Past interviews with Physicians about their conference experiences as a whole say … ‘A napkin is not a business plan …’, ‘Know Where Your Information Deficiencies Are …’ and ‘Have fun but use your time wisely…”
SUMMER 2018 – It is medical conference and CME event season and it is also summer vacation for the kids. So, like many, you might be planning which medical educational events you are planning to attend in 2018.
Below, we have assembled a list of fifteen tips you might want to consider in order to help ensure that your medical conference at-large expenditures and attendance at any healthcare event is beneficial and fruitful.
“Good understanding brings forth favor …” ~Proverbs 13:15 NIV
Ways to make the most of the conference attendance hours:
- Identify your “fave five” – Choose at least five must-see exhibitors.
- Find some quiet time to plan for your future and challenge yourself – Make it your mission to discover some new products and/or service line offerings that can add revenue to your practice bottom-line. Find some quiet time in a lobby or hotel or area coffee shop away from the smiles and sales pitches. Use this time to plan your practice on paper, on purpose. Use this time to reflect on where you want your practice to be next year at this same time. How can you make your practice more cost effective, easier, more fun or simply better for you and your Patients?
- Win new [and old] friends – Set a goal to meet five new people you haven’t met in the past year.
- Determine your course of education/planning and study – Use the Agenda but think realistically. Don’t be guided by the masses on which track or portion to attend. At the end of the day, you are there because you have made an investment in your practice and it needs to pay off. Smiles and sales pitches, rhetoric and handshakes won’t pay your bills. Pinpoint in advance your seminar, speaker and vendor destinations.
- Turn the tables – Track down prospective vendors who are eager to pursuit partnering with you. Get your calendar out right then and set up a call so it is on their calendar and yours when you return home.
- Stay focused. Know Where Your Information Deficiencies Are. Remain intent on Answering the questions you MUST have addressed before you leave.
- Are they talking about what really is on your mind? As an attendee, you should keenly understand where the conversation in the room is traveling at all times. Are the speakers negatively addressing others, positively addressing the challenges, discussing the opportunities, obstacles and failures enough to gain an accurate picture for you … and, are you comfortable with their answers?
“I finally brought my idea to life. The smiles on the patients’ faces say it all. It’s why all the hours and stress of innovation are worth it …” ~E.C.T., MD, MPH
So here’s what the polling and trend lines tells us, nothing is FOR EVERYONE. If you’ve discovered that secret, you wouldn’t be reading this because you would have retired early and started writing a book about it.
Did you know that a Physician, regardless of whether or not they are in Concierge Medicine or not, will usually attract a patient-base of clientele between 10 plus and minus years of their own age? Yes, it’s true. If you were to pull the dates of birth from your active patient panel from the past 12-18 months, it is likely that 70%-85% of your patients are within the same age as you. That’s called segmenting your audience. It’s a marketing expression. When we are asked by Physicians who are curious about this space, it’s opportunities and challenges, we know from the stories of the past that patient acquisition is a huge boulder to push up the so-called Concierge Medicine mountain to ultimate sustainability.
There obviously is a lot of topics to consider at any event or medical conference. It is important to remember that some of the best content and education at events will come from some of the more unlikely sources.
8. Who will you learn from and who currently understands and operates in these areas is critical to your individual success?
For example, are you thinking about:
- the transition;
- your realestate footprint;
- funding sources;
- the consultants you need to work with;
- legal underwriting work;
- the individual patients impacted;
- the Health Insurance Marketplace;
- Medicare participation;
(Story continued below …)
9. Be Intentional With Your Questions.
A Patient will expect more and more from their Physician in the months to come. Recently, several patients in a hospital telemedicine program rated videoconferencing more personal than an actual bedside visit by a physician. Why? Because the physicians being beamed in to the room were focused, distracted by phone calls or pagers, and not in a hurry to complete their rounds.
“Wise physicians will take heed,” says one consultant we interviewed for this story and is currently helping Physicians examine their options inside the free market healthcare delivery space. “With rising consumerism and transparency in healthcare, competition is rising, too. The most engaged and engaging physicians will be the winners.”
10. Know When You Are In The Minority, Even When You Know Your Are Right.
“The best way to find out whether you are on the right path? Stop looking at the path.” ~Marcus Buckingham
Regardless of your stance on this that and the other, political persuasion or even provider rankings and online patient reviews, one thing is certain: To a Patient, price is important, but it’s not THE MOST important. Relationship is!
This statement is counter-cultural to what you might believe, but that’s just the plain and simple truth right from the mouths and keyboards of thousands of people who are searching for a Doctor like you, right now in our communities and suburbs. You might disagree and that is fine. To prove my point, lets ask a question? Why do so many people live beyond their means? Why do so many live paycheck to paycheck? Why do we have segments of our population with little to now job skills with the latest technology, iPhones and devices? People want what they want and they are willing to pay for it. Service matters and relationship trumps price.
11. Remember at events, you are always in learning mode.
Regardless of your situation, its you and your spouse who have to shoulder the wins and losses, so get many opinions, do proformas and fight the battle on paper first.
Be mindful that not everyone at a conference or event is an expert, even if they are at the podium. And, not everyone who is invited to speak on a podium should. Use your own gut feelings and discernment before you sign up for anything. “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”
12. A napkin is not a business plan.
13. Have fun and be creative.
Subscription-based Medical Care, which can include Concierge Medicine, Direct Primary Care, Subscription-based telemedicine or even micro-clinics, are all relatively new, fun and free market delivery innovations. In fact, physician satisfaction in these membership medicine business models is very high according to recent polling and trend line observations.
Much like the popularity of other service subscriptions in the marketplace like Prime, Netflix or Costco, Subscription-based medical care performs the functions of several different services. For patients, it provides a fair amount of selection, cost-saving deals, family discounts, and its ultimately up to you to decide each month, quarter or year if you want to keep the same doctor. It puts the patient in control and tells them how much it costs. Look for more subscription-based telehealth services from doctors, PAs and NPs in the months to come. The growth of retail clinics, the public acceptance of telemedicine, the large-scale employment of physicians by hospitals to develop Concierge Medicine Programs and the accelerated operational improvement inside more and more local DPC practices will set many physicians and healthcare professionals onto the right path for a fulfilling career in medicine.
14. Finally, and this is the best one of all … ‘Never eat lunch alone …’
This is pretty self-explanatory. 🙂
So how can you maximize your time and soak-in as much as you can from these various gatherings of professionals? Here are two more BONUS suggestions we recommend you consider:
- Be ‘that guy/girl!’ You know who we’re talking about. The person who seems to try everything and talk to everyone. To be “that guy/girl”, stay mentally active during the event. Take a walk around the venue, talk with every exhibitor at the hotel, mingle the coffee and vendor areas. Try new activities and participate in the demonstrations. Take their literature back to your room and before you check-out, leave the literature and materials your not interested in inside your hotel waste basket. That’s how professional networks do it and you should to!
- Ask questions, lots of them! Think “How?” or “Why?” vs. “Can’t” or “Why not.”
We’ve found after years of talking with physicians one-on-one, and at various events, that if you want to be successful in this space, you need to have intentional relationships with other people who have the same goal. Conferences are an ideal place for that. Do you have some tips you’d like to share, email us, call us or leave them in the comments section below or on our LinkedIn or Facebook page.
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