The Entrepreneurial MD for Women

Finding the balance between medicine and business
Philippa Kennealy is President and founder of The Entrepreneurial MD. She is a business advisor, coach and teacher to physicians grappling with the challenges of launching, building or growing their own successful practices or businesses.

She is a board-certified Family Physician who left her own private practice in 1996 to embark on an administrative career as first Medical Director and then CEO of UCLA-Santa Monica Medical Center. Subsequently, she served as Executive VP in two internet start-up companies, before launching her first coaching and speaking business, Oya Consulting.

Philippa is passionate about professional development for physicians that permits them to reinvigorate their careers and overcome burnout. As reported to her repeatedly, physicians long for more control over their lives. She believes that entrepreneurship is one way to reintroduce physicians to their own creativity and resourcefulness. Her experience of working with physicians has shown her that, with encouragement, a belief in their own abilities, and a pragmatic approach, they are highly capable of making their inventive ideas a reality. They are, after all, a hard-working, dedicated, smart group of people!

Are you ready to make some workflow changes at your medical practice?

There is one medical practice I dread visiting as I am guaranteed a 45 minute wait, worse in winter. As I sit there fuming with impatience, the "medical practice coach" in me is busy critiquing the details of how patients are greeted, how phone calls are handled, how long we are left sitting in the exam room after vitals are taken and how much eye contact is made during our check-in and check-out. All I can say is there's room for improvement! Here's what lousy medical practice workflow looks like (mentally check off anything that applies to your practice): the patient is put on hold f......
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The secrets of effective decision-making

An area that creates some of the greatest "stuckness" in my work of coaching physicians is that of decision-making. My own experience of making up my mind has taught me that the period of analysis, fantasy, wishful thinking, and whatever else goes into decision-making, is fraught with anxiety, fear and uncertainty. Once I've made my decision, I typically feel like a huge burden has been lifted and I'm ready to face the consequences of my choice. I experienced this angst earlier this year when it became apparent that my daughter wasn't thriving at school, and appeared to require a new......
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Hone your leadership skills as a physician business owner

Okay - it's time to talk physician leadership since we're up to Rule # 7 of Bill Murphy Jr's "The Intelligent Entrepreneur" - this Rule is Learn to Lead. The course that had the greatest impact on me during my Masters in Public Health program was "Healthcare Leadership". As we were debating and learning about the skills that good leaders exhibit, it struck me that we physicians had very little training in what it took to be effective as the person in commanisd of the show. Shortly thereafter, in my role as Medical Director of our local hospital, I campaigned successfully to set up a phy......
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Money is something every entrepreneurial physician business owner needs!

A common "biggest question" I hear from many an entrepreneurial physician and business owner is "Where can I get the funds to grow my practice or business?" Starting an entrepreneurial physician venture is risky, but an even more risky period in the life span of your business is when it's time to expand. Your schedule is full, you have waiting lists for new clients, patients or customers, you're constantly working in the business and lack time to work on it. Your only options are to say No or to scale up. Rule # 6 in the "Intelligent Entrepreneur" by Bill Murphy Jr. is "Manage Risk" (you......
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Is the receptionist at your medical practice worth his or her weight in gold?

The value of gold is high right now, so when we're talking about a medical practice receptionist whose worth is equal to that of gold, we're talking about an employee of your practice who is a genuine asset. A recent article in the New York Times celebrated these folks as your "unsung heroes at the front line of patient care." What does this "golden" medical practice receptionist look like, and what does she do to earn such kudos? (I'm defaulting to the feminine as most of the medical receptionists I know seem to be women). Your receptionist is a "touch point" for your medical practice......
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Taking the work out of networking

I was never taught how to network. In fact, the concept was completely alien to me until I began my physician coaching business. Back in 1988, when I joined my medical practice, word was "to grow your practice, you should get to know the other docs by hanging out in the doctor's lounge at the two hospitals that you belong to". So, despite not being much of a coffee drinker, I'd go to the doctors' lounges early in the morning or at lunch and force myself to sit with people and strike up a conversation. Some days it felt awkward or even painful! I didn't know it but I was engaging in "business ......
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Physicians leaving medical practice – What’s the next chapter in your story?

A recent dialog on the LinkedIn SEAK Non-Clinical Careers Group page was sparked by this (all names removed): I have retired from medicine after 42 years. I attended SEAK in Chicago and it only served to highlight my dissatisfaction with medicine as a career. I am now a bartender. I am planning to do private duty bartending and uniformed chauffeuring. I think medical care has lost its charm. I started out in trauma and I couldn't get enough of it. I delivered babies, did c-sections and appy's, set bones. It was a gas. But the greed of other doctors for money and time off to the detrimen......
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Is your online physician profile hampering your success?

Calling all wannabe physician entrepreneurs or physician job searchers! When last did you spend any significant money on something without first doing some research on-line? Can't remember? Well, guess what ... that is also true for anything that YOU, as a physician, want to "sell". Be they your services working in another medical practice or a non-clinical physician executive position, or as an entrepreneurial physician with a service or product for your target market! Have a terrific resume? Did a top-notch interview? Got an outstanding website with all the bells and whistles? And y......
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As an entrepreneurial physician, are you lonely at the top?

It's been many months since I wrote about "The Intelligent Entrepreneur", in my quest to share insights from Bill Murphy's fine book describing the 10 rules of successful entrepreneurship. Last time, I highlighted Rule #4, You can't do it alone! I love a paradox, and this next Rule #5, You must do it alone, flies smack in the face of the earlier one. As much as you need the support of a team and the encouragement of family, friends and colleagues, in the end, it's all up to you. In other words, it's lonely at the top! In my Conversations with Trailblazers' Podcast series, I've had the......
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Does entrepreneurial physician success require luck?

