Private Practice: Two words that mean a lot more than you think, and carry a lot of weight

Today is a Big Day for this section.  We’re welcoming the first post by the new co-editor of Hear in Private Practice:  Scot Frink, MS.  Thank you, Scot, and welcome to The Blogs @ Hearing Health Matters!  
Audiology began decades ago with a primary focus on treating our veterans returning from World War II. But, as with many successful professions, it has broadened its scope significantly.  The choices we have as hearing professionals continue to grow, not only in our knowledge but in how we serve our patients.  After all, audiology is a service profession.  Whether through research, diagnostics, or manufacturing, those who choose audiology as a profession are doing so specifically to help others.

Private practice, however, is a bit special, and my chosen focus.  I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else.  It is different from the other areas for many reasons, which is why I think it is so challenging, particularly for an owner.  While private practice owners are independent and not employees of others, their autonomy brings with it obligations and opportunities beyond those faced by by audiologists employed in different settings.

  • Success in private practice rests upon the success of the patients.  If they fail, we fail.  Word of mouth about success—or failure—can have a significant effect on our business.
  • Private practice owners have obligations that go beyond the patient, extending to our employees as well.  Success or failure can determine whether or not they get their paycheck.
  • Private practice owners have to be leaders, not only of their own staff, but as business owners in their community, as well.  People look to us for answers on a daily basis, and we have to be able to provide them.
  • Private practice owners are often obligated to their communities as well, whether it is in providing public education, supporting charitable causes, or simply paying taxes.
  • Private practice owners often must puzzle out solutions to challenges.  When there is no one else around to do it, it is left up to us. That is in contrast to larger companies and agencies that may be able to delegate day-to-day issues to a team of others such as  marketing directors, public relations experts, CEOs, CFOs, billing specialists (collections manager?), and even, when necessary, janitors.

This blog will focus on the puzzle-solving aspect of private practice. It will do this by presenting—and seeking—solutions for problems we frequently face.

To give a bit of a history, I grew up in a private practice. My first experience with audiology was at age 4 when my father needed to practice taking impressions.  Now celebrating the 30 years our practice has been in business, I’ve been given this opportunity to share ideas that have worked well for us, as well as learn from you what has worked well in your business.

The real concern I have about blogging is coming up with ideas to talk about.  That is why I’m hoping the audience—if I can get one—will also supply me with ideas to cover, whether by asking me questions or by presenting their own ideas.  I feel that one of the most important traits a private practitioner can have is an open mind.  We can’t always assume that our way is the only way.  If we stop learning, we stop evolving.  If we stop evolving, well…

This being my initial post in this section, I am hoping for some immediate response, to get some questions or requests for specific topics to cover.  I already have a lot of ideas churning, but I also look forward to hearing from you as well.

The adventure begins…


1 Comment

  1. Thanks Scot….Private Practice is most certainly a “heavy lift”….and by definition (private) we can feel as though we are going it alone…..I’ll look forward to reading what you and others post….to echo your comment about evolving, I’ll quote my boss (yep, also work for a company within our industry in addition to owning businesses)….”We believe you’re either striving to get better or allowing yourself to get worse – there is no such thing as staying the same.”

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