My own hundreds of medical articles floating around in the media today about business education being the rigorous standard for profitable and successful businesses, such as private medical practice business, seem to be unworthy for consideration by the dominant leadership in medical school education.
But when I find myself being sucked into reading deep thoughts uttered by world-renowned business experts such as Dan S. Kennedy, Peter Drucker, Maxwell Maltz, MD, Michael Gerber, Robert Kiyosaki, Robert Cialdini, among many others, my narcissism and arrogance become trivial in comparison.
Let me give you a sample of the authority I have become attached to in my medical research (a Dan Kennedy quote):
It has been suggested to me that I am unreasonably demanding of the world and its other inhabitants, particularly those who find it unavoidable or useful to interact with me. That I could make it a lot easier for people. That I could be more tolerant, gentle, and patient. That I am probably a narcissist.
From what I’ve read and/or observed, I’m confident a large number of folks feel much the same about Trump, Branson, the late Jobs, Buffett, people you’ve met on our stage like the late Joan Rivers and Gene Simmons, as they do about me. Expecting the world to revolve around them and not even bothering to conceal that expectation.
And that is the point: expectation. Of course, expectation without the foundation applied principle of attraction and implementation leads only to frustration. But given proper fundamentals, expectation is everything. The expectation of success, wealth, and autonomy is an affront to the sensibilities of just about everybody with lesser expectations.
If you expect much, you should expect negative reactions from many. Criticism is cheap and easy; achievement is not. I teach that you should not actually go through life being an *sshole, but it is okay to be thought of as one by large numbers of people. There is a difference between being unreasonable by ordinary standards vs. being abusive.
Since the overwhelming majority get little of what they wish for, and a tiny minority wish for little, expect much, and set about getting what they expect, it stands to reason that the minority is very different from the majority – in philosophy, in thought, in behavior, and in action.
It is an obvious truth that just about everybody can accept intellectually, but few apply it.
How our beliefs can be overcome by logic …
When we apply good advice to a foundational structure such as medical practice businesses, we run into another Dan Kennedy observation, “Outsized success almost always comes from self-appointment, but most people have been conditioned to wait for somebody of authority to authorize them, to appoint them, to permit them to do what they want to do.”
Therefore, many physicians with worldly hope are merely wishful thinking and end at the grave. Money talks, B.S. walks. Reminding yourself that the primary purpose of a business is to make money overrides the collective conscience that is the natural human compassion every physician is driven by to help people.
The truth that handicaps your belief about your treatment of patients is that medical care requires a business foundation to reach any level of income and satisfaction in our modern world. Even more important, your practice business income is directly responsible not only for reaching your maximum potential in medical practice but also for the persistent maintenance of your highest quality of medical care and a practice business that functions like a well-oiled machine.
If you can’t afford to remain on the cutting edge of your knowledge and skills, what happens to your patient load and medical practice reputation? It is unfortunate that most physicians are not wealthy enough to bypass the business process in private medical practice. Be reminded that wealthy physicians normally get there while employed by very large medical business organizations and facilities.
The conflict is between our belief that we physicians join the medical profession primarily because of the intimate desire to serve humanity, and the more reliable means necessary to accomplish that desire. Decades of business documentation and research incessantly prove private medical practice businesses will almost always fail to some degree when performed without business education.
If you believe that most private medical practice physicians today are making enough income and are completely satisfied with their medical practice business, then you are foolish. If it were true, then why are there about 65 percent of physicians in an increasing burnout phase who are leaving medical practice in droves, and yet continue to pretend they are doing well? They lie for privacy reasons.
They lie because they will never let the medical organizations, other physicians, and the public know that they are incompetent independent business owners. Pretending is universal among physicians. We all know that.
Evidence of this is obvious when one recognizes how many physicians come into the area, practice for a couple of years, and move on. Additionally, studies have shown that about 15 percent of physicians move elsewhere annually. If they knew how to earn income in practice, they would likely never have to move for lack of income reasons.
The future of private medical practice in our nation is dismal. If it is totally removed from medical practice options, then all the physicians who have migrated to the USA to practice may return home. The turning point for our profession will be the extinction of private medical practice.
This turning point can be obliterated completely if all medical students and private practicing physicians obtain academic business education ASAP. I’m not talking about an MBA education. There is no doubt in my mind about that. My 20 years of medical education and economic research tell me so.
Curtis G. Graham is a physician.