Dr. David Norris is a practicing anesthesiologist dedicated to improving all healthcare providers’ business intelligence. When he’s non-clinical, he serves as a consultant and educator, helping practices survive and thrive. He completed medical school at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and both anesthesiology residency and fellowship in cardiovascular anesthesia at Vanderbilt University.
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He was always interested in the business side of health care and medical practices and has spent years studying those fields. He earned an MBA after he realized he was not adequately taught the skills needed to operate a business. The medical education system had let him down. Today, his mission is to help physicians and their staff gain the business intelligence necessary to create their desired practice. Dr. Norris shares his knowledge via writing, teaching, speaking, and his podcast, The Financially Intelligent Physician with David Norris, MD, MBA, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Pandora. He has spoken at numerous events for the MGMA, NAAMCP, and many medical society meetings across the country.
His first book, The Financially Intelligent Physician: What They Didn’t Teach You in Medical School, was published in 2016. He has been writing, teaching, speaking, and consulting
for years. His second book, Great Care, Every Patient: A Physician’s Guide to Process Improvement, was published in 2020.
Dr. Norris’s Prescription for Success:
Number 1: Never stop learning.
Number 2: Be humble, and always ask questions.
Number 3: You are never stuck.
Connect with Dr. Norris
Podcast: The Financially Intelligent Physician
Books: The Financially Intelligent Physician and Great Care, Every Patient
Notable quotes from Dr. Norris’s interview:
If I have an obligation… to make good, solid business decisions. I just thought that I wasn’t taught that stuff in Med School.
The example that I set… for my children has paid dividends in their work ethic and what they focus on and what they think. (In reference to going back to school as an adult).
Just because you think you’re a great doctor doesn’t mean your patients think you’re giving great care all the time.
Note: Links on this page may be linked to affiliate programs. These links help to ensure we can continue to deliver this content to you. If you are interested in purchasing any products listed on this page, your support helps us out greatly. Thank you.
Access the Show Transcript Here
Transcript[0:00] The ones who read it, they get it. Once they begin to have that aha moment, that’s why that only shows up on the income statement but not the balance sheet.
Now I’m beginning to understand what my accountant’s talking about.
Paging Dr. Cook. Paging Dr. Cook. Dr. Cook, you’re wanted in the OR. Dr. Cook, you’re wanted in the OR. [0:27] Music. [0:46] Welcome to the Prescription for Success podcast with your host, Dr. Randy Cook. [0:47] Hello everyone and welcome to Prescription for Success. I’m Dr. Randy Cook, your host for the podcast, which is a production of MD Coaches, providing leadership and executive coaching for physicians by physicians.
To overcome burnout, transition your career, develop as a leader or whatever your goal might be, visit MD Coaches on the web at MyMDCoaches.com because you’re not in this alone.
And don’t forget that CME credit is available when you listen with us. Just look for CMFI in the show notes to learn how.
My guest today entered private practice as a thoroughly trained anesthesiologist, but right away he realized he was not well trained as a business owner. [1:36] He corrected that problem by getting more education and now he’s sharing what he learned with other physicians.
So, let’s hear my conversation with Dr. David Norris.
I am really looking forward to my conversation today with Dr. David Norris, who is an anesthesiologist and also a truly qualified expert in financial advice. And we’re going to talk about all of
those things. So David, first things first, thank you so much for joining us on Prescriptions for Success. I’m looking forward to the conversation. Well, thank you for inviting me. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time. Well, let’s get underway then. And what I like to do, as always,
is track your progress from the beginning. And I would like to know a little bit about your early interests in medicine and how you got started. So I was always kind of interested in medicine,
decided early in my high school career. But no medical types in the family? No, I was the first generation. And I may actually be the last, I’m not certain. But the no, no, no, no, I’m the first
in the maybe the last, like I said, in medicine, I started working as a phlebotomist in undergrad. [3:00] Paid my way through undergrad, drawn blood every other weekend or every weekend. In my hometown, I drive home from college, work the weekends and then go back. Then went on to med school. [3:14] I went to University of Kansas. Tell me a little bit about what that application process was like. Was it was that where you wanted to be? Or did you have to apply to dozens of places and hold
your breath? What was it like?
