Starting a Successful Practice

I got a call from a physician who was working for a large group and wanted to start his own practice. He was appropriately worried about his chances for success in an area with two major medical centers and hundreds of other doctors. On the surface, there didn’t seem to be a need for one more.

We did what I call, “the famous Fox feasibility study.” My client and I walked around the hospital and talked to the physicians on staff. I introduced each by name and specialty to the other. Within a few minutes, I’m the only one who can’t understand the conversation.

We went to the Emergency Department and talked to the ER doctors. They have their fingers on the pulse of the community.

My client wanted to start an internal medicine practice, but didn't want to take managed care contracts. The ER doctors were thrilled. All the newer physicians worked for large groups and/or were participating providers in every managed care contract. They were so busy, they had no time for private-pay patients.

Many patients came into the ER with private insurance and no primary care physician. They wanted a good doctor who was available and could take the time needed to treat them well.

It was a perfect match. My client’s practice flourished from the start.

Lesson: Although there are usually many good physicians in an area, if you fill a need, there is room for one more.