Are You a Technician, Manager, or Entrepreneur?

The key to survival in today's private practice is not in squeezing another nickel out of your overhead. It's adopting an entrepreneurial mindset.

Michael Gerber, in his book The E-Myth Physician, says that doctors can assume 3 basic roles: technicians, managers, or entrepreneurs.

A 2013 American Medical Association report notes that 53.2% of all physicians surveyed were self-employed, and 60% of physicians worked in practices wholly owned by physicians. More and more doctors are becoming employees of hospital systems. Most of the latter will be technicians. Most of the former, independent physicians, will have to move up the value chain, being entrepreneurs, to thrive, let alone survive.

Technicians are doers who play by the rules and are concerned with generating revenue.

Managers are resource optimizers who make the rules and are concerned with maximizing efficiency. They do things right.

Entrepreneurs innovate, making the old rules obsolete by creating new business models and are concerned with building equity. They do the right things.

Any of the 3 can be leaders, but their focus and objectives are different and require different skill sets and aptitudes. Unfortunately, since few physicians have an entrepreneurial mindset, let alone a leaderpreneurial mindset, those dwindling numbers who elect to go into private practice without an entrepreneurial mindset will continue to struggle and have a hard time adapting to a rapidly changing and challenging healthcare environment.

Thoughts drive emotions and emotions drive behavior. It is the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy. The key to survival in today's private practice is not in squeezing another nickel out of your overhead. It's adopting an entrepreneurial mindset.