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
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.