The moment you got your M.D. degree in Psychiatry, you probably made a promise to yourself to give every person who walks into your office the best care possible. As a doctor for mental health, it is your duty to help people address their most internal challenges. Seeing your patients flourish because of the care you provide is a reward in and of it itself, but can you say you’ve given the same attention to your business?
If you think your struggle ends after you receive your M.D., then you are in for quite the reality check. The real challenge starts when you embark on your psychiatric career. Whether you have your own private practice or work for a hospital, you need to consider your profession as your very own business.
So how do you find success in your career? Here are some business decisions that can help you succeed in your medical career.
Prepare a Plan
When you are about to start your psychiatric career, whether you prefer to work in a hospital or in your own private clinic, you need to begin with a plan. Prepare a plan for how you would like to tackle the competitive market of psychiatry. Do some market research about the location you would like to work in. Check out your possible competitors around the area. Be informed about the pricing of your products and services.
Learn From Mentors
It helps if you can have a mentor in this industry. They can help you make informed decisions and give you insights backed up by their years of experience in the business. They can also help you connect with a great network of people that can assist you in starting your career or business.
Hire Quality Staff
If you think you’ll have time to care for patients, balance your business’s finances, and tend to all the menial tasks yourself, then you are looking in the wrong direction. The business of medicine requires a great deal of administrative, accounting, and customer relations tasks. You’ll never be able to handle everything alone. You’re going to have to find a great supporting staff, including practice managers and nurses, to be successful. Additionally, as your business grows, you may need to bring in additional physicians to handle your growing caseload.
One tip I can leave you with is to not hire based just on a prospect’s competence. Also be sure to check their attitude, passion and work chemistry. Additionally, ensure that they interact well with your clients. No matter how well they get on with the rest of your staff, if one of your employees is driving business away, they’re not a good fit for you.
Offer Diverse Payment Schemes
Let’s face it: the cost of medical care of any kind can be pricey. It’s a big reason why so many people choose to pursue a career in medicine—you’re all but guaranteed to make great money. However, the more you’re charging for your services, the more your patients will have to pay. With insurance coverage, the average deductible continues to rise, having grown by 212 percent in the past decade. If your prices are outrageous, your patients will flee from you like the plague.
One way to curve this is by offering flexible payment plans. Give them feasible options if they can’t afford to pay you back in one lump sum. You should be open to using debit, credit, personal checks, and even cash. Offering a diversity of payment options is a small way that you can help differentiate yourself from your competition.
Encourage Word of Mouth
One business decision that works for any industry is building awareness through marketing, and no type of marketing works as well as word of mouth. People are slow to trust what a business advertises; you’re in it for yourself, after all.
But when they read real reviews from real people that talk about how great your business is, that’s all the incentive they need. To encourage this practice further, you can offer small perks for people who leave reviews. Offer them a discount on their next appointment or some other benefit for taking the time to give your practice a great write up.