Archive for April, 2016

For much of his medical career as an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon, George Tkalych operated a private practice. Armed with years of knowledge from medical school and useful work experience from hospitals in Alabama and Georgia, a young Tkalych knew very early that running a private practice was something he wanted to do. Thanks to a good work ethic and maintaining solid relationships with patients, hospitals, and other medical professionals, he was able to operate the practice for 32 years before retiring in 2011.

George Tkalych

Like George Tkalych, many other medical professionals might be thinking of starting their own practices. It’s not an easy process, plus there are many other professionals to consider in doing so – accountants, health care attorneys, medical consultants.

In modern times, it’s not common to see practices with one or two professionals, mainly because it is expensive to establish a private practice. Additionally, one has to consider the processes involved in dealing with health insurance companies, not to mention navigate their way through health care legislation.

Starting a medical practice

When establishing a small business, you need a business plan, finances, and legal advice. You also have to consider knowing the federal/state regulations and compliance issues. Here are some aspects to think about.


Medical practitioners who seek to set up a practice need the capital to cover the cost of starting. If you already have medical school debt to think about, then it might be challenging to find more funds. But most importantly, you have to figure out the costs required to set up shop.

Many practices often have to consider the costs of equipment, construction, office space, legal, and consultant services at the beginning. Other expenses to consider include disposable supplies and office furniture. These costs can add up, but it can be money-saving if you don’t establish the practice from scratch. Indeed, it can be less expensive to take over a retiring doctor’s practice than build from the ground up.

Getting the right credentials

For you to accept private or government health insurance, you have to go through a “credentialing” process that can take months. Insurers will want to know about your medical qualifications and whether you have the proper license(s) to practice. They might also want to see malpractice insurance, but this might not be a requirement in all states. But having it will come in handy should a patient sue you.

Legal structure

As a small business, you have to determine the legal structure to adopt for tax purposes and also to determine your level of liability. Many practitioners choose S corporations, where taxes are only paid on personal income gained from the business. It’s advisable to have a health care attorney to provide legal advice and draft the necessary documentation.


For any business person to operate a business for decades is an impressive feat, one that many aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from. George Tkalych, a retired medical professional, operated a private practice for 32 years that specialized in ear, nose and throat (ENT) issues. While his focus was medical, Tkalych was still required to keep some business essentials in mind all through, including keeping some habits at bay that would otherwise affect productivity and success.

George Tkalych

George Tkalych

Habits come from repetition. Pick up a good habit today and chances are that it might help you grow personally or professionally. The reverse is true. Bad business habits can negatively impact the strides your business is making. The following are some to avoid.

Doing everything yourself

Realize early that you can’t do everything on your own. Sure, you can work extra hours, but you likely won’t be able to keep the pace going in the long-term. Find the best people that you can delegate to and trust them to get the job done. Doing this enables you to focus on your strengths and the business can operate better.

Being involved in every decision

Business owners like to be in control, but some aspects of this, like wanting to be a part of every decision made, can slow down progress. It’s frustrating to employees because they may feel that nothing happens without you, which shouldn’t be the case. Ensuring every decision to pass through you is also felt by customers.

Focus on making the high-level, strategic decisions and occasionally provide input on the routine decisions.

Being reactive

Setting your sights on the future of the business is key to long-term success. Unfortunately, not many business owners plan ahead. You have to be strategic in your thinking, as it enables you to foster the right culture and habits that will lead you to your vision. Crafting a vision and goals is something that you have to purposely undertake.

Allowing unproductive actions

While social media has its benefits in making your business visible, it can be unproductive when people spend large amounts of time on it. Some employees can also be unproductive in the name of multitasking, which if done poorly, can lead to people spending too much time on multiple tasks, rather than focusing on the important stuff.

Create a list of the important things you need to do and tackle those first.

Working in fear

One of the worst habits in a business that hinder productivity is fear. Fear of making a decision or stepping on others’ toes can quickly slow down productivity and overall success. Cultivating a culture of fear can take away the focus from business goals.

From experience, George Tkalych knows that removing the negative habits starts with assessing the business. From there, you can identify which habits to exchange for positive ones.