By Michael Tetreault, Editor, The DPC Journal
Imagine you are an investor and someone describes the following idea as a fantastic investment opportunity:
“My idea is for Doctors to open up their medical offices to complete strangers and charge them for being there. Additionally, we want people to pay to be able to keep coming back and meeting with the Doctor, regardless of whether they show up or call or whatever each month. They’ll meet inside the same medical offices they do now, the biggest difference is the Doctor will smile and actually talk to them. Will you invest in this idea, please?”
Personally, this not only sounds like an unusually obscure idea. It sounds just plain weird. Years ago, [some of you will remember this …] people and Doctors asked if it was even legal? But today, to people around you and I, we know this idea by many names. What started out as a rather, well let’s say unique idea, has now grown beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, kind of.
DPC started at the place most good and weird ideas start –- defining a problem and connecting it with an opportunity.
The problem many have expressed in DPC is they started too early. They defined the problem, but failed to connect it with the community.
Too often, signing a lease, hanging a sign on a building, updating a template website and placing an abbreviation behind your name is a failure to connect effectively and communicate the problem with the community. Most people are unfamiliar with DPC. Just ask the Mom’s and Dad’s at your next Cub Scout meeting or PTO fundraiser. You’ll quickly see this concept is a lot more foreign than you might think. So, remember, the old adage, ‘they don’t care how much you know, they want to know that you really do actually care.’
Get out there and show them you care. Connect with your community. We’ve talked a lot about a variety of ways you can do just that in this recent article, Holiday Marketing 101: Planning Begins Now! Here’s 4 ideas to get you started.
But, that’s not the end of this story. Watch and continue reading this story below … (Story continued below …)
One former DPC Physician, who wished to remain anonymous said to us “[It was a …] difficult concept to educate and convince patients, attract “users”.”
In fact today, in the fall of 2018 if you can believe it, those that have been there, done that said the top three reasons they failed in DPC were:
- Lack of Interested Patients
- Marketing Costs Were Too High
- Lack of Business Acumen
Fortunately, there are more success stories than failures, at least that’s what the trend lines tell us. Unfortunately, closures and support before these great ideas close are largely unsupported and unreported.
In 2018 alone, nearly 58% of DPC Physicians said debt for their startup in DPC was an average of $92,083.33 per practice. ~DPC Journal, Jan-May 2018 Physician Poll.
Furthermore, the Association of American Medical Colleges reports that the average medical school debt balance for graduating physicians in 2015 was $183,000, and is no doubt higher today. Add that burden to their average undergraduate balance of $24,000 and the total average student loan balance for a doctor is $207,000.
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And, as they say, the rest is history.
The moral of the story today is that great ideas usually start with identifying a problem. If you want to rally people around your idea of DPC, start first with a problem that is impacting their lives, or the lives of others. Too often, hanging a sign on a building and placing an abbreviation behind your name on that sign is a failure to communicate with the community. Remember, They don’t care how much you know, they want to know that you really do actually care.
So, what problem is your DPC practice going to solve?