’re passionate nature will never be realized. Get a grip and break the winless and sacrificial cycle of the “comfort level” that has taken you hostage.

If you are not always uncomfortable about where your medical business is, then you are on the wrong track for going above the ordinary and mediocre, not to mention shortchanging yourself on what you are truly capable of.

How would the infusion of additional practice income affect your patients? Would they be managed by a doctor who was able to spend more on medical educational meetings to keep on the cutting edge of newer treatments, more on improving old, and learning new, operative procedures, more on improving your family relationships?

Are you immune to these thoughts—-or they just don’t matter?

Comments: I apologize if I have offended your intellectual integrity, not because I meant to intimidate you, not because what I say is biased to the core, not because you need to be whipped into doing the right thing, not because what you’re doing in healthcare is not enough, but because I haven’t been able to explore the depth of what needs to be said about marketing your medical practice.

From today forward it’s absolutely mandatory for every medical student, newly established doctor in practice, and older physicians who mistakenly believe their practice income can’t be improved significantly without costing too much, taking too much time away from practice, and not having the kind of practice or practice situation where marketing won’t work, if you plan on building a top notch successful medical practice and keep it alive over your life time of practice.

My passion is to show, teach, help, instruct, consult with, and motivate physicians to take the first step, or another step, into a system that will enable them to bypass fee restrictions legally, enjoy practicing even more, improving their value to their patients, and making abundantly more income than they previously thought was possible. Every doctor needs a push to get rolling–action now, or regret later.

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