Decision Dialogues
Decision Dialogues

Episode 22 · 11 months ago

Patients First: Success in Medical Practice


On Episode 22 of Decision Dialogues, Mark Willoughby and Tom Orecchio welcome Dr. Sameera Daud of Metropolitan Endocrinology in Edgewater, New Jersey, to talk about her experiences as a new small business owner. Having previously worked for another private practitioner for twelve years, Dr. Sameera talks about how now, running her own practice, she is able to make business decisions that ultimately benefit her patients, thereby increasing referrals through word-of-mouth thanks to her patient-first approach, among many other topics.

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Are you paving the way for the life you want facing decisions that may affect you personally and financially? The decision dialogs podcast, brought to you by Modera Wealth Management, presents personal stories about navigating through life's pivotal moments, narratives that we hope will inspire you as you create your own story. You'll learn what influence their next steps and gain insights that could help you with your own critical choices. Welcome to decision dialogs. Thanks for joining us on decision dialogs. We're thrilled to have you a love. My name is Mark Willoughby and I'm a principal and wealth manager at Madeira Wealth Management LLBC. Today my partner Tom Arecio, who's the CEO of moderia wealth management, will be chatting with Dr Samira Dowd Ahmad, a founder and owner of Metropolitan Enter Chronology based in New Jersey. Welcome everyone to the show and I'll hand it over to Tom. Thank you, mark. Dr Dad, nice to have you with us. Well, we're going to get right to it and you know I'm going to ask what I think might be a relatively difficult question, because most doctors don't do this, but you went into private practice and started a business. What was that like and how has it impacted you personally and financially? Thank you so much as football tom to give me this a fortunity to be here, and most of the doctors that went to the medicals school to serve humanity, and that is for the note triggering or medical school business first decision actually create internal conflict to the core value to this and that leads to unhappiness and unsatisfaction, in my opinion. So what is it fair to say that you did this and as much for your own satisfaction and happiness as you did for anything else. It's also actually patients first approach the business can actually not only good for businesses but also for the patients. So patient first and business can drive more driving and loyal practice that build and drive the better outcomes called the patients, as well as the medical practices. So you have a partner? Correct? Yes, I do have a partner. So tell us a little bit about how you became partners and why you decide to go into business with someone else rather than on your room. It was the best decision that I made. You have a partner because when you are with the another doctor and extra financial stability, of course, because then you have another doctor with you, so shared cost is divided. Then, at the same time, reduced risk of the burn out. When I'm on vacation, she can be there and she's on vacation, I can be there. Better work like balance. I would say that will help in that too end. At the same time, that was the hardest decision because in in my mind I was worried about losing the friendship. She's my best friend. So you guys were best friends prior to becoming partners? Yes, she's my best friend and my neighbor. It's a big step for my biggest concern that I was joining that people were asking me or you nervous to start the practice, and at that point I was like, you know, I have full confidence in our professional skills, for confidence that we have the ability to have built a reputable patient centered practice. I didn't want to do that. At the end of the day, that we have a successful practice with a successful business partner, but I will lose my friendship. The reason I buy was concerned about it because we have very different people that compliment each other right like when you're making a business discussion. Possibly create friction. They have learned to be disciplined and we actually don't bring business to our friendship and so far in the Cross Lust quarter is done. So far, so would we have learned a lot. It's good be here. What would you say the easiest financial decision you have made is? Yeah, the easiest financial decision, I think, was to him my medical assistant.

