IS IT POSSIBLE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE AND BE A BUSINESSMAN AT ONCE?

Someone once asked me that do I like my profession? I did not give him a direct answer. Instead, I asked him a question in return. I wondered would he not have loved being in the most fabulous and most empowering line-of-work in the world. His smile gave me my answer to my question and him the response to his.

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The profession that I am talking about is that of a doctor. Every day a doctor goes to work, he comes back home after accomplishing miracles. Saving a life is indeed a miracle that doctors perform every day of their professional lives. Even during the mild cold is a good deed of medicine.

HOW MEDICINE CAME TO ME?

I had decided at a very young age that once I grew up, I was going to be a miracle worker, I was going to save lives and be a magician in the operating room.

My granddad was who made me inclined towards this profession. He was a surgeon himself and a great one as well. He was the head of his department, he broke and rejoined bones, and he was an orthopaedic surgeon. Whenever I used to visit him on the weekends, he would tell the stories of his patients. I vividly remember all of these.

Once I graduated from high school, I knew where I had to go. But the expenses of studying medicine were too much. Still, I knew what I wanted, and I knew once I got it, then the income would be plenty for me to repay the very bad credit loans quickly, my family had taken up for me.

So, now not only am I a great trauma surgeon, but I also own the hospital I work in. I am a doctor, and a business person and I could not be more appeased with how my life turned out. There are some hitches here and there and my blood pressure sky-rockets then, but that is how life is supposed to be.

THE WORLD OF MEDICINE

As a surgeon, all I wanted to do was save lives and make the world a better place, at least for my patients and their families.

But that was not always the case. I tried with all my being to be the best a patient can ask for. However, there were times when I had to tell the family that their son, husband, father or friend could not make it through the surgery. And that is the only aspect of my profession that I truly abhor.

There are a lot of moments that will stay with me until I die, some are good and some not so much;

  • When I told a 5 and 10-year-olds that their mom was fit to play monopoly with them in the evening, they almost choked me with their hugs, and I could not complain.
  • When I told an immigrant on a temporary visa and no insurance that I would pay for his daughter’s heart surgery, his tears made me a little teary-eyed too.
  • When I had to tell a husband that his wife was no more alive, but we did manage to save his baby at 32 weeks, I needed half an hour to build the courage to do so. And still, I was not prepared for the onslaught of emotions.
  • When I decided to treat a teenager for the heinous beatings that his stepdad had given him, I was not ready to find a damaged lung because of his broken ribs. The guys in finance did not appreciate my decision of keeping him in the hospital even after he was fit to go home.

There are a hundred more stories, stories that would tell you how good a doctor I am and how much I need to work on the business side of things.

THE WORLD OF BUSINESS

Being a businessman is not something I wanted, but it had to happen if I tried to run my hospital and be able to do things my way.

The world of business is like a 180˚ change from being a doctor. I could not just think about the patient and saving him. I had to think about the income cheque as well. And that was something I could not wrap my head around.

I have a CFO or a Chief Financial Officer because my business sense was non-existent. She made sure that the hospital was always afloat, with enough cash to treat some patients pro bono.

We generally never saw eye to eye. And once a week, we had to have a shouting match because she won’t let me do what I wanted and I couldn’t allow her way.

She focused on the insignificant things like;

  • Ensuring all receivables were more than the payables every month so that I could perform surgeries on the people who did not have the funds.
  • Ensured that the hospital’s books, the financial kind, were always updated so that a government audit would not lead to our closure.
  • Ensured that our goodwill was as high as possible so that more patients would come to us.
  • Her goal in life was to make my hospital the best in all of London. Since that was my goal too, I had to endure her.

However, putting a camera in my face while I was operating on a pro bono heart transplant was neither cool, nor appreciated by me, and shouting match later, she was aware of that as well. I know that she is a huge reason why our hospital is as successful as it is now. If it were for me, I would have ended up with a bazillion Installment loans for bad credit.

WINDING UP

My CFO is the only reason. I am where I am. I never intended to be a businessperson. I do not have that kind of mindset or skills to be an accomplished one. However, I still needed to be the boss of my hospital to have the autonomy that it gives me.

She let me have that and the freedom to perform what I love the most in my life, surgery. She gave me the best of both worlds.

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