Physician Empowerment Resource Blog

These 4 Cs are the vital signs of your practice

In our daily clinical practice, we check our patients’ vital signs all the time. What about “checking the vitals” of your own practice? 


Just like for human beings, the vital signs are the measurables that can quickly tell you the most crucial wellbeing of your practice-- the 4 C’s:


  1. Cash Flow

If “Cash is King”, then “Cash Flow is Queen”-- as in the most powerful chess piece on the chessboard! Cash flow can be measured in the following categories:

  • Accounts Receivable 
  • Accounts Payable
  • Liquidity
  • Accessible Credits


  1. Clientele/ Good Will

The “good will” of a medical practice can be assessed by the following parameters: 

  • Patient panel size
  • # Patients seen daily or weekly
  • The third next available appointment
  • No show rate


  1. Customer Satisfaction / Reputation

How happy are your patients about you and/or your practice? 


Under the Universal Health Care model in Canada,...

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Do you feel like you’re always on?

One of the central themes we cover at Physician Empowerment is the notion that many of us, regardless of practice background, always feel that we are “on”. 

Whether this is regarding patient care, administration, family life, or academic work, technology allows others to potentially reach us at any time. 

This can leave us feeling on edge and stressed out.

It’s important to disconnect and draw a clear line between work and play.  The Germans even have a name for it; Feierabend. 

Feierabend has two meanings:

  • it's the moment you stop working for the rest of the day
  • it's the part of the day between work and going to bed

Reflecting on your life and practice, how can you build habits into your daily routine to create clearer boundaries? 

Think of ways to step into your workday but also ways to step out of it. 


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Are you delegating or abdicating in your practice?

Most of us understand that we should delegate most tasks for maximum efficiency and throughput except the ones that only we can perform. However, the most common mistake of Delegation is Abdication, which is defined as blind trust plus giving up control. 

So, how are we supposed to delegate without trusting and giving up control? 

Well, the key here for Abdication is BLIND trust without a system of checks and balances for control. 

Here are some examples: 

Entrusting the billing clerk with all the billing without knowing the hows, whys, ifs, ands or buts. 

As clinicians, we are so busy providing the best patient care that it is tempting to just “delegate” the billing tasks to a clerk. However, are the billings optimized or even proper? How about billing rejections or reductions from the billing source (Provincial Health Care or otherwise)?  Who is there to follow up and remedy the situation so that they do not become write-offs or, more...

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Do you know where you stand financially?

One of the most fundamental exercises in personal finance is an annual calculation of household net worth. 

Typically, in the summer following our household’s corporate year ends, I stop and reflect on how the fiscal year has been. 

Did we thrive or just survive? 

Are we getting ahead financially and closer to our dreams?

While the calculation of net worth during a credit application can be tedious, it is important to reflect on your current financial state. And doing it takes just a few minutes.

Like information we review in our practices, a single data point holds little value. It is the trend that matters. 

So, with that, go ahead and document your net worth. It can be as complex as a spreadsheet or as simple as a sticky note on your office wall.

Next, set a reminder in your online calendar to prompt you to repeat the exercise annually. 

Doing these simple steps every year can be one of the most powerful tools in helping you reach your financial...

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What are the 3Qs that determine life success?

The academic and professional worlds measure success almost exclusively on IQ (a.k.a. Scholastic Intelligence) with yardsticks like:

  • GPAs 
  • degrees, 
  • titles, 
  • academic positions, and; 
  • publications in esteemed peer-reviewed Journals.

However, the real world measures success very differently. 

For example, the bank does not care about your GPA or having “more degrees than a thermometer” after your name. 

Instead, the bank grades you by:

  • Credit Score (TDS/GDS), 
  • Net Worth (Personal vs. Corporate), 
  • Retained Earnings, and;
  • Multiples of Earnings (of a Practice/ Business).

Have you ever heard of “the A students teaching the B students to work for the C students?” 

Regardless of careers or spheres of influence, the above statement rings true.

So, what do the C students possess more than the A & B students?

  • EQ- Emotional Quotient
  • RQ - Relationship Quotient
  • AQ - Adversity Quotient

The calculations of these other...

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Working from home - Is it working for you?

The pandemic brought immense changes to our practices. Whether we are hospital or clinic-based, many of us are working more hours at home. While this may not always entail video-based clinics, we are having more meetings online.

Though many of us are happy to reduce our commutes, there have been challenges with working from home. 

In our two-physician household with four children, things can get hectic. Along the way, we’ve learned a few useful bits of wisdom:

  1. Let things slide - While we always strive to create a zoom-worthy home office, we remind ourselves that this is our house. The kids’ artwork and toys are a part of our busy, happy home. We aren’t about to upturn the household to project an image of something we aren’t. 
  2. Try the phone - It’s natural to feel cramped in an office chair all day. We evolved as bipeds to walk and talk - so go with it! Instead of another video chat and all the presentation that it requires, do a phone call...
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Triple A ratings of your practice

Whether we like it or not, we physicians are being rated everyday either individually or as a profession-- from the popular RateMD website which many patients frequent, to PAR (Peer Assessment Reviews) from our Colleges. 

In fact, there are multiple batteries of assessment of Physician Performance, e.g.: 

  • 360 Degree Physician Performance Assessment, 
  • Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), 
  • Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS)

So, what are the top 3 attributes your patients want from you?

  1. Aptitude
  2. Attitude
  3. Accessibility

And of these 3 As, which one do you think ranks as the most important?

Surprisingly, aptitude is NOT on the top, despite what traditional med schools or residency programs have trained us to believe. 

During malpractice complaints/ lawsuits, most MDs get pardoned for their incompetence if their attitude was great and they have been accessible to patients. Conversely, MDs get the harshest...

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Paying your (future) self

One of the core teachings of Physician Empowerment is the notion of You As The Most Important Investment. There are many different aspects to this both in our professional and personal lives.

But today, I want to share with you a twist on the old adage of “pay yourself first”.

In its most basic sense, this means prioritizing long term investments over short term purchases.

While I am decades away from retiring, I watch our four children grow up and I am shocked at how quickly the years go by.

Reflecting on my own life, I try to imagine the person I will be years from now. I ask that person what he would want or need and who he would need to care for in his later years.

Were I to become ill or disabled, could I maintain my household and financial security? If a family member were to become sick, would I be able to provide not only money, but time (the most important asset in our lives)?

Looking to happier things…

When do I want to be able to give up clinical work?...

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