My start was pretty standard for the time. Back in 1982 in the world of private practice psychiatry in Dallas, Texas, the default was to join the staff of a hospital and have one’s own part time private practice or to set up one’s own shop as a full time solo practitioner. Some had the means to support their practice through its growth period. I didn’t have the luxury, coming from a family of very limited means.
During my final year of residency I secured a moonlighting job in a local psychiatric hospital. After graduation I worked there part-time for two years as I grew my outpatient practice. By then I was busy enough to “quit the day job” and focus all my energy on my own business.
This early pattern was repeated when I moved to Chicago. I found a part-time job as a psychiatrist at Cook County Jail. What an experience! This is truly a fascinating story for another day. My salary, along with savings, helped pay the bills while I aggressively networked and marketed in my new hometown. After a little over a year my private practice was busy enough for me to leave the jail. If I could do it then in the throws of massive insecurity and self-doubt, I’m sure you can do the same now. It could be easier with my help, but either way, you can do this.
For beginners,ave a part-time job or some other source of income for the first two years. This allows time for your practice to grow and ultimately sustain itself. In these two years you will be networking and marketing aggressively in as many different ways possible. For more established practitioners I’d suggest the following: reserve a portion of your schedule for your concierge practice. Then do the same as I recommend for early career clinicians. Over a two-year period transform your business into a full time, cash-based, concierge practice.
You know all about diagnosing and treating peoples’ maladies but, most likely, you’ve got a lot to learn about this basic business model. If all of us had been primarily interested in business we would have gone into it more directly. Ours has been a long but fascinating path into this world. But the skills required are massively simple compared to what you have already learned. Take heart. Even though there is no curriculum or teachers or supervisors like the ones that helped us learn our clinical trade, you can master this business. In addition to the simple pointers included in my ebook offered on this website you must be able to persevere through uncertainty and fear and self-doubt. Once again I stress – if this simple country fellow managed to succeed in this business, I am absolutely sure you will too.