Hitting a Nerve

Happiness in my solo practice


I don’t want to rule the world.

Dr. Allan M. Block, a neurologist is Scottsdale, Ariz.

Dr. Allan M. Block

Some doctors do, albeit in a non–Attila-the-Hun sort of way. They want to have offices on every street corner, in every suburb of a given city, sometimes more than one city. Like the Starbucks of medicine.

That’s not me. I’m happy in my little one-office world.

Maybe I just don’t have the ambition, or the business mindset, or whatever it takes to want to do that. I understand it’s all part of wanting to be successful, and obviously those doctors are more driven in that direction than I am. The more offices, the more patients can be seen, and the more money you make.

It’s not quite that simple, though. No one can be in more than one place at the same time, so to see more patients at more places you need more doctors. To pay more doctors requires more money, which in turn requires more patients.

There’s nothing wrong with taking over the world (or at least a suburb) if you like that sort of thing. But to me, more money brings more headaches. More offices to rent, more staff to hire, more people to handle billing, IT, HR, payroll, accounting, contracts, and so on.

You can have it. I’ve taken over all the world I want, in my case a 1,200-square-foot suite on the second floor of a small-to-medium-size medical building. To some that may sound unambitious, but to me, it’s perfect.

I know where my Keurig, Sodastream, and office supplies are. Except for my secretary and her cheerfully rambunctious young daughter, I don’t have to worry about sharing stuff here, or if anyone wants a different carpet color, or what’s going on at a satellite office halfway across town.

If other doctors want to try and take over the world, more power to them, but I’m happy with this. Enough is as good as a feast.

Dr. Block has a solo neurology practice in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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