10 September 2008


I don't really know where to start. Is anyone still out there? Any of the five of you? I have been silent for so long. I thought that, by now, I would be up and running in my little 'enterprise.' ;) FAAAAAR from it.

Opening a private practice must be one of the most frustrating things in the world. Especially in this economic climate.

In order to get a business loan, you must be in business for at least two years. What if you need money to start that business? What if, like me, you are not independently wealthy? You can try lines of credit or business credit cards. Even those, with most banks, you have to already be in business to get. You can try "angel investors." However, most of these guys are currently interested in web-based, tech-y stuff. (Angel investors, by the way, got their name from the early 1900s, when wealthy businessmen would invest in Broadway shows. Now, most angels are far from multi-millionaires. They just find a company that they believe in and want to help. These people are very business-savvy and more often than not want to be on the board of directors or a partner of the company they support.) There are also physician funding companies on the internet. I will have more to say about these in the next few weeks, as I delve more deeply into them.

The whole setting up a corporation thing is another story entirely. Word to the wise: make sure the person that does this for you knows what they are doing!! The first guy I talked to was a business lawyer, who had never heard of a D.O. And he touted himself as a 'specialist' in professional corporations. "So, we don't have to set you up as a doctor, we could just do a regular corporation." This was after my explanation of, "I am a surgeon, a physician..." Which was then followed by, "OK, doooctooor." (very long, drawn out, not nice.) The next one is a family friend of a very close friend. Not good. This is the one that is actually working on my papers, but extremely slowly (molasses slow), and often with mistakes that I have to clean up. I have already paid him, and he is (finally) about two-thirds done, but it has been painful... and I have no idea when the other third will get finished.

These are major hold-ups. Hence, my silence.

And, I am in the meantime, keeping my "day job." Very busy. That was a joy, by the way, telling Mr. Big-Shot President of the company that I am opening a private practice. There I was, excited, like a little puppy, as what I do in my spare time does not affect Mr. BS Pres in any way, shape, or form. But, to be nice, I thought it only right that I put my plans "out there, in the open," so nothing has to be a secret. (Also, so if--rather when--insurance companies make mistakes and send checks to the wrong place, it won't be as big of an ordeal to retrieve the money.) The meeting ended in the most uncomfortable way: Mr. BS just repeating over and over again that I could not steal the group's patients, and me reassuring him that that was not my intention. He was so bothered, in fact, that he came to my office the next day to interrupt my patient hours and again reitterate that I was not to steal patients. This went on for another fifteen minutes.



rlbates said...

Dr B, I feel for you. Have you tried the Small Business Association? They like to give loans to females and minorities. You might qualify for one from them without having to be in business for 2 yrs.

DrB said...

I HAVE actually contacted them, and although it sounds quite good on the surface, in New York (they are categorized by state), the qualifications are very strict. In other words, it did not look very promising, and I honestly did not pursue it wholeheartedly. Although, now that you remind me... I might try them again. Thank you.

Bongi said...

i hope it all comes together