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Doctor-manager or medical manager?

Doctor-manager or medical manager?

What is the most advantageous solution?

Doctor-Manager or medical manager? What is the most advantageous solution?

Today we will discuss the management of private medical clinics with Simona Chițac, who crossed the barrier of business consulting in the medical field and positioned herself on the market with her own medical clinic, Legacy Med.

You have had a PR and business consulting agency for many years, and one of the fields in which you have been active for the last 6 years has been medical, more precisely that of aesthetic medicine. What made you jump from one camp to another, if I may say so?

In general, before consulting in any field of activity and accepting any contract, I study that area very well: I learn the main players, I look for the legislation in force, I profile the consumers of that product or service, and I try to understand the market trends on that segment. After all the pieces of the puzzle are put together and I can line up the pieces on the board, I look very closely at the client who asked me. Here follows the analysis focused on it, internal, external. I look for its weaknesses, its strengths; I establish working directions and market integration. After seeing his current position on the market, the longest and most careful discussion with that client about ideals, desires and goals follows. In other words, we set where we need to go and when. Then we start dancing with the chess pieces on the board… I like to see everything I do, life in general, like a game of chess. This is what happened a few years ago, when I entered the aesthetic medicine market. And I did it at a high level. I like to think that in the same way, I create not growth, but explosion. Later, my role as a consultant ended, but my passion remained. And I was put in the position of choosing a path that I had become accustomed to and that I really liked. In other words, the short answer would have been, I jumped from the consultant camp to the investor camp out of too much passion. The sin of the creator: I fell in love with a creation. That’s how Legacy Med came about.

Now, how are you doing? From the perspective of a medical clinic manager, do you ask for specialized advice from other companies, like the one you had? Who advises you?

Oh, it’s much harder when you draw your own direction. Even though you feel like you know the best for yourself, it’s not like that at all. You always need someone outside, objective, to guide you. Yes, I have all the confidence in this and I never thought I knew them all. That’s why I now work with a professional marketing agency, a PR agency, a business consultant, and so on. In everything I do, I try to take with me people who are much better prepared than me, each in his own segment. I remember one of my clients advising me in the past telling me that he knows how to do the job of any member of the team much better than they did. Wrong. When you surround yourself with people who are less prepared than you, then you have a problem.

There are many extraordinary doctors who still work in state hospitals or in private clinics as collaborators, without opening another business of their own. Why do you think they did not take the initiative in setting up their own clinics, instead people who have nothing to do with medicine thicken the ranks of those who open such businesses?

I am not in a position to comment on this. It is a will or initiative that concerns everyone. But what I can say, with my hand on my heart, is that every doctor who goes his own way must kiss a team of professionals. A good doctor does not have time or should have time only to be a doctor and to be a product. Everything else needs to be taken care of by specialists and managers. A doctor is like an artist. In vain does he have a voice, if he does not have the right impresario and team (composers, studio, etc.). The doctor himself can become an investor in his own clinic at any time. But don’t waste his time or talent more than that.

Doctor-manager or medical manager?

Do you think it would have been easier if you were a doctor?

Yes. It was definitely a lot easier for me. But only if I was a doctor after all the others. And that’s just one thing. Unfortunately, it is a market with a lot of prejudices. It happens sometimes, without false modesty, to know products, product properties, innovations in the field… better than an active doctor. And that’s because before I bring a product to my clinic, I study it, I understand its roles, if necessary I attend classes. Because it’s my money and I’m the first to know what you’re spending it on or if it’s worth the investment. However, there are also doctors who still look at me detached and superior, only through the prism of a diploma. The effort is different and the talents must always be united and respected. There are also situations in which I would have liked to be a doctor because what you can learn in all the years of college and residency, you can never learn from some courses or studying alone, at home. No one should claim that. But, I try to find in each of the clinicians a dialogue partner who can guide me in my choices.

How do patients perceive you in such a situation? Many know it’s your clinic. Does Dr. Simona sometimes call you that? To ask you medical questions, to consult you?

It is very rare for me to be mistaken for a doctor by clinic patients. Because I positioned myself from the beginning as the owner and manager of the clinic. I do not stay in the office, I do not offer consultations, I do not wear a medical uniform, I do not give my opinion in dialogue with the patient more than necessary. So I wouldn’t have to be confused with a doctor. I respect every doctor in my team very much, I invest in them and I always put them in an extremely favorable light in front of our patients, because that is natural. I have no pleasure in sitting in the office with patients to offer them wonderful consultations. Not. But what I can do, given that I’m the zero patient of the Legacy Med clinic, is to have friendly discussions in the Reception, in the lounge area of the clinic, speaking only from my experience as a patient who tried certain procedures on my own skin. From books I will never talk to patients.

What would you advise a doctor who wants to open his own clinic? You’ve been in this position before.

I would like to say that I am not in a position to give advice. But there are. That’s what a consultant does; only he has all the data first… What I know for sure is that if a doctor has enough will and openness, he will succeed. I also know cases of doctors who worked very well in the formula doctor – nurse – receptionist and that’s it. A small surgery room, improvised in a construction ground floor, and that was all, for years. But with the change in legislation, with the passage of time, many have come to realize that they have limited their lives to running a business that has only survived or stagnated. The purpose of a real business is not just to self-manage resources and one’s own talents. The goal of a doctor who embarks on this path should be continuous development, the permanent employment of both young people to create and always grow, as well as collaboration with experts and seniors in the field. Fortunately, medicine, and especially aesthetics, is a never-ending story… It is a continuous evolution from all points of view and this should always be understood by those who have a desire for independence. Everything becomes easy when everyone does what they know best and what they have been educated and trained to do. Platon knew exactly what he was saying.