Oh, for me, I had a mentor when I was growing up in undergrad, a general surgeon in my hometown. And I actually had that conversation with him as to in terms of where what should I do? Where should
I go? And his advice to me, and it’s what I give students these days, because it proved to be quite,
true, as he said, go to the least expensive medical school you can, because everybody is going to take the USMLE. And that’s the thing that how you rank in that, well, at least up to, I don’t know, I hear
they’re changing it. But at that time, how you rank in that determines the spots or the residency programs that open up to you. He said, really, what you’re doing is you’re paying the medical school for permission to sit for the USMLE. And he said, no one ever really asks where you go to med school,
they always ask, where did you train? That’s typically your last stop. So I applied to a few others, was looking at Tulane, and then I started looking at the debt and the cost. And I said. [4:41] I’m just going to go to the state school. It’s the least expensive one I can get into. And it’s a pretty good one. And that actually did wind up paying off pretty well. And when I look at it,
we’ve actually interviewed some people on the podcast who are particularly interested in dealing with educational debt. And of course, I’ve been at it much, much longer than you have. But.
The amount of debt that you can accumulate is just absolutely astronomical. And I’m sure we’ll get to talk about that some more. But it sounds like you’ve made a good impression financially,
if nothing else. Yeah, that was the big influencer in terms of where I was going to go to medical school was how much debt am I going to take on? How much is this going to cost me? How much is. [5:29] It going to cost my family? And I just didn’t really want to get out with six figures, if I could all help it. So KU it was. And KU was actually a really good experience. I really enjoyed my time at the
University of Kansas. They have a really good program there. I was elected, selected by the school to go to the clinical campus down in Wichita, Kansas.
So the University of Kansas has two campuses. They have two clinical campuses.
Everybody does their basics med stuff in Kansas City. And then about a third of the class would get shuttled down to Wichita, which is about two and a half, three hours south of Kansas City.
And there you would do your last two years, your clinical years. [6:25] And I was selected to go down. At first I wasn’t real happy about that.
But it wound up being a really, really good clinical experience where they treated you more like a junior intern than a med student.
It wasn’t stand in the corner, don’t ask questions, don’t do anything.
It was like, you’ve got to get up, you have to participate. This is a hands-on training environment, and we expect you to get your hands dirty and apply what you learned the first two years.
And honestly, I wasn’t expecting that because I really didn’t know anything about it. But it wound up being a superb clinical site at all the centers in Wichita. [7:10] I understand what you mean. If you’re in the halls of a long, revered, and very well-established medical university, you’re surrounded by some of the most brilliant minds around,
and the medical student kind of takes a back seat to all that.
But I had a similar experience in my early years, and I found that being in a place where medical students are new makes you kind of important. Did you feel that way?
Yeah, because they did read your note. They did, didn’t they?
They did read your note. And if you didn’t do it right, or maybe you had something in there that wasn’t right, or maybe your plan was off a bit, it would be a point of learning and teaching.
And yeah, they did read your note, and they did expect you to step up to the plate and actually begin to act like a physician.
Although you still had your training wheels on, it was a lot of fun. And even in the surgical suites from day one, you know, the suture was put in your hand, you’re going to close or you’re going to, you know, let’s, uh, let’s show you how to put a certain line in or, or, or things like that. [8:22] And, um, you felt like you were more of a, a team member on the panel than you were just along for the ride. And having that sense of responsibility also made you realize you needed to read and
prepare and know about your patients and, and, uh, and really, I don’t know, step up. But when I compare some of what some of the other, um, colleagues I have grew up with, uh, what they
had in other centers, um, I’m very thankful, uh, that I was able to, uh, to have that experience.