She was my previous medical assistant. Way To bring the right customer service is very, very important to the business aspect of it, especially in the medical field. Our patient love her. She's very trustworthy and I think that brings the best outcomes of the patients. And if you look at it any big company, look at the four largest company like apple, what do they do? They start on the customer service and it's imnodent that it provides the business. So that will definitely lead to the financial that our financial outcome. One less is stress on us and we can concentrate more on fission services. Well, we couldn't agree more. That's how we've built our practice, but it's amazing how many businesses don't. It really is to mark. I know you're looking to ask a question. Can you dive then? Yeah, I'd be happy to Tom you know, it's funny, Dr Dad, heard you seeing at the start about the conflict between taking care of the client and running a successful business, and can you expand on that a little bit, because you know, here at Madeira we recognize what you're saying, but we also, I think, we're very aligned in the sense that we feel like if we take care of our clients, everything else takes care of itself. Can you, can you expand on what you meant by the conflict between putting the client first and running a successful business? Put the clients first. What's gonna Happen? It's gonna actually bring you more referral. Right. Don't want under estimate the power of word of mouth. Referral. Actually, in most of my referral, I would say over seventy five person is by the word of mouth and what it will generate. Any it will more referral. Then you don't have to worry about that board and it's automatically generate the referral base. That will lead to the financial stability and when, once there is a financial stability, you can concentrate more because what do we do? What is the reason when we have more client base than we are in a better negotiation power with the insurances or better reimbursement. Right. So, indirectly, you did not try to do generate more business by advertising bulls. Advertise what we are doing. We are providing the better service and yet we are doing the bet are outcomes. If you look at it, in my field specially, what is the bread and butter? is like Diet Lees, which is the prevention, is better than here. Look at obesity, which is is still had the stigma attached to it. If we look at it, the Ob city bias is really rare. Wherever we go, better we go to the realma workplace or a public place. Everywhere it is evident providers are not comfortable, they don't have enough time. That leads to patients to feel uncomfortable, they feel like they are unheard. As a result, they never want to start that conversation or they don't want to then or go for that conversation. So if you make them feel comfortable about it, that would lead to more client base it. You know, it's interesting. Dr Doubt, you provide a completely different service to our firm, but our philosophy around making sure the client is taken care of first and foremost, our philosophies are exactly the same. Everything flows from that as far as we're concerned. One other part, Tom if I may. There's an interesting challenge that you faced. Number One, when you were deciding to launch your own business. You had your best friend. You had that challenge to face. You know, one of the things we help our clients with is the financial side of it. Talk to us about the decisionmaking, in the financial decisionmaking that you had to grapple with before you decided to launch your own business. You worked before launching your own business, right yes, I was actually in a practice for twelve years. So you had you had a lot of experience before working for another employer and now...'re at the point in your career where you feel like, okay, I can do this on my own. I might need the help of my best friend and her professional expect expertise. Talk to us about the financial decisionmaking that led you to be comfortable launching your own business. So what we did initially, we both have a successful hasband's practices or business. We didn't have to worry about it. So he said, O't what we're going to do is we're going to actually put it in at least a year of business running. So we don't have to worry about it. Because, remember, what was our model? Are Our model. The two core values that we decided that is the fuzz thing that we both agreed upon and I think that was the main reason why we don't conflict. The two values were patient comes first, then business ball. I'm not saying will been wrong as we talk about it. If the patient comes first, it's automatically generate. The business already surpassed or expected number of the clients at this point. Then the second poor value was keeping our employees happy, because if the happy employees are going to bring the good customer souls that will be ultimately desire is to keep the patients happy. That's what we did it and I think that really helped us. It's a still very premature to say that's only four months into our practice. We already, as I said it, we are definitely what I thought Mary would be closer to a year mark. The parallels are eerie between the approach you're taken and approach we've taken for the last thirty years at our firm clients. First, our whole idea of the culture of our firm is. Of course there has to be some sort of hierarchy in the firm. Our entire approach to the culture of the firm is that every single employee is treated with the same amount of respect and dignity, and Tom and the rest of the ownership group and what they're passionate about that we feel we create that culture. We have a happy group of employees and, like you, we feel if we have that they will take good care of our points. That is totally sure. and to hear somebody WHO's in thirty years of business and have the same motto. There's no I in team. So I will ask the obvious question that has to be asked at every one of these and that is everybody would like a do over card like I, get to do one thing differently and now that you're in business for a while it won't. Is the one thing you think you might do differently you're might have done differently at the outset. I would have stressed about it as much. I would change my belief system right from the big name and yes, friendship. This is going to happen together. I will change my attitude tours. There's no such thing as failure. There's only success and experience. It's an attitudinal thing and wow, a lot of people can learn from that. I know that we stress over things and every once in a while we ask why are we stressing over this? It's not going to make it any better, only going to make it worse. Or what are we doing? That's a great answer, Levin. He's another one that we frequently ask because people come from all walks of life, all different types of businesses. What do you think? The best financial advice you ever received was invested in myself for my professional development. That's very important. A lot of the time we ignore in ourselves and remember then you are running a practice or a business. If you yourself is not well, worst on it or not and your well being, you won't be able to run it. And what was the best thing? Can I jump in their time? So to me r let me just expand on that, because you've just started your own business. I'm assuming in your prior life, twelve years working for another practice, a large portion of your time would have been spent on patient care. Now you're a small business owner. Let me ask you the first question. Do you like the different aspect of running the business as opposed to take care of your clients. That business management part is there, but at the same time it makes my life easy in certain ways of making decision, because every pasion is unique. Every patient has different high Tis that I need to me to make them outcomes better. And the business management, if...