I am a fortunate person. There’s so much that is right in my life, at home and in business. Yes, I have worked hard and still do so, but I’ve had much luck as well. And I’ve often reflected on it. So it isn’t surprising that an online article from the Harvard Business Review this week caught my eye – “Why Some People Have All the Luck”. What was most interesting was who wrote it – Anthony Tjan, described this way: “CEO, Managing Partner and Founder of the venture capital firm Cue Ball. An entrepreneur, investor, and senior advisor, Tjan has become a recognized business builder.” A h......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job – Tip 10

This is the final sip of coffee for your soul in the series from Professor Rao, author and creator of the hugely successful "Creativity and Personal Mastery Program". This pithy clip, Your Boss is the FedEx Guy, is a bit harder to get your mind around. It reminds us that even lousy bosses, cranky patients, or hostile colleagues that dump their toxic and frustrating "stuff" on us are merely the Delivery Guys -- handing over the packages of  "bad things", but not in control of your REAL sources of happiness or joy. Enjoyed this? You can catch all prior 9 tips by following links at the bott......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job – Tip 9

As children, we were raised to care greatly about the opinions of others - Martha Beck calls this part of ourselves our Social Self in her book "Finding Your Own North Star". It's the Social Self's job to help us fit in, belong to ur "tribes" or communcities, and avoid shame and embarrassment. Sadly, our Social Self quickly learns to run the show, and reminds you through constant internal mental chatter how good/bad/superior/inferior you are compared to everyone else. We can no longer hear the message from our Essential Self. This little clip, What are others thinking about you? reminds......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job – Tip 8

It is difficult for physicians to buy into the idea of miracles. Our scientific brains rationalize that miracles are for the "believers" and the "faithful" but they have no place in the world of science and medicine. Professor Rao sees something different. What if there really are no coincidences? Or what if we decided to call a coincidence a "Miracle" instead? What would that do for our sense of well-being? Maybe it's true that Miracles Happen Every Day. Go here to access earlier "coffee for the soul" tips from Professor Rao. You'll be able to trace your way back to the first tip by ......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job – Tip 7

I recently read "The Art of Possibility" by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander, and the opening practice in the book (the first of twelve practices to "transform professional and personal life") is called "It's All Invented". In this java jolt today with Tip 7, Professor Rao reminds us that we view the world through egocentric lenses - many of our interpretations of life's experiences and our interactions with people place US at the CENTER as the star in our own drama. What if that experience that you found so frustrating/mean/humiliating/spiteful/hurtful etc really wasn't about you at all? ......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job – Tip 6

All the current research into happiness demonstrates that experiencing gratitude - naming it, and truly feeling it - contributes substantially to one's sense of happiness. Those who feel grateful also have better health, with better sleep, better mood and lower incidence of depression and anxiety. What are you grateful for? And when you actually pause to enumerate your list, what do you feel? Notice the shift in your body and mind. Try the small exercise in The Power of Shifting your Focus . Catch the earlier clips in this series here. If this series is speaking to you and you are interest......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job – Tip 5

Ready for your "soul coffee sip" today? How often do you complain that you don't have enough time? Even for the little things in life - the niceties like greeting staff and colleagues? Do you find yourself charging into the hospital or your office radiating the "don't bother me now - I'm a very busy person" attitude? What might be different if you were to slow down just a fraction, generate an authentic smile and listen for a moment to the responses from others? Listen to Time or Attitude - see what it takes to start your day off in an entirely different way! Select here if you misse......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job - Tip 4

How often throughout at day do you think "this is bad", "she is horrible", "oh no, this is NOT GOOD!", "that's terrible"? Probably way more than you realize. In his book, Happiness at Work, Professor Srikumar Rao tells a story about a champion swimmer sidelined by injury at he was training for the US Olympics team. The clincher occurs when what this swimmer had labeled bad, so bad it was almost of disastrous proportions in his mind, became his ultimate advantage when it mattered most! The way we label things, events and people is only as good as our ability to foretell the future! Watc......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job - Tip 3

Are you ready for this morning's jolt of "joe for the soul"? Today, Professor Rao reminds us that where we put our attention is what happens to us. As esoteric as it sounds, it translates practically in this way: Imagine you have a patient you dislike. Mrs. Smith complains endlessly about her children, your office staff, her job, her aching back and her mysterious undiagnosable body aches. You feel a sinking sensation when you see her name on your schedule. You begin to dread her visit (consciously or unconsciously) because she symbolizes everything you can't stand about clinical pract......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job - Tip 2

Your fresh brew today, delivered courtesy of Professor Srikumar Rao,  is a short video reminding us of the role of gratitude and thanks in our lives. This is a very touchy subject, as a common refrain I hear from my physician coaching clients is "I knock myself out at work, day and even all night, and I hardly ever hear a word of thanks - those ungrateful patients/colleagues/clinic managers never acknowledge what I do for them! I feel so unappreciated" Well, Dr. Rao has words for you ... and remember, taking control of your own happiness is NOT EASY! Watch and listen to The Fallacy of E......
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Boost your Physician Happiness Quotient on the job - Tip 1

As frustrated as you may feel on the job, being an overworked, underappreciated physician, and as much as you yearn for new circumstances to relieve your stress, it may be too big a challenge to step away from your physician livelihood right now. So, how does one develop excellent coping skills? Professor Srikumar Rao (author of "Are you ready to succeed?" and "Happiness at work") believes that our happiness comes from and is largely experienced on the INSIDE. From the quality of our thinking, feeling and interpretation of events. The stuff we DO control. I have the privilege and excitin......
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