And at what point did you begin to think that anesthesiology might be where you wanted to spend your life’s work? [9:08] So I matched in, I was a categorical match for general surgery and about six months into it realized that, um, I just didn’t really like what general surgery was, had to offer me for a career.
Um, I looked at the types of cases I was doing and I just didn’t feel the passion form like I once did. Um, I also found myself looking at some of the other attendings in the area and seeing how hard
they worked. Um, and they were at the hospital at the same time, not hours at night that I was. [9:47] And I could see myself quickly going down a path where patients came first, family came second. And I had taken anesthesia as a rotation very late in the fourth year. It was actually one of my last ones.
So it was well beyond the match, right? And so I, uh, I always kind of liked it after being in the OR for a while, um, decided, yeah, I just don’t want to do general surgery. I actually did kind of enjoy,
uh, what I was doing, um, in, um, uh,
and anesthesia for those that last rotation and perhaps I need to make a switch. So, six months in, I really seven months into the internship, I went to the program director and said. [10:34] I’m going to give you five months warning. I’m not coming back for PGY2. You have five months to fill my spot. I don’t want to leave you high and dry because you guys are good guys, but I’m not
coming back. And I’m going to guess that you were probably not the only person in that group that made that decision or am I wrong? It was fairly rare for that to happen. It does happen from time
to time, but not incredibly. At the program I was at, it was not real common. So, I think some folks are a little stunned. Well, that’s good. And I’m sure it does happen that way from time to time,
but because of the way the match works, you never know how many you’re going to have in there that have just pinned all their hopes and dreams on being some kind of a surgeon. And you’ll wind up
with more in the interns group than you can accommodate in the chief residencies. But. [11:38] It sounds like it worked out okay with you and you decided to change venues for your anesthesia training. You want to tell us how you made that decision? Well, so after I told the program
director I’m done, this is not what I want for my life. Life’s too short to do something you’re not interested in or enjoy. My program director, I do remember, asked me, where are you going to go?
I said, I don’t know. I don’t have a spot yet. I don’t know where I’m going to go. I’m just not coming back. That really kind of lit a fire under me. And so I sent my CV out to a bunch of places and I got a couple of spots lined up in neighboring states, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri. [12:24] And then out of the blue one day while I’m giving a talk to the medical students, I get a page from a doctor at EaseDown holding. I’m like, I don’t know who this is, but you always answer.
And attending who’s holding. So I excused myself and she introduced herself as the program director from Vanderbilt and based on my CV board score, she would like to offer me a spot. Would I be
interested? And I said, yes, I will take the spot at Vanderbilt. Let me ask my wife, but yes, I’m taking the spot. And that’s how I wound up in Nashville. And that truly, that was a great,
great training and environment. And I really enjoyed the four years I spent at Vanderbilt.
It was a lot of fun. Not only did you decide to get trained in anesthesia, but you decided to hang around a bit more.
Cardiac anesthesia and I’m interested in what was behind that decision. Well, so with the cardiac fellowship, what happened was, I had an attending there who kept telling me I should do a fellowship and trying to encourage me to stick around to a fellowship,
and I was just tired at that point. I wanted out. I’m like, no, I’m going to go and practice. I don’t want to do a fellowship. So I go and join a group in Kansas, been the town that I’m in now. [13:44] And about four months into it, I realized that I don’t like the way the hearts are being done in this particular facility. And so I go to the group and I say, hey, partners, I’d like to go back and.
Do a fellowship. And I’ll come back after that one year fellowship and I’ll be one of the guys that will do, we’ll build a team and those guys do all the hearts. Because at the time everybody was
doing hearts in the group. And after some wheeling and dealing, well, first I had to ask the wife and she said the only place you can go back to is Vanderbilt. I let her narrow the search. [14:31] It did because she was like, we still have friends. We’ve only been gone a few months. It’s not. Yeah. And then I, so I called the program director, the guy who was trying to get me to stay and I said, Hey, Robert, can I come back? He’s like, yeah, absolutely. Not a problem. So. [14:50] I got that spot and then I was able to facilitate funding from, so I had funding from Vandy, from my group and from the hospital. And I was able, I didn’t have to take a cut and pay or anything,
while we maintained two households for that inter for that fellowship year.