I can make a decision without relying on somebody, then it actually helps the outcomes better. And remember, if the outcome is better, and that's going to make the outcomes for my company better too. Interesting so I'm going to predict that as you meet more and more success and you get more and more patients, at some point you may have to make a sort of the decision yourself. Do I want to stay with patients or do I want to run my business? If I have at that point, I will hire somebody to help me manage the practice is still I will be the one who can guide them instead of the guiding me what to do. So I want to get back to the question I asked. What was the best advice you ever see? When you said to invest in yourself, I mean you're wellbeing. You give us an example of one of the things that you're doing now outside of the workplace that helps you grow or that just provide you entertainment. onst thing I did interesting when, right at the time, and I gave my resignation at that time, there was a it's a powerful group of the physicians, Long Group, a facebook group. So creating on your own legacy. And at night time I was in a help. I'm starting my own she's a starting her own thing. So like I've been into this this thinking, let me help another business start up. Actually, that helped me the most and that's home where I learned that you need to invest in ourselves, in our time. We have to invest in our time to create more time. That sounds as slew, but if we invest in our time to make a calendar, all of a sudden we create so much time. The same may be invest in our money create more money. The same way the invest our time to create more time. We invest in our health to get healthier. You know, that reminds me of Dr Doubt. It's an approach that my good partner here Tom has taken over the last twenty, thirty years, which is talking to other owners of businesses like ours, learning how they run their business, how they run their practice. The amount of learnings that we have developed from talking to other business owners has been so beneficial from our perspective that I would definitely encourage you continue to talk to other small business owners because you learn so much from them. That's true. You learn from their experience, you learn from their failure and sometimes all you need is chairing up. When I would just come home and I would be just I had a patient who would cry and my also see you are leaving and I would just feel so guilty about it. Yet I know I'm making a right decision, having for my patients outcome for myself, they will be there to cheer me up much so my understanding, doctor doubt, is that your practices split between obesity, nutrition and ER chronology. Sounds to me like you have a passion for obesity, the obesity area. Is that right? My passion is really about prevention. So how did I get into this obesity? Most in the patients are diabetics, or I should not say diabetes diabetics. I should the better word is pasion. The diabetes right, you should not live in patients are sub pictients with widens and by the time they get to me the Dannage is already done, and that led to me how can I prevent it by reducing the unhealthy wait. That led me to this obesity a management. And then, if you look at it, we talked about it, this stigma earlier. What would be the worst than this stigma that that's the only disease that insurance company can actually put it as a plan exclusion. There are companies that is straightaways. Insurances can say that it's a plan exclusion until you get a complication of it. So they wait for the complication to happen. Then we start treating it, which doesn't make a lot of sense from the whole point of view, does it? Or even a beat this point of view, because it probably cost more to treat it long term, but it would do avoid it all together. If you look at it, what happened? And these people...

...feel isolation. What it leads to? This isolation is if you look at loneliness and isolation itself, there are studies showing these social isolation actually can lead to a lot of the problems, including lower immunity, more risk of heart attack, more risk of stroke, and forget Alzheimer's disease, depression. What would it lead to? More absolutely at work. And actually there was a paper on loneliness and mortality and, not to my surprise, there was an increased likelihood of twenty six percent mortality on these people. So, let alone, without even getting into the get the complications of the disease itself, just a loneliness can lead it to this problem. One of the things that I really wanted to do and that I was not able to do in my own costs, and that led me to as I wanted to do shared medical appointment. They sphasically what you do. It's light appointments where you have abound eight to sixteen patients, of course all by the consent. We all sitting a group, so you feel like, first of all, you're not the only one who's doing it. We all learn from our experience. It's more of the satisfaction, also in a typical doctor's appoint when you're over the doctor fifteen to thirty minutes. Now, all of a sudden, or ninety minutes, you over the doctor and other providers, like a nutrition and start a coach together and as you're talking you're learning, because what I do every thirty minutes I'm repeating myself, but instead of repeating myself, be and touching on all the different subject and you're covering a lot more and we are building a community. You find that those types of appointments are a little bit more therapeutic and actually studies have shown better out of films. I did it on a very limited time. Even two thousand and fourteen or fifteen they were not able to continue for the reasons. Possess decisions patients is still remember and they still ask for it. You know it. You know what. It reminds me of, Dr Dod I mean it sounds like the same concept of group therapy, where you've got people in the same room who think that they're exceptionally unique in having the issues that they have, but once you put them in a group therapy session and they hear other people stories, they start to relax and realize I'm not a whole lot different, and then literally it becomes a sort of a very beneficial and healthy progression where they talk out their issues. It's almost like you're taking the same approach exactly. And funny interesting thing is my husband psychiatrist, so he went through that route where it was the stigma. Now we have overcome that and I think that's exactly what's going to happen with at leastity and the insurance will worltimately covered. So I gotta ask the obvious question. Then you had to get the patient's consent to do group meetings like this, group appointments. Does the Insurance Company covered these group appointments? Yes, I did my training actually at the cleanland planic and they do all our these visits. These are free. The good ways of preventing preventable diseases. What the diseases with a long chronic diseases? Yeah, I mean I think the connection between the mental side and the physical side. The hip bone is connected to the brain. Usually the hip bonus connected to tie bone. The bodies connected to the brain and you got to get both working together. Simple exactly is that if we have a cut in your losing a paper cut, that lout paper cut can distract you so much. It's funny. When I heard you describe this first I thought it was you bringing a group of other medical professions into the room with one patient. It's almost like you're bringing in a group of medical professions to a group of patients, which is even more powerful. And it's so it's so similar to the approach. We feel like we're at the center of our Clients Financial Universe, but there's so many other experts in that whole area, like a countants and attorneys and insuranceiations. So you're...

