Dr. Harry Heike has owned and managed Family Foot Specialists in Newport News, Virginia, since 1988. His schooling and ten years of experience as a podiatrist were not enough to…
Sterling is the most successful company of its kind in the world, because our clients are among the most respected and accomplished professionals in the world.
I have been a podiatrist for the last 24 years. It’s a mixed practice. I do a lot of laser surgery, treat a lot of children, mix in a bit of sports medicine and general foot care. I also have another physician working part-time who does house calls for me.
While I now have a successful, profitable, enjoyable practice, it certainly wasn’t that way before I became a Sterling client. In fact, I was just barely keeping my head above water and I was under a lot of stress.
Doing the Sterling program helped me focus on being a businessperson as well as providing the best possible medical care to my patients. I had to make a lot of changes to the practice at that time and the changes we put in are all still there. For example, I started using the statistical management methods Sterling teaches. They have helped me keep a close watch on how the business is doing and what needs to be done to improve it.
But the biggest thing that I got out of the program initially was learning how to confront and deal with the problems that inevitably crop up when running a business, rather than ignoring them and hoping they would go away on their own. Before, I would try to put problems on the back burner so I wouldn’t have to think about them. Doing the program has also improved my family life tremendously. Since the practice isn’t sucking me in everyday, I’m able to be more a part of the family.
Once we were on the program, the staff also started looking at their jobs differently. They all work together as a team and everybody does well when the team does well. There are more bonus games and less stress, which has made for a happier environment in the office. Having a great place to work can be just as important as the financial rewards you get from doing the program.
When I started with Sterling the practice was small and insolvent. We were heavily in debt. Since then, it has grown at least four times its former size and it keeps growing 10% or more per year, no matter how poorly the economy is doing. It is also solvent and I no longer have the money problems that used to plague me. I am now ready to take it up to the next level. With the finances well under control, I am looking for more time off. This year, I will start looking for an associate so I can take off for several months at a time and keep the practice going when I’m gone.
I wanted to go to school to do one thing: to be the best in my profession. The problem was I didn’t know how to run the office, so I couldn’t be the best. I needed somebody to show me the road out as far as running the business and my practice. Sterling knew how to get me on track and doing things the right way.
Robert J. Rosenstein, DPM, Ohio
My name is Terry Hess and I am a Podiatrist in Olympia, Washington. I have been in practice for 8 years. I joined a practice when I first got out of residency. My practice grew SLOWLY. In looking for ways to improve my situation I heard about Sterling. My partner and I took some of the courses offered through Sterling and found the material very useful. Our practice began to grow.
Last year, I took the plunge and went out on my own. I was happy to be in the driver’s seat. I reconnected with Sterling. The turning point of my “new practice” was in March of this year. My consultant had suggested my office do an on-site training/implementation program, as we did not have a very good handle on production/collection. We agreed. Everyone involved in the office took part, and within a month everything turned around. It was incredible!!!!
The on-site training helped to define roles and give each of us our purpose. We are all now playing “the game” and winning. We are reaching and exceeding goals that we have set for ourselves.
I am able to enjoy my practice like never before.
I believe that staff is much happier and feel more a part of the practice.
We have opened an Ambulatory Surgery Center, hired a new office manager, and things are expanding like crazy!!!! It’s awesome.
The more we use the technology the better we get.
Terry E. Hess, DPM, Washington
I graduated from Chicago’s Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in 1980, after which I had a chance to do a surgical residency with one of the real pioneers in the field. Following that residency I moved to Fresno, CA where I took over an existing practice. My technical skills were good, but I didn’t have any real organizational skills. I would just shoot from the hip, handle problems when they came up and give very little direction to the employees.
After six years the practice was generating maybe $150,000 to $175,000 per year. It had hit a plateau and I wanted to move it to the next level. At that time I received something in the mail from Sterling. I was the president of the local podiatry association and I invited them to give a talk at one of our meetings. I signed up for Sterling’s program that night and have been a client now for many years.
Using what I learned I immediately started to take more control and monitor all aspects of the business. I started directing the activities of the business rather than just letting the employees do whatever they wanted. The practice started taking off and it’s been nothing but continuous growth since. Last year the income hit $750,000 and this year is even better.
One of the valuable skills I learned is how to manage personnel. This has led to a very stable practice. I have six support staff, four of whom have been with me an average of seventeen years and one who has been with me for twenty-two.
I also learned new ways to communicate more effectively to both patients and doctors. This has resulted in developing strong relationships and getting a steady stream of patient referrals from both. Largely due to these referrals we get an average of twenty to thirty new patients per week.