And it was a really good experience because they, they treated me as a fellow and as a junior attending because so occasionally I would actually staff rooms as a junior attending. [15:19] In the main OR and that was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about managing and supervising and stuff like that there. So Vandy, that was a great experience. And after that, we came back,
joined the group and kind of helped get the program up and running and kind of established. [15:39] A cardiac anesthesia team at the facility or at the hospital. So at that point, as I survey your CV, it looks like approximately a decade.
You decided that you needed some education in the business world. You want to tell us about that?
Yeah. Well, what happened was I get back in the group. [16:05] I made a shareholder and then eventually I’m elected into positions of leadership and sit on the executive board.
They start handing me these income statements and these balance sheets and these productivity reports and I knew how to read some of those because we had rental real estate, but I didn’t know everything.
Once they made me vice president and eventually president, I realized I have an obligation not only to the partners, but to the employees and myself and everyone’s families, everyone that depends on the income to make good solid business decisions.
I felt like I just was not taught those things in med school or residency because every time I’d ask, in med school they say, oh, you get it in residency.
When I asked in residency, they said, ah, you’ll learn it when you get out. Let me tell you, when you get out, it’s too late to learn it. You happen to learn it the hard way.
I looked around a lot of places and then decided to just use the local university, their local state school to get my MBA.
I actually had to go back to class every Saturday for two years. [17:15] Wow. I was back in class eight to five.
Had to have my rear in a chair. I hadn’t had done that for, well, undergrad, right? It was a great learning experience.
I got to meet a lot of other people outside of healthcare, see how other businesses, other services run their businesses, other problems they’ve had and how they’ve dealt with them.
I was just able to really improve my fund of knowledge that then led me to be able to help other physicians gain that same fund of knowledge so that they can develop the
practice that they desire because that’s really what I’m about.
Did you ever feel that you were stretched more thin than you could handle it? Or was it a matter of, I think I see the finish line, I’ll just hang on. What was that period of time like? [18:11] That period of time, those two years, it was a little taxing at times. But my wife and my children were very supportive. My children were very young at the time, kindergarten, first grade. [18:29] And so they got to see dad study for, I mean, they actually got to see dad physically sit down in a book or sit at the computer and write a paper or study at a very young age. And then they got to
see dad walk across the stadium or the stage in the stadium and get hooded. So they got to see the hard work you put into it. And then the reward that you get from that. And it was a little
challenging at times, but I can’t under… The example that I set by going through that for my children has paid dividends in their work ethic and what they focus on and what they think is
important. And so it was challenging at the time. It was a little stressful at some days, but it’s done more than…
Pay well dividends on that, both not only my professional life, but, you know, in my children’s life as well. You know, I hadn’t thought about that, but that really is an incredible bonus.
That you’re talking about right there. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it is. And it’s paid dividends, you know. [19:49] My son’s a freshman and my daughter in college. My daughter’s a senior in high school. I have two guys, two kids in college next year, but they both are getting strong academic scholarships. [20:03] And we never… Any physicians in the group? Well, my daughter’s thinking about it. My son, my son’s too smart. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I understand. But.
Mathematics is his primary language, you know, and English is his second language.
And Spanish is his third language. Okay. He just sees it. He’s just got one of those minds. It’s like that John Nash, you know, a beautiful mind, that movie. He just sees that sort of stuff. And. [20:35] He gets grossed out by blood and anatomy anyway. But, you know, right now he’s enjoying some physics classes. And when he comes home and talks about the math and the physics, yeah, I’m like,
he’s gone well beyond my capability, but he’s something that he really enjoys and just naturally.
