Medicine & Business-Docs Do Excel

Physician's Money Digest, April15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 7

My dad, when some crackpotwould disparage physicians,was known to reply: "Wesave lives everyday. Whathave you done lately?" If that weren'tenough, America's doctors also help ournation's economy flourish.

There's been a lot of talk this politicalseason about jobs in America—most ofthe debate is nonsense. Mindless mediatypes and politicians too often focus onthe workings and failures of the nation'sbig businesses, when the real spotlightshould be on the true backbone of oureconomy—successful small businesses.

Devoted Docs

That unsung group includes the vastmajority of practicing physicians. Despitethe immense challenges of medicinetoday, doctors do a superior job of succeedingin the health care business area.According to Bizstats.com, more than85% of all US medical practices wereprofitable last year. And while our readersmight wonder about their "profits," theycan take some solace in that they are avital element in our growing economy.

That America's small businesses arethe real engine of our nation's commerceis undeniable. According to a Small BusinessAdministration (SBA; www.sba.gov)report, the nation's small businesses makeup about 99% of all employers and 50%of all private sector employees.

"Clearly, the heavy lifting in the jobcreation process continues to be done byfirms with fewer than 20 employees,"says Dr. William Dunkelberg, chief economistfor the National Federation ofIndependent Business (NFIB; www.nfib.com), an advocacy group for small businesses."Millions of workers are employedin jobs and at firms that didn'texist 20 years ago. Most of those newjobs came from small businesses. This isjob creation American style."

Good and Bad

The way some are talking, though,you'd think there's been no progress onthe job front. SBA statistics show otherwise.Small businesses:

Create more than 75% of all newjobs in our economy. Are created at a rate of more than550,000 annually. Are responsible for more than 50%of our nonfarm gross domestic product. Can be found in every neighborhoodin the country. Are responsible for about 15 timesmore patents than are big businesses.

Things aren't all rosy, though. Arecent NFIB survey found major concernsfor small business owners. Amongthe top four problems cited were thecost/availability of insurance, excessivegovernment regulation, and high taxes.

Sound familiar, doctor?