I have been an optometrist for nearly 25 years. I’ve been a good doctor, but not a business executive, nor could I manage the personnel in my office.
I found this out the hard way: my own lack of management training left me with an office full of difficult staff who were killing any joy I would get from helping patients.
To begin with, I wasn’t hiring the right people. It was hard for me to tell after an interview or two if someone would be good for the practice, so I would bring the wrong people on board and then have to fire them when they didn’t work out. It got to the point where I didn’t just want better employees, I didn’t want any employees, period. But since that would leave me answering the phone and filling out forms, I was stuck.
Looking for help, I had a number of practice management consultants come in over the years. Most consultants, however, are just marketing people: they will help you get your recall program going and perhaps give a bit of financial advice. I needed something more comprehensive and fundamental. I needed to become a business executive.
After speaking with quite a few other doctors, in 2011 I signed up for the Sterling program. Through Sterling’s executive training program, I learned how to be more objective in my management style, relying on hard statistical data rather than opinion or guesswork. I also learned how to be a better leader for my employees. As an added benefit, learning to be an effective manager – to set goals and assign priorities – also helps me keep my personal and professional life in sync.
Sterling is an expert in the personnel area, so they helped me choose better employees and incentivize them to continually improve on the job. I haven’t had to fire a single one. I now have a staff that is much easier to manage and we are all working toward a common goal of having a profitable, growing practice that is a pleasure to work at. My practice continues to grow every year, and with a smoother running office and reliable staff, I can even take days off during the week without worrying about what my employees are up to.
If you are looking for a complete solution to any problems you are having in your practice, here is my advice: call Sterling. They have the full range of services customized to individual needs to help you create a profitable and smooth-running practice.
Gail Bass, OD