Is gifted. So my daughter, she’s thinking about medicine and I’m not discouraging her, but I’m also not pushing her. I want her to make that decision. She’s actually seen what it’s like to,
grow up in a physician’s household. You know, she knows that she will not make all the holidays, depending on her specialty.
You know, dad was gone for Thanksgiving and Christmases. So at least she’s going in there with her eyes wide open, if you will.
And if she wants to do that, I’ll support her. I’ll support her whatever she wants to do. She’s a smart, smart, brilliant woman. And we’ll just see what she wants to do.
Hi, I’m Rhonda Crowe, founder and CEO for MD Coaches. Here on RX for Success, we interview a lot of great medical professionals on how they grew their careers, how they overcame challenges, and how they handle day-to-day work.
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Get the support you need today. Visit us at MyMDCoaches.com to schedule your complimentary consultation. Again, that’s MyMDCoaches.com because you’re not in this alone. [22:43] We’ll get back to our interview in just a moment, but right now, I want to tell you about a new sponsor for us.
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And now let’s get back to today’s interview. [25:05] So let’s talk a little bit more about your growth and transformation. And I believe I understand that you are still practicing. Am I correct about that?
Yes, I still practice. And yet, you have established yourself as sort of a go-to business educator, as best as I can determine from snooping around in your life. Is that what you actually had envisioned when.
You went back for that MBA or was it an accident?
Well, so that really was more of an accident, I would say. I really wanted to get the knowledge to help the practice. And then part of that MBA course, I had to do quantitative analysis class,
where we had to take data, analyze it. And so we got to pick our own project.
And so my own project was I decided I would survey every physician in my county.
And there are close to a thousand letters I sent out because what I did is I sent a snail mail. [26:06] It was probably a 10-page survey, paper survey with a self-addressed stamped envelope. And I did a one-time snail mail. And I said, hey, fellow physician, I have all these questions.
It’s for my MBA practice. But I’m actually interested in understanding the problems that you’re facing in terms of your professional business career, as well as your personal life.
So in that study, I asked questions like, do you know how much it costs you to see a patient? [26:39] Do you know how much you make per patient on average? Do you know what your costs are in your business? Do you know how to read it in the income statements they give you? Do you know how to read a balance sheet? Have you ever heard of a cash flow statement? [26:54] Do you know how much cash or other assets your company has on hand? Do you know what your days in AR are? Things like that. And then on the backside of that and towards the end of that. [27:08] Survey, I asked questions regarding personal finance. Do you know how much you have in checking? Do you balance your checkbook every month? Do you know how much you spend in your cars and
boats or toys? Do you know how much you’re putting away every month? And do you have a plan for retirement? Do you think you have enough that when you get to the age when you want to quit,
you’ll be able to quit? And how much debt do you have? Things like that. And what was interesting in that was that the top things that physicians said they had issues with were financial intelligence.
That was number one. Reading and understanding financial reports. Number two was kind of negotiations and three was like patient satisfaction.
At the very bottom of that list was leadership, which really surprised me because I know a lot of physicians who I Think they think they’re better leaders than what they are. [28:10] We don’t get any training in that either do it no we don’t we get We get the actually the opposite of kind of training a good leader really needs. [28:20] But so with those results I said well, there’s a need here and and so I.
Started I got three other guys to help me and we started a company to go to residency programs and teach the residents some of the business stuff. [28:37] Then one by one they got promoted and moved on or left the task city and so then it was just me and I Began to write manuscripts. So I wrote the first book financial intelligent physician and
And that’s pretty much where I walk you through how to read income statements balance sheets and how to make financial decisions. [28:59] And then I was like The knowledge the fund of knowledge is what these physicians really need I don’t I didn’t really want to be a consultant so much as I don’t want to tell you what to do.
I want to I want to teach you and help you arrive at the answer. That’s best for you.
And based upon your needs your preferences your level of risk you’re willing to take and what you really want out of your business or out of your practice and. [29:25] I but I just want to make certain that You have the tools necessary when you make those decisions to deal with the consequences and that’s really Where I found myself going down that path and it’s been one that’s been very very.
