For the most part, doctors are not business people. They want to heal and help and spend years training to do just that. They don't spend time learning to run an office. Dr. Gregory Buford, author of the new book Beauty and the Business shared with us the importance of the book and how he hopes to educate medical physicians on running their own office and avoiding the pitfalls common among the industry.
"Going through the medical training process," says Dr. Buford, "what I realized, most importantly is that we're very highly trained in what we do but we have little to no training in the art of business and running an actual business so many physicians, when they conclude their official training, are basically entering a world that is completely foreign to them."
Dr. Buford said that some physicians make errors when they first start out because they weren't trained in business management. "Many of them do not make very good decisions in the first few years of practice - many of them, the rest of the practice. And they don't understand how to optimize what they're doing."
He decided to write the book after he did some speeches on the subject. "What inspired me essentially is in speaking for a number of companies and traveling nationwide what I realized is that I would talk to other practitioners about what they were doing in their practice and what I was doing in my practice and what I found was they are very very interested on the whole aspect of practice management; What things actually optimize a practice, what was good to add what was not so necessary. The issues of branding, a lot of things that are very foreign to physicians so it grew out of that passion to educate, to teach."
"I think the benchmarks for a successful practice are several things," says Dr. Buford. "One of which is you have to be smiling at the end of the day. If you're not smiling at end day and enjoying what you're doing, it doesn't matter how much monetary success you have, it's not worth it. There's a lot of ways to make money, you got to choose a way that, again, at the beginning of the day, you're happy to get up in the morning and the end of the day, you've enjoyed yourself."
Dr. Buford says another benchmark of success is growth. "A lot of people don't actually follow and track how their business is doing. They don't look at ROI, return on investment. I always have to laugh when I'm approached by someone to do advertising, marketing with them and they say 'well you know at least your getting your name out, even if you just break even.' That is the most nonsense comment. If my stock broker, by the time it comes to retiring told me, 'You know what, Dr. B., I want to let you know at least you didn't lose any money but you didn't gain any money,' I would be livid and that's the way that a lot of people approach this is that well it's not going to hurt, it has to help. You really really need to have continued growth and sustainability. You need to have what I call thrival and thrival is basically a continued process of thriving and building your business in an upward manner."