When I started with Sterling in 1987, my goal was to move the practice to a new higher level. I’ve done that, more than quadrupling it’s size and I’m taking it even higher.
If you’re interested in expanding your practice and taking it to the next level, getting Sterling’s help is the way to do it. It certainly worked for me.
Larry Scortt, DPM, California
After I’d had my practice for about seven years, I felt I was hitting a bit of a plateau. Things were a bit out of control, just because I didn’t really know how to run a business. And I wanted to be in control, and I wanted my practice to grow.
So when I got a brochure, I went to one of their (Sterling’s) introductory seminars. I’d heard of and experienced consultants from other companies taking over part of the practice, and that didn’t appeal to me. But the Sterling speaker talked about how they’d give you the data to grow and you could apply it, be the boss of your own practice and run things more than before. It made a lot of sense to me, so I called some other podiatrists who had done Sterling’s program. One even turned out to be a former classmate of mine. And what they had to say turned me on. So I went out to Sterling’s headquarters in Glendale, California.
I liked the Management by Statistics Course, and Basics of Organization. And I went right back and applied it: I put statistics into the office, hired an office manager, got more good help, and the production statistics started going up right away.
We wanted the practice to grow, and this was the way. I wouldn’t want anybody around me who wanted to hold me back anyway, and with my staff there wasn’t any problem. In any practice, you have to create the vision; some doctors may have a problem communicating that, but Sterling will even help you with communication.
Although I think any business would benefit from Sterling, podiatrists in particular sometimes need to promote themselves more than they think, not just get referrals from M.D.s. They want to be part of the ‘good old boys’ network, get 90% of their referrals from M.D.s. It’s fine to get those, of course, but you need to get more referrals from your patients and your friends.
Another thing, Sterling is a very ethical organization. Nothing they ever told me went against my own beliefs about patients, and how I treat them. In fact, it has helped me treat my patients better.
A warning though: with the Sterling program, if you don’t implement it, it won’t work for you. On the other hand, the more I implement the program, the better it works. That’s so much so that if someone is doing better than I am, it’s usually because I’m only implementing 60% and they’re implementing 80% of what Sterling gave them!
Sterling helps you to be a better boss, and a friend to your staff. Then your staff respect you and themselves, and they do better at their jobs.
Jim Anderson, DPM, Colorado
I knew I needed a solution to my office management; I knew I had to learn how to run a business. I simply did not have the knowledge and skill to make a practice expand and I knew that Sterling did have that know-how. My primary concern was to learn how to run an office correctly, so I went with Sterling.
Everything that they did made sense. It was a matter of understanding it and putting it together.
When I got back to my practice, I started applying a set of formulas – steps that cover the really necessary actions which you can use for the various conditions in a practice or part of a practice. We also gave everyone a very exact post, which is to say a set of staff responsibilities and products to get. And we ensured that each staff member was trained to do those actions and they could do them over and over again, so that there is real consistency.
As a result, I saw a four times increase in our income! Was I surprised it worked that well? Yes I was, to say the least, but the rules of the Hubbard management technology were very definite, and very workable.
We did lose one lady, who frankly was being covertly destructive. She had been with me for a long time, but when we got down to business and started tightening up the ship, she left in less than a week.
Frankly, some of the people in the office were a little nervous at first, but after they understood the basics of what we were trying to do as a group, the remainder of the people decided to stay and work as a unit.
Now the office is fantastic. It is well run; it’s organized; we get the product out and the patients are delivered their service the way they are supposed to.
The quality is first class: people travel quite a distance to get their services here! And I think it’s great. Every day I come here and I love getting people better!
Sterling helps organize things so you can deliver service with the least amount of aggravation on the business side of the office.
It’s been a phenomenal experience!
Bruce Freedman, DPM, Virginia
SCHEDULE YOUR FREE PRACTICE MANAGEMENT CONSULTATION NOW
READ MORE SUCCESSES
Stuart Cardon, DPM, has been a Sterling client for the past year. It’s made a huge difference in his practice: “Basically I’ve seen a significant improvement in production in the…
After being a practicing podiatrist for eight years, says Dr. Kevin Powers, “I dreaded going in to work; I had even started looking at patients as adversaries, instead of working…
In Fort Collins, Colorado, Dr. Jim Anderson runs the Poudre Valley Foot and Ankle Clinic. He has been a podiatrist for more than 14 years, and for the last seven…
Larry Scortt, DPM, is a veteran client of Sterling with a stable, affluent practice with an office in Fresno, an agricultural city in central California. “I’ve used Sterling’s services since…