Fun and very very rewarding. Well, I’d like to know Well, I’d like to know a little bit more about some of the feedback that you got from that first book. I have to think. [29:53] That You probably heard some fairly profound stories and if you can share any of that whether they’re profound stories or not interesting stories So what was that like for you? What was the response to the book? Um, I think a lot of them who um
The ones who read it they get it once they they be once once they begin to have that aha moment like that’s why.
That only shows up on the income statement, but not the balance sheet now I’m beginning to understand what my accountant’s talking about. [30:24] And oh Now I can have a better conversation with a CEO or CFO of whatever organization I’m negotiating with and say you know what what you’re saying right now is a bunch of gobbledygook this is really what you mean and. [30:39] Start stop trying to shine me on. [30:42] Then you know, I’ve had a few where I have a friend who their office manager embezzled millions of dollars from him over
10 years. This is not the first time this has happened, is it? Nope.
And I, the first thing I, when I saw, saw him in the elevator one day, I mentioned, I see that you’re in the news and I’m sorry.
I mean, I didn’t know what to say to him really. Of course. [31:16] Right? I mean, you just, it’s now public knowledge and in the papers that, you know, you’ve just got milked out of billions of dollars and then everybody’s like, well, how do you not know that? [31:26] Well, first words out of his mouth were I should have read your book because, uh, you know, I did give him a copy of the book years ago, but you know, you never really kind of picked it up.
I mean, I can’t make him study it, but you know, what he realized was, it was, man, if I would have read the book, then I would have known the questions to ask. [31:48] And then, and then once I understand the questions to ask and I don’t get the answers I want, then I go dig in and you know, the financial intelligence piece of it is only not only
for you to, to be profitable, to be successful, you know, and have positive cashflow so you can continue operating your business, but also detect and prevent fraud.
Cause if you don’t know what to look for, it’ll go happen right under your nose. And it’s happened to a couple of practices.
And the really interesting thing to me about that is that, uh, the people who know the things that you don’t know are in a position to help you do good or to do good for themselves.
And of course, they have the knowledge to do it without your knowledge.
If we read this book, The Financially Intelligent Physician, and take heed, would you say we’re pretty well protected in that case?
I would say it would give you a good foundation for a thorough understanding of the financial health of your practice. And if you read it and you begin to apply what I teach in it, and you actually set up a metrics, you set up a dashboard and you follow those. [33:05] You’ll begin to identify trends, you’ll begin to see things, and begin to take corrective action sooner rather than later. It’s like when I go flying. I have a flight plan, but if I’m flying
in the clouds, I have to rely on my instruments. And if I don’t know how to read those instruments,
I could get turned upside down and crash into the ground. And I see a lot of physicians who are flying in the clouds with their financial reports or their businesses, and they wind up.
Flying upside down and crashing into the ground because they don’t know how to use the tools that are in front of them. And they don’t set, they don’t have a plan. When I go plan, I plan out a.
Flight. I’m going to go from here to here. This is how I plan to get here. That’s called a budget in finance. And then if I deviate, that’s okay. Sometimes I have to deviate from the plan.
But at least I know why and why I’m deviating. And the same thing happens in our financial, in our businesses, in our financial life, where we say, Hey, something’s not matching up with,
budget. Why is that? Oh, is it because a payer is taken forever in a day to pay us? Or is it.
Because we’re not seeing as many patients? We are patient volumes down? Is it our costs are going. [34:25] Up? And we just really haven’t noticed it? Or, or is that money going? And if you don’t know, then you got to start asking questions. And really great analogy. And as a fellow pilot, I really. [34:41] I don’t think you could have picked a better example. Yeah, yeah, it’s true, though. There’s a lot of analogies between flying and running a practice, I think. Indeed, indeed. And.
