5 Strategies To Grow Your Private Practice, with Dr. Adil Akhtar

Krish Chopra
Feb 14, 2019 · 7 min read
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As a part of my interview series with prominent medical professionals about “How To Grow Your Private Practice” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Adil Akhtar.

Dr. Adil Akhtar is an Oncologist and Palliative Care Expert. He is Associate Professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Hematology, Oakland University-William Beaumont School of Medicine. Director, Inpatient Clinical Operations, Karmanos-McLaren Oakland Cancer Center in Michigan. Chief, Division of Palliative & End of Life Care, Michigan Health Professionals. Dr. Akhtar’s medical specializations are oncology, palliative care and end of life/hospice care.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell our readers a bit about your ‘backstory”?

Oncology is one field where you don’t choose the specialty; the specialty chooses you. Dr. Akhtar was drawn to cancer care because of the lifelong bond you make with the patients and their families. An oncologist helps his patients at a time when they are faced with a potentially fatal disease. It takes a unique personality to be a cancer doctor, with patience and perseverance. I have the patience and persistence in the care of my patients, from the first diagnosis, throughout the care process — and sometimes through the hard decisions at end of life.

What made you want to start your own practice?

I decided to start my own practice to:

  • Practice medicine the best way I think I can do.
  • Create a simple and flexible organization where decision making and improving processes is simple and easy to fulfill the mission of providing the best patient care
  • Enjoy the profession I love without any external pressures to meet productivity numbers

Managing being a provider and a business owner can often be exhausting. Can you elaborate on how you manage both roles?

When I started my practice, I first decided the mission for the practice which was to provide the best and compassionate care and be always available to my patients. My colleagues think I have the best job, which is to help people for a living.

My first priority is always taking care of the patients. For the clinical side of the practice my role is to set the vision, mission and create a culture of excellence in patient care. Team building is an important part of my clinical responsibility since cancer care require a team working together.

For the business side of the practice, I have made sure that I have surrounded myself with very good and well-trained business people. I have created a culture of good business practices. My role in the business is look at the big picture, set the strategic vision to continue to provide excellent care and grow the business. Day-to-day operations are delegated to the managerial and administrative staff.

As a business owner, how do you know when to stop working IN your business (maybe see a full patient load) and shift to working ON your business?

From completing your degree to opening a clinic and becoming a business owner, the path was obviously full of many hurdles. How did you build up resilience to rebound from failures? Is there a specific hurdle that sticks out to you?

In the professional career I migrated to a different country, I had to learn a totally different culture at the same time completing my training was difficult. My first job after the fellowship was not what I was expecting.

All these life long experiences make you resilient and very driven and motivated to succeed.

To me the learning a new culture to assimilate in my new home was the most difficult part of my journey. But at the same time it has been the best part of life since I was helped in this journey by many good people and now I am completely assimilated into American society and am a proud American

What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Grow Your Private Practice” and why?

  1. Building an great team in the clinic by keeping the focus on the mission and keeping the staff happy and professionally satisfied
  2. Availability to the patients and the referring doctors
  3. Good communication with the patients, their families and the team of doctors involved in the care of patients
  4. Good strategic plan for recruitment of outstanding doctors and expanding the practice to new areas and hospitals

Many healthcare providers struggle with the idea of “monetization”. How did you overcome that mental block?

All these aspects of practice fulfill the mission and require financial resources. Also we have employees and their families as well as our own families which depend on the practice financially.

So for me it is not difficult to get over the issue of monetization since everything revolve around the mission of excellence in patient care.

What do you do when you feel unfocused or overwhelmed?

I’m a huge fan of mentorship throughout one’s career — None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Who has been your biggest mentor? What was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?

What resources did you use (Blogs, webinars, conferences, coaching, etc.) that helped jumpstart you in the beginning of your business?

What’s the worst piece of advice or recommendation you’ve ever received? Can you share a story about that?

Please recommend one book that’s made the biggest impact on you?

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For other incredible interviews, please check out our podcast: Healthcare Heroes.

A special thanks to Dr. Akhtar again! The purpose of this interview series is to highlight the entrepreneurs, innovators, advocates, and providers inside Healthcare. Our hope is to inspire future healthcare providers on the incredible careers that are possible!

Stay in the loop — Follow NPHub to get the latest updates when we post new interviews: Facebook, Instagram.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Krish Chopra

Written by

2x entrepreneur and Founder of NP Hub. Let's discuss leadership, scale, and relationships to serve communities that need more support! In ATL.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Krish Chopra

Written by

2x entrepreneur and Founder of NP Hub. Let's discuss leadership, scale, and relationships to serve communities that need more support! In ATL.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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