Dr Blogs

If you’re going into private practice, don’t be an amateur

I’ve been camping. Nowhere exciting, just Sussex.
To be honest I don’t particularly like camping. It’s great when you’re away with mates, having a few beers and behaving like an idiot.
But when you’re with the family, and everyone’s a bit cranky…not so much.
It’s interesting to watch people though. The pros stand out a mile. Campers vans, hair in dreadlocks or braids. Bearded, well the men anyway. Tie-dyed clothes. Invariably a dog of indeterminate breed running around annoying everyone.
Yes, all those clichés really are true.
Still, if there’s one similarity between private practice and camping, it’s the fact that the professionals stand out a mile from the amateurs.
They may not have the dreadlocks, braids or beards (unless they’re psychiatrists perhaps) or have a rancid mutt tearing around the place (unless they’re social workers) but they are pros nevertheless.
And as ever what differentiates a pro from an amateur is that the pro takes whatever it is they do very, very, seriously.
And everything is measured against the yardstick of results.
Clinically, virtually all of us act professionally. We look at the complications, mistakes and cock-ups that (hopefully rarely) happen in even the best run practice and do what is necessary to prevent them from happening again in the future. We learn from our mistakes.
So how come so many of us approach private practice as rank amateurs?
Not in terms of clinical outcome, but in terms of business outcome?
Why do so few of us really make serious efforts to market and promote our practices? Ensure we really nail our billing according to what each PMI allows us to claim? Why don’t we chase our bad debts?
Clinical Governance affects us all as doctors.
Surely “Private Practice Governance” should be front of mind if you’re in private practice.
Shouldn’t it?

Dev Lall is a surgeon who now runs his own private practice consultancy: www.privatepracticeexpert.co.uk

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