Excellence with an Edge: Practicing Medicine in a Competitive Environment

By: Michael Harris, MD

You Take Excellent Care of Your Patients. But How Well Are You Caring For Your Practice?

Once upon a time physicians went to work, cared for their patients, and went home. In the process they made a decent living. They didn't worry so much about how they got paid - they simply practiced good medicine and accepted that the money would come.

Those days are long gone.

21st century doctors work in a field that seems to grow more complicated every day. At the same time, the competition gets fiercer and fiercer. The implication is clear: yes, you must consistently provide the highest quality care and great service - they're the tickets to entry in this profession - but in order to do that you must also be able to run a great business.

That's what Excellence With An Edge is all about. Dr. Michael T. Harris, Vice Chairman of Surgery at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has written an insightful book that provides physicians with practical tools and techniques for running a financially sound practice. (And no, you probably didn't learn them in medical school!)

Read it and you'll learn how to:

  • Use proven techniques to build a strong, successful practice by growing reputation, volume and market share
  • Differentiate your practice from the competition
  • Earn the loyalty of patients, staff and referring physicians
  • Make rational decisions regarding new projects, recruits and capital equipment
  • Avoid devastating mistakes that can quickly destroy your practice
  • Consistently create the kinds of patient experiences that lead to return business, referrals and positive word of mouth
  • Maximize your take-home pay

Whether you own a two-or-three-person practice or you're a first-year physician in an 800-member faculty practice, you need a solid grasp of the business side of making a living in healthcare, asserts Dr. Harris. It's no longer optional.

"Physicians naturally want to focus on providing excellent patient care," he says. "That's what makes us doctors. But in order to thrive we must first understand the context in which that care takes place. We must embrace these dollars-and-cents truths rather than running from them. When we do that our practices get stronger and stronger - which in turn allows us to provide better and better care."

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