Taking the Pulse of Your Medical Practice

FEBRUARY 14, 2011
Philippa Kennealy, MD, MPH, CPCC, PCC
It's deeply satisfying professionally to work with physician clients who want to leave their clinical medicine and create new non-clinical business opportunities. And I'm equally committed to helping physicians navigate and thrive in the ever-evolving world of medical practice. After all, I'm going to need your services sooner or later and I want you to be excited about caring for me!

So let's work together for a few weeks, through this short series I've called, "10 Questions to Take the Pulse of Your Medical Practice" and see if I can get you enthused about what you have already accomplished, and still plan to do, with your medical practice.

I'm setting this article out in a way that allows you to print it up and write in your responses.

"Let's start at the very beginning ... a very good place to start"!

Time for a bit of "history taking" with the first 10 questions:

1. Why did you choose to go into medicine?

Your answer:

2. Why did you choose this medical practice? When was it founded and by whom?

Your answer:

3. What have been key events in the history of this medical practice?

Your answer:

4. What have been your greatest successes in practice? Why were they your successes?

Your answer:


5. And what have been your failures? Why were they failures?

Your answer:

6. What is the nature of your current business entity? A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)? A Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)? A "C" or "S" Corporation? Why did you choose that? Tax advantages? Other advantages? Is it time to revisit your choice?

Your answers:


7. How recently have you (and your partners if you have any) done any planning? Planning for improving your infrastructure? Planning for growth? Planning to add new physicians? Succession planning? Planning to protect your medical practice's assets?

Your answers:

8. To what extent does your current medical practice arrangement and organization permit you to take advantage of new business opportunities?

Your answer:

9. How well-supported is your medical practice by an appropriate "team" - for your legal, financial/tax, personnel, insurance needs?

Your answer:

10. What time do you intend to commit to working through a medical practice business planning process?

Your answer:

Okay -- enough with the homework for today!

I invite you to reflect on your responses, either alone or with your partners, as a way to revisit your work as a physician and your medical practice in the freshest way. This will put you squarely in the driver's seat as true business owners and captains of your soul.

If you'd like the assistance of a work book, I recommend "Medical Practice Business Plan Workbook" (2nd Edition) by Peter Lucash.

Oh ... and please let me know in the comment section if this is useful stuff. If it's not, I'll shut up!


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