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“The Best Time to Start a Practice is Yesterday!” – Bridging the Gap between Medicine and Business for Better Patient Outcomes

In these hectic days, where predicting the unpredictable is our utmost preoccupation, starting a new business venture with no drop of security for the future might sound unsafe, if not wholly deplorable. However, for some physicians, the COVID-19 pandemic represented as much of a seasonable moment to start their practice as any.

“The Best Time to Start a Practice is Yesterday!” – Bridging the Gap between Medicine and Business for Better Patient Outcomes

Our Top Doctor Magazine team had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Calvin Williams, MD, a Board-Certified Dermatologist with his degree from Harvard Medical School and extensive training at both the University of Chicago and the University of Texas Southwestern. It might sound crazy, but Dr. Williams had started his private practice, the Essential Dermatology Group, in Belford, TX, this spring, a couple of days before the interview took place! Therefore, as if the Gods of Fate had decided beforehand, we were ecstatic to learn more about running practice still in its infancy. With his infinite grace, Dr. Williams was quick to give us insights on his decision to start practice during a global pandemic while sparing no detail. As he told our Top Doctor Magazine interviewer, “I can talk for a living, and it’s absolutely fun for me!”

“Playing Out My Own Dream”

After working for the past few years as a physician in different joint partnerships, Dr. Williams decided it was time to transition from being an employee to running his practice, believing that he could exact more positive change from the latter’s position than the former’s. “I wanted to have my own team, to be in charge of things, and be able to do more than what I was able to do as an employee.”

As a practice owner, Dr. Williams envisions more opportunities for helping the community. “There are different things I want to do in the community when it comes to mentoring students and youth, bringing people in, maybe doing internships, even donating to the basketball teams or local chess clubs that may need different supplies or team uniforms.”

“Still Sorting Out the Kinks and the Bugs”

Two days after the practice inauguration, Dr. Williams is more enthusiastic about his prospects than ever. What remains is the need to “sort out the kinks and the bugs and, learning the scope of the land outside of dermatology.”

However, the spirits have not always been so high in Dr. Williams’ camp. Ever since he began the practice foundation process a year ago, Dr. Williams frequently found himself second-guessing his plan, mainly due to a climate of global insecurity. “I would honestly say that it was a little bit scary at first because I really had to think about it and make sure that it was the best decision to try to open up during this kind of season we’re in, and no one can tell you exactly what was going to happen.” He admits that his plan could have fallen prey to the time’s vicissitudes at any moment, although he always kept his faith in a more auspicious future. “I’m not going to sit here and act like I was in a crystal ball or whatever. But I have faith that the human spirit would pick up and we would get through it, and then people would still need their care.”

Relying Upon a Dedicated Team to Help Patients

Akin to Rome, which wasn’t built in a day, so will Dr. Williams’ practice require dedication and patience to set foot on the realms of glory. In this endeavor, he relies upon a devoted team of employees and volunteers who always keep the mission goal under their scope, providing the finest patient care possible. “The mission goal is to expand it, to take care of as many patients as we can within the realm of making sure that we never compromise on patient care and always give the best of service to people. That’s always going to be the first goal of the day.”

Enjoying a steady flow of patients, Dr. Williams is thrilled that his infant practice is gradually shaping up. However, at the Essential Dermatology Group, the mission transcends the borders of patient care, aiming at creating a solid local community of patients and practitioners. “It will come down to going to the community and making those relationships with the community members themselves and the community physicians around here.”

Handling the Business Side of Dermatology

Once they fulfill their residency programs and embark upon starting their practice, physicians are immediately hit by a harsh reality – the lack of business education and knowledge. We’ve interviewed dozens of physicians who advocate for adding business management classes to the medical school curriculum for a simple reason – providing patient care and running a business are two completely different stories. And Dr. Williams is no stranger to this issue. Thankfully, he was blessed with helpful resources and mentorship from some of the most qualified actors in the business. “I’ve had some great resources, a lot of mentors. And honestly, I learned a lot from my previous office manager who understands business dermatology extremely well, better than a lot of dermatologists now.”

“The Best Time to Start a Practice is a Yesterday!”

To all the dermatologists or physicians who are ready to take their first steps towards starting a practice but cannot figure out the right time, Dr. Williams has the easiest, most straightforward answer: “The best time to start a practice is yesterday!” If you’re a dermatologist in a similar situation, always remember that help is always at hand, in the shape of other fellow dermatologists. “I don’t think there’s any, any other way to say it but to do it. Use your valuable resources, and that’s the other dermatologists that are near you. There is a ton of resources that we use and, I would say, feel free to make the best of them.”

As a parting reminder, Dr. Calvin Williams reminds us that two sets of hands are stronger than one, which is why it takes a dedicated team to achieve something resilient in life. “I still think it takes a team to create something big and hopefully. I’m no different than that. Yeah, I would have to give a lot of credit to my team, my support staff, my family at home, and my relentless drive to take care of people.”

Top Doctor Magazine
Top Doctor Magazine

Top Doctor Magazine is a magazine from doctors for doctors and patients. We cover everything from cutting-edge medical techniques and procedures to enterprising doctors, dentists, surgeons, naturopaths, chiropaths, orthodontists, and more who are thought leaders within their own medical practice and changing the way we all experience medicine for the better.

We wish to be your one-stop digest for inspiration by other professionals in your field who are making waves and setting trends. If you, too, are a trend-setter, reach out to us so we can interview you for your own spotlight within an upcoming Top Doctor Magazine issue!

Brianna Connors & Derek Archer Co-Editors