I Nearly Bankrupt My Clinic By Trying To Help Everyone - And The 2 Simple Tactics To Avoid My Mistake

8 months ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by Scott Graham / Unsplash
Table of contents

In 2013, I wanted to help every single patient who could be helped with stem cell therapy.

Yes, stem cell therapy can help patients with wildly different conditions. But telling everyone that we could treat their condition, pretty much like Oprah told each member of her audience that they too, won a car, was not a smart move.

In fact, it was a huge mistake.

For everything that matters, people want an expert

If you keep trying to appeal to everyone, nobody will see you as an expert.

When you choose to be the generalist, you make yourself a commodity. And the only differentiator between commodities is price.

But on the other hand, if you invest time in positioning yourself as the authority in one specific area, you’ll never run out of people asking to work with you.

Here are two ways in which you can create your own category within your specialty:

#1. Specialize in serving a subgroup of patients within your specialty.

Chances are you already have a specialty. But you can always hone in further.

For example, in one of our clinics, we worked exclusively with the autism community. This not only served us (we were seen as the authority in stem cell therapy for autism) but it also served our patients since our processes were optimized for them.

Our staff was trained to work with children with autism. We were intimately familiar with the challenges that a family with a child in the spectrum faces. We could anticipate their needs. Our clinic was set up in a way that was not overly stimulating. And a long list of etceteras.

#2. Specialize in a single treatment or procedure within your specialty.

What if instead, you became the go-to doctor for a very specific procedure within your specialty?

For example, I know of a plastic surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia surgery. Out of all the procedures he’s trained to perform, he has chosen to spend 80% of his time, treating men with enlarged breast tissue.

Imagine you’re a young man with overgrown breasts. Who would you choose as your surgeon?

The plastic surgeon that does all kinds of cosmetic procedures, or the one who spends most of his time treating the exact condition you have?

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