Most practices, when they falter, do so because of a gap in administrative leadership. Corinne Z. Wohl, MHSA, COE, focuses her blog “Tuning Up Your Administrator … Tuning Up Your Practice” on ways to help your entire administrative team take their game to the next level as the ophthalmic business environment is becoming more challenging.

BLOG: Evaluating associate physicians and what owners look for when choosing a partner, part 3

Here are the last two key points to help guide associate track physicians to become strong business partners and to help owners determine which associates will be the best partners:

4. Constant evaluation from the start

  • You are being evaluated during your entire tenure at the practice, not just the 6 months leading up to the “will she make partner” decision.
  • First impressions count. If you spend the first 6 months trying to change everything to personally suit you instead of taking more of a team approach, this will be remembered when the board is considering how you will be to work with during difficult decision-making processes.
  • If you act like a non-invested employee, just doing your job because you have “no say” right now, how will your future partners know what kind of a partner you will be?

5. Practice culture is critical

  • Listen carefully to the advice you are given, especially when it has to do with the culture of the practice.
  • How the partners want to be perceived in the community by referring physicians is crucial to your success. Here is a good example: You are on weekend call. Saturday night a patient is referred by a local internist. Your clinical judgment supports that the patient needs to be seen but can wait until Monday morning. But the practice culture would be supportive of seeing that patient on Sunday, so the patient will stop worrying and give positive feedback to the referring physician.
  • To be perceived as someone who is invested in patients and the business, you will see the patient on Sunday. The referring physician will feel respected; the patient will tell his friend how awesome it was to be attended to on a Sunday. This builds your practice, one patient at a time. Word-of-mouth marketing is the most cost-effective practice-building method. And the owners who will be asking you to be their partner definitely notice commitment like this.
  • Of course, the bottom line is that you have to be true to yourself. It is the only way to ultimately be happy and fulfilled in work and personal life. But know there are certain things that we all must do that we would rather not in order to be successful. And if you want to be chosen to be a business partner, there will be sacrifices to be made to reach the end goal, which is being your own boss and controlling as much of your own destiny as being in the business of health care allows.

    Corinne Z. Wohl, MHSA, COE, is the administrator at Delaware Ophthalmology Consultants and can be reached at czwohl@gmail.com.