It’s hard to appreciate the hurry scurry routine of the average doctor, especially if you’re a nine-to- five pen-pusher. But the life of the medical professional never really has downtime. In your first few years on the job, you’ll be on-call more often than not. Your hospital will be your new home.
It’s easy to see why some doctors in the UK earn more than £100,000 per annum – that cash is their reward for top-notch medical treatment and long, overburdened hours.
For some, however, NHS wards aren’t enough. They want their time on the job to reap larger rewards. Moreover, they want the autonomy that a private practice brings.
Rich clients, cleaner facilities and the freedom to choose interesting cases – the benefits of a private firm are easy to see. But you’re not the only doctor heading into the private sector.
Around 25,000 doctors in the UK are involved in some form of private practice – so you’ve got to know how you can make your place of business as appealing as possible.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few fringe benefits you can add to your practice to place it a cut above the rest.
Waiting not fretting
Some waiting rooms seem to genuinely despise their occupants.
As you sit in these crumby limbos for the sick, a children’s film involving a lovable squirrel plays on the television, the volume up full-blast. Meanwhile, every magazine on the waiting room table appears to have time travelled from 1985, each one either a journal about tractors or an in-depth periodical on catching sea bass.
By the time you’ve met your doctor, you feel more like you’ve been waiting for Godot than a medical examination.
It might seem like a trivial problem, but a poor waiting room could send nervous patients over the edge. They’ll be quivering wrecks before they’ve even seen you.
So call in an interior designer to turn your waiting room into a calming environment, an atmosphere not dissimilar to a spa. Pump in calming music, maintain an up-to-date magazine selection and maybe even have some snacks to keep your patients occupied.
The result? A ton of satisfied customers who’ll begin to feel better before they’ve even seen you.
Check the net
The internet is a nasty place at the best of times. On forums and YouTube comments sections, trolls jump out from under their bridge to fling bile at anyone with the misfortune to listen. Message boards seem to magnetise flocks of the embittered.
Despite this, the net is where you’ll find both positive and negative reviews of your company’s service. Whether it’s long waiting times, a poor bedside manner or a doctor with halitosis, take a mental note of poor reviews and see how you can improve.
And as for those trolls, try to get their maddening comments deleted – it’s only bad for business.
The hygiene game
A large subsection of the population is terrified of germs in any medical institution. Newspapers run terrifying headlines – “MRSA NIGHTMARE!” “OUTRAGEOUS BUG OUTBREAK!” No wonder people are paranoid.
And if you’re running a private practice, pharmaceutical waste has to be disposed of by professionals, and your entire workplace has to look sparkling and disinfected at all times. Use your cleanliness as a promotional technique – it’ll reel in punters and put their minds at ease.