Author: Jeffrey T. Gorke

Publisher: Greenbranch Publishing  –  155 pages

Book Review by:  Nano Khilnani

Books on the business aspect of medicine are rare, and rarer still are good ones on this subject. This one is not just good; it is truly exceptional. We cannot expect doctors of medicine to be masters of business, so this book helps fill the gaps in business knowledge and experience that physicians typically have.

This useful guide, written basically for the young doctor getting into private medical practice, is divided into two “books.” Book One is entitled “The Job Search” and Book Two is named “On to Business.”

The author Jeffrey T. Gorke, taking into account the prevalent condition of doctors not having sufficient business knowledge and experience, explains in simple sentences how to not only take a telescopic view of the finances of a medical practice but also look at it under a microscope. And after that, how to make both pictures better.

Do you want to hold the line down on your expenses so that your net income is larger? You can do that by eliminating unnecessary outflows of money. Want to make your financial picture look even prettier after keeping your expense structure stable? You can do that with some creative thinking by offering some new services or adding to your list of patients, thereby increasing your revenues.

Want to have an even more successful medical practice, with a larger net income? Decrease your current expenses and increase your current revenues.

This book also accomplishes the other mission besides helping doctors control and improve the finances of their medical practice. It has been written to help doctors, particularly young ones, to look for and evaluate an established practice, and decide whether it is the right one for them to join. They may or may not already be affiliated with a hospital to earn part of their income.

While this book helps explain the business side of medicine or a medical practice, it also lays out a practical, logical and systematic approach to help any physician identify, quantify and evaluate potential new employers and future business partners. It helps answer the all-important question for any physician: is this the right fit for me?

Not only is it important for the partners of an established medical practice (who are searching for a suitable young physician to join them to enhance their services) to look closely at the qualifications of their candidate, it is equally as important for the physician entering the private-practice world to check into the financial health of the practice he or she is thinking of joining.

If you are the one who is looking for your first opportunity at a private medical practice, this book is for you. This guide by Jeffrey T. Gorke provides you insights, tips and tools for making the right decision about your first job outside of a hospital setting.

It helps you consider such important issues as compensation, location, work ethic, culture, and freedom to practice medicine. This book contains a comprehensive checklist of the questions to consider in comparing several medical establishments.

This book provides you spreadsheets and the tools to contrast and compare the financial data of the several medical practices you are considering to join.

This guide to the business aspects of medicine also provides you the action steps you must take to benefit from the plusses of a practice as well as protect yourself from the potential minuses.

The author has more than 20 years of experience in the business of healthcare which includes managing general and specialty large and small medical group practices;  running a medical society on a national level; and Medicare administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Temple University in Philadelphia and an MBA from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia.

The range of topics covered in each part of this book is large. In Book One – The Job Search – you consider such things as where you want to live and practice, where the jobs are, what are the typical salaries or self-employment incomes, what are the typical expenses in a given practice, and related concerns.

This section helps you conceive your medical career in the form of a pyramid that has three basic components. The bottom component helps you decide in which area of the country you want to practice. The middle component assists you to determine in what of setting you want to be in, such as in an academic, hospital-based or private-practice setting.

The top component of the medical career decision pyramid is the composition. Do you want to be in a private practice? Do you want to be part of a group practice or do you want to go solo? Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type. If it is a group practice you want to be a part of, is it going to be multi-specialty or single-specialty? If multi-specialty, is it going to be pure multi-spec or specialty-related?  Consider also the opportunities available in your location relating to your specialty and your group setting.

In  Book One are also several discussions on compensation, which are dependent on many factors, but principally on the supply-ad-demand situation for your type of medical specialists in your location, and the type of agreement or contract you negotiate with your associates in the medical practice you join.

In the business aspect of medical practice covered in Book Two, you will find discussions on such topics as the type of company you’ve joined and how it affects your income and tax liability; what are your business responsibilities as a member of the group practice and what is your cost-benefit situation, meaning how many hours you work and what is your bottom line result measured by net income?

You take a look at numbers such as gross revenues (both accrued and on a cash basis),  total expenses, and net income for each month, and the various ways you can increase your profitability.

Jeff Gorke has really done an outstanding job with this very useful book.