...taken a very similar approach to us, where you know you bring it in nutritionists, maybe a life coach, a life coach or help coach or complative behavior darkists to help them, because you know what is the most satisfying thing? What is the thing that we do the most eated in every day? So that's real right. And then we associated that every time when we are at home and relax and at night, eating is making us feel better. No, it's being at home is making us feel better, but we are corresponding of brain, we are training our brain. That is making us happy. I personally think you're definitely onto something with the shared professional approach and getting people with similar challenges in the same room, doctor. So I wish you the best. I think that the benefits that can bring to that group of patients. Yeah, it's not only for the though, the city or type two, even like the type one patients, we see a lot of the problem, especially in these young people. Talking on other patients boards for independent young age they develop the DNEPES. These are the people, especially when they go from parents insurance to independent right at the same time they are becoming independent. These people. First they are not comfortable, they are not they feel like they're not accepted in the community, that their palms are instant me this one is not colored, or instant expenses not. They start actually crashing there and slam and I have seen, unfortunately, stories all these things and for that I want to cheap you the share of medical and I also want to do things on the social media to make up ars. You're striking very close to home here, Dr Dodd, because my daughter was diagnosed with type one diabetes when she was six years old. My nephew back in Ireland was diagnosed when he was for I've been very involved with the Jewven other Diabetes Research Foundation and raising funds for Diabetes Research and I agree with everything you've said. On the other end of that, then you've got the advances in technology, where my daughter is using essentially a closed loop advanced artificial pancreas system where she's got a pump, an instulent pump, combined with a continuous glucos monitor and they talk to each other it's a game changer for her. It should be FDA approved in the next year, hopefully. Yes, this is actually already closed. Loop is already yet. Yeah, but this one is a wireless closed group where there are no cables whatsoever. So the BAB is that? Just emagine if she is sitting in a room, the person who is really diagnosed worried at showing on the pump and here she's talking. My life is just completely normal. That's going to influence versus. I'm telling you don't understand. Dr What does it feel like to tell something with me all the time? Now here I have a clear example. So I think. I think my daughter is ultimately going to be an advocate in this area. Obviously, the work that you're doing from your end. A lot of people don't understand the distinction between type one and type two. So there's a lot of education when we need to do exactly so it's like a very broad feel that I'm dealing with. Definitely the prevention and awareness is my biggest thing, because I think that a big difference. I have one finishing question. There's something in all small business owners, and so you're not only a professional, but you're a small business owner. There's something about what they do that gets them excited so that they keep doing it. Otherwise they drop it and they go work for someone else or where they retire. What would you say? The one thing is that gets you out of bed in the morning and get you excited about what you do. My patients love me. So it was like you know how when you leave a practice there's non compete. So there was a cancel like one year. I have this noncompete. That's why I had to my practice far and the only thing that saw there was an option that I can take a year office like some of my patient would try to find me. They will be especially those are the type ones that I was more worried by.

The pigm and patients that I the end, the print problems that they feel like. Those were the specific ones that I was worried. So I would says, well, we loved having you today. Thank you for sharing your story. Mark. Any other closing comments? What was the last non financial decision that you had to make? Today, here, yesterday, doctor, that's every morning. You asked me the morning the decision would be. Should I let my kids be in the big tennis four minutes or not. I'm sure that's this for the for everybody. Right. That's the same for all the parents, and I did today. That's good. What was your dreary morning? So I understand that. Yeah, because I's to then. Well, thanks very much to Tom and Samia. Let us listen in another conversation. We appreciate your time and perspectives and thank you for tuning in. If you hope you joined us next time on decision dialogs for more stories from the successful business solders so long now. Thank you for listening to decision dialogs. We hope you found today's stories helpful for your own decisionmaking. If you like to listen to more episodes, you can subscribe on your preferred podcasting APP or visit our website, where you'll also find show notes and important disclosures. Wwwollcom. Forward Slash decision dialogs. This has been a production of twin flames studios.

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