CLPC Rush Psychiatric Resident Seminar

July 14, 2012

Into the Light

Earlier this week I had the honor of meeting with a small group of psychiatric residents at Rush Medical School here in Chicago. Daniel Levin, MD, psychiatric residency training director, once again invited me to speak to his trainees about the business of running a psychiatric practice. This has always been an enjoyable experience.

The group consisted of five young physicians just beginning the fourth year of their psychiatric speciality training. This time next year they will either be in a fellowship obtaining even further specialization, working in an institution, or launching their own business.

I started the meeting with introductions and questions about their future plans. None of them had specific plans made already but each had a general direction in mind. Next I stressed the importance of networking. They needed to get started now in preparation for their business start up in 2013. I urged them to get their own business cards from and give them out to everyone they meet. Since they didn’t yet have a location for a business I suggested the card should include their name, email address and cell number. In addition I encouraged them to get their own website/blog right away and start writing. And to become familiar with and use social media as a marketing tool.

Naturally they had many questions about the nuts and bolts of the business and I fielded them pretty well. I saw my mission, however, as planting the seed of thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs. I had my copy of The Start Up of You and urged them to buy and read it. Setting up and running my kind of business is simple. Most can figure it out on their own or with a bit of help from mentors. A major hurdle for many, however is the overestimation of risk, so clearly spelled out by Casnocha and Reid in their The Start Up of You.

We face uncertainty every day. Don’t confuse that with fear. Have an dream of your ideal business, plan for the possibility of failure, and persevere through the inevitable hardships. Going it own your own requires courage, energy, and enough money to pay the bills until your practice takes off. How do you manage uncertainty?

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