When I’m working with clinicians in Private Practice who are starting out or wanting to kick start growth, I ask them the question about why they are choosing to work where they work.
When I push them harder on the point, they answer is often goes something like this:
“well I had thought about working at – Insert name of hospital or clinic – but everyone knows London is really saturated with – insert title of clinical specialist.”
At this point, I’m usually sitting on my hands and biting my lip to avoid flinging them around in the air and loudly yelling “hogwash!”, but instead I permit myself to smile and say, “that’s what we’re all taught to believe”.
Here’s how I know that Private Practice saturation is a myth:
Firstly, we have facts to prove it:
LaingBuisson who collate data about the private sector carried out a study which showed “in 2018 the total private acute healthcare market is worth £1.47 billion and 40% of the demand is in London”. That figure doesn’t even include the consulting and diagnostic work done clinics outside of hospitals.
I’m no mathematician, but even I can do a fag-packet calculation that tells me, that’s a lot of Private Practice clinker being made in the smoke.
Worried that you’ve been told fewer and fewer people are taking out private healthcare insurance? LaingBuisson said that “dissatisfaction with the NHS was the primary driver of self-pay demand in 2018”. The self-pay market continues to rise, despite our fears.
Secondly, if there were more clinicians than demand for private healthcare, then only the rockstar clinicians would be seeing patients.
Whilst there are indeed very busy ‘rockstars’ out there (and some of them have egos to match), it doesn’t explain why (how shall I say this politely?) some of our ‘less rockstar’ colleagues are making a very nice living too, thank you very much.
This is particularly pertinent when you consider you may have some colleagues you think are truly awesome at what they do, but somehow, they fail to thrive in the private sector.
Thirdly, I work in possibly the most crowded Private Practice arena of all.
I’m a female doctor in the (forgive me – sometimes sexist) orthopaedic pond in London, and yet I built a full-time, fully-booked Private Practice in a ridiculously short space of time.
Here’s how to beat the ‘myth’ of saturation.
Are you practicing in a back-water clinic because you don’t think there’ll be room for you at the big-shiny hospital, or are you using it as an excuse to stick in your comfort zone?
Perhaps you’ve been told not to bother applying for Practicing Privileges (presumably by someone who’s Practice is at the big shiny clinic)?
Or maybe you’ve got a dose of ‘imposter syndrome’, and you’ve convinced yourself that you’ll be ‘found out’ and made to look foolish if you do start work alongside the big boys?
If little ‘ole me can make it in Private Practice, so can you.
2) Understand that they key to being successful in a busy market place, isn’t rocket science; it’s all about differentiating yourself from others.
If you know which patients you really want to treat, and you niche down, you’re half-way there.
3) Be pro-active in telling the world how you can help patients.
Don’t whine that you’re not seeing many patients (even though you’re clinically excellent), if you’re not bothering to help patients and referrers find you.
Success means having a strong on-line presence and producing content for the internet and social media that answer’s patients’ commonly asked questions.
That way, you will organically attract the right kind of people to your practice, rather than having to rely on ‘marketing scraps’ thrown to you by the over-stretched marketing team at your local hospital.
4) Get some coaching in how to go about it.
You weren’t taught this stuff at med-school, so why not invest in some Private Practice biz knowledge?
If you’re looking help to enable you to stand out from your competitors and thrive in a busy practice world, get in touch. We can teach you the skills to get there soooo much faster!