Rebuilding Your Medical Practice After a Setback

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doctor relaxing after a long day

by Ed Carter (image: Pexels)

When it comes to running your own business, there are few things more disheartening than setbacks and failure. The Chicago Tribune notes that since the start of the pandemic, however, more and more business owners have had to face just that-- and physicians have been no exception. Indeed, many private practices have faced problems with patients avoiding regular preventative care, anxious they’ll pick up COVID-19 during a checkup or in the waiting room.

Although the medical community has worked hard to tell patients about sanitizing efforts, staff precautions, and the importance of regular preventative care, private practices have struggled. If you’ve been trying to juggle keeping patients healthy, balancing books, and managing your own life since the pandemic started, you’re far from alone. You may have even had to close your practice entirely.

Although this kind of setback can be pretty discouraging, it doesn’t mean your journey with owning your own business has to be over forever. Dr Rahul Gladwin has some tips for how you can pick up the pieces and bounce back.

Give Yourself Useful Tools

One of the major issues facing private practice doctors is handling business administration tasks in addition to your patient care tasks, according to Medical Economics. After all, it takes a lot of time to ensure you’re giving patients your full attention, and it also takes a lot out of you to keep a business running at its best. Anything you can do to make the administrative and business side of your job simpler and more efficient will be well worth it.

Another idea is looking into investing in a payroll program that offers features that make your life easier, such as cross-platform compatibility. Being able to access payroll from a smart device can allow you to knock these kinds of tasks out at the office, from home, or on the go. It’s also wise to go with programs that house many features in one place. To use the payroll example again, this might mean something that tracks payroll, scheduling, and tax information all in one program will save you substantial time and energy.

Expand Your Team

If you find that you have more work than you can handle alone, it may be wise to expand your team. The same principle applies if you’re restarting a private practice after you’ve had to shut down. Avoid making the same mistakes again -- if you were overstretched the first time, you need to make your team large enough to prevent that on your next attempt.

Of course, we understand that bringing new doctors, nurse practitioners, or administrative staff into your practice might be financially challenging when you’re already struggling. Consider looking into COVID-19 relief loans and grants, which may help you get the budget you need to bring in the extra help. This way you can regain your footing and give yourself a better shot at success. There are similar loans for businesses that are getting started in the pandemic’s wake, which may help you fully a new practice as well.

Practice Coping Skills

On the whole, physicians tend to be serious people who hold themselves to a very high standard. Having a business fail can feel like a reflection on your character or capacity as a physician, but that’s rarely accurate. More often than not, private practices go under due to poor management, lack of planning or overexpansion.

Regardless, if you’re holding on to guilt about your practice failing, you need to learn how to cope with that emotion so it doesn’t hold you back. It may be wise to visit a counsellor for a few sessions -- they can help you come up with coping skills you can use to make things easier on yourself. Some of the most simple skills, such as breathing exercises, journaling, and a healthy diet can be the most effective.

Whether you’re fighting to stop a private practice from closing or picking up the pieces of a practice that already has, your future is full of potential. This doesn’t have to be the end of your business ownership journey. We hope this article inspires you to keep moving forward!

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