Lessons Learned from Leaders in the Field on Starting a Dermatology Private Practice
Some key tips from successful dermatologists in private practices
When you decide to open your own dermatology private practice, it may seem like you’re venturing into uncharted territory. But that’s not the case. Many new dermatologists take this important step right after they complete residency, while many others make the change mid-career because they want more control over their destiny. Whatever your reason, starting a dermatology practice has been done before, and done successfully. So why not learn from other dermatologists’ experiences?
Word of Mouth Can be Powerful
“Go to an area where there is a need for your specialty, or where you have a relationship with an existing community,” says Jerome Obed, DO, who opened his own dermatology private practice, Broward Dermatology and Cosmetic Specialists, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
That being said, Dr. Obed stressed that you should never let a saturated market dissuade you, as there is always a place for quality medical care. It may take a little longer to build your practice, but ultimately you’ll be happier. “While growing my business, I was fortunate enough to find a practice in a neighboring community that needed part-time help. This allowed me to both supplement my income and refine my clinical skills.”
While it took his practice close to five years to get up and running at full speed, Dr. Obed explained that it was well worth the wait.
“Honestly, we were seeing 2–4 people a day in the beginning, and now we see closer to 40 a day.”
A Positive Online Presence is Paramount
Developing and maintaining positive online reviews may be crucial to help you in starting a medical practice. In fact, this should be part of your dermatology practice business plan.
However, the old adage that you can’t please everyone all the time holds true in dermatology and every other medical specialty. The article “How to Market Your Dermatology Practice and Reach New Patients,” from SEO.com, has some great advice when it comes to handling online reviews, specifically negative ones.
- Stay calm and don’t be reactive
- Take the high road and don’t engage in a comment war
- Respond professionally and in a timely matter
- Avoid accusatory statements
- Take the opportunity to build your reputation and address the issue both on and offline
You may also want to consider asking happy and satisfied patients to share their impressions online. One example may be to have your staff ask each patient at checkout about their experience. If a patient provides very positive feedback, have your staff follow up with a quick email that links to a website where they can leave an online review of your practice.
You’re Not Alone
Last but not least, find a mentor—an established dermatologist who can guide you through the challenges of starting a dermatology practice. If you connected with a professor during medical school or a supervising physician during your residency, ask them for advice. They may also know successful private practitioners who could be willing to help.
You can also join a local or regional dermatology society to find a good mentor, network with colleagues, and share ideas on what works and what doesn’t when you plan to open a new dermatology clinic.
And remember that companies created by and for dermatologists like Modernizing Medicine® have experience helping new doctors in your position. We can be a useful guide for you on how to start a dermatology clinic, how to choose dermatology software for your new practice and so much more.
Want to learn how Modernizing Medicine’s dermatology software can work for your practice?
Jordan Miller, MD
Senior Medical Director of Dermatology
Dr. Jordan Miller is the Senior Medical Director of Dermatology. As one of Modernizing Medicine’s first clients, he quickly became a “super-user.” Today, as a practicing dermatologist, Dr. Miller leads development of the dermatology-specific electronic health record system and works with clients to create specialty-specific software.