I Nearly Bankrupt My Clinic By Thinking Like Every Other Doctor

a year ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography / Unsplash
Table of contents

In 2013 we invested multiple 6-figures to trade up our stem cell clinic’s equipment.

Our idea was to double down on our goal of becoming the premiere stem cell destination for medical tourism outside of the US. We were convinced this investment was the way to do it. After all, the best product wins, right?

Yeah, about that…

The best product is worthless without marketing.

As doctors we often believe that as long as we invest time –and money!– in improving our craft, business will take care of itself.

We think patients will recognize our years of experience, the school we went to, the value of our multiple fellowships, or the tech behind our new piece of equipment. And what do we do when our practice is struggling? We buy yet another piece of equipment or sign up for another certification!

If that’s not the definition of insanity, I don’t know what is…

The good news is that this vicious cycle is one you can break. All you need to do is stop thinking like a craftsman and start thinking like a business owner. Here is how you get started:

Patients don’t choose the best doctor. They choose the one they perceive as the best.

The good news is you can engineer this perception.

You do it through marketing. Specifically by building your own thought leadership through content. Easiest place to start is by writing. Begin writing small atomic essays (like this one!) and posting them online.

Play the long game.

Just like your patient who wants to lose 50 pounds, you need to be patient here.

Your goal is not to craft the “perfect post” that goes viral and turns you into an overnight sensation. Your goal is to “put in the reps”. To build a content library that you –and your patients!– can reference later. And it starts with one piece of content.

And another one. And so on.

Your patients want answers to their questions, not lectures.

Avoid thinking you have to (again!) show off your expertise. You don’t.

All you need is for your patients to find your content valuable and relatable. You’re missing the point if your content sounds like it was meant for your colleagues and not your patients.

In 2013, this investment nearly bankrupted us. But it led me to my mentor who shared these steps with me. And now they’re yours too!

Spread the word

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