So it looks like you might have taken a little bit of a different tack in the second book, Great Care Every Patient, a Physician’s Guide to Improving Any Process. Tell us where you’re. [35:10] Headed with that. Well, with that book, it really stemmed, it stemmed from my parents experiencing health care in their elder years. And seeing their perception of that care from
physicians, I know that I thought.
Give good care. And really what that book is about is it’s, it’s about patient satisfaction goes far and above beyond and beyond getting the right diagnosis and right therapy to the patient.
I mean, that actually, I think is the easy part. Yeah, I would agree. It’s really about not only managing but setting those expectations for the patients and reinforcing those with the patient,
with every encounter we have with the patient. I’ll give you an example. My dad. [36:06] He really liked this new doctor he got, but they couldn’t get the bill right for the longest time.
And every month they’d send a new bill and he’s like, no, that’s not what I owe. You know, this is what I owe. And he mentioned to me, you know, he was going back for a follow-up
visit at the six month point. And he was, he was very happy and satisfied initially with the care he got from the physician, but he made the offhand mark. Well, I wonder if the billing office is
going to screw things up again. And that really begins me to wonder if he can’t get the billing right or he can’t get that part right. Am I really getting good care? And really what that book is
trying to do is trying to get you to think about the patient experience because it’s the patient’s perception of the quality of care that really matters. I mean, yes, we have to do our best.
We have to give the right diagnosis, but we can either, we, but we can, we can take steps to influence and reinforce what we want our patients to feel when they interact with our office or our
And that book really is about helping you kind of identify your touch points, identify the feelings and emotions you want your patients to have at those touch points and realize that just because. [37:26] You know you think you’re a great doctor doesn’t mean that your patients think you’re giving great care all the time. And I think you know if you can get your staff and your processes in line to where the patients think that they’re getting great care from everybody at all times in your practice. [37:45] That goes along that will bring you far more patients than yeah my doctor’s good but you know they’re off of staff you know it’s horrible on check-in or whatnot and you know I think part of
the problem is most physicians walk in the back door and every once in a while we need to walk in the front door and really see and feel what the patients where there is some good advice what the
patients are really going to feel and experience. Because I think we get our blinders on and we just kind of forget that they experience something completely different and any physician who’s. [38:17] Ever experienced health care and not actually told people that you’re a doctor but you just experience it just to see what it’s like try that sometime you’ll be shaken to your core I think.
I have and you are quite correct. I mean it’s just like holy cow and then that makes you reinforce what you do and even in a stronger way to be more of a stronger patient advocate and
deliver more compassionate care. So that’s what that book’s about.
One other thing that I want to get into before we get into your prescriptions, your personal prescriptions is another area in which you have found some publicity and that’s your podcast,
which I have listened to several episodes and I got to tell you, I think this thing is really brilliant. Unlike a lot of things that just drone on and on forever and lose a lot of audience,
this thing is capsized into little six to ten minute vignettes, one subject every time and I.
Think they’re fabulous. So tell us how you came up with the idea. Oh, thanks. I was just looking for. [39:38] Another way to kind of get the material out there into the public space. I realized that everybody’s going to read blogs or books or whatnot, podcasting. But I wanted to make something that
could be consumed in a drive to the hospital in the morning. I gave you a couple teaching points that you could then digest over a week or so. I didn’t want to really ramble on. I wanted to hit.
The points that I found most beneficial in my career and pass those on to the listener.
And I always found it frustrating when I would listen to a podcast and I’d have to stop halfway because I got to the hospital because I live 15 minutes away. Then I pick it up again or I’d
forget to pick it up again or I’d get busy. And I wanted to make it something that was fairly quickly to be quickly consumed yet impactful and actionable. I wanted to give them substance that was not fluff.
These are the life lessons I’ve learned. Don’t make the mistakes I’ve made. Maybe you’ll have a really successful career. [40:55] Yeah, they really are well thought out and I think timeless, you know, this is not something that if you missed the one from two years ago, it’s still just as relevant now as it was then. So I would encourage everybody to check into that. [41:12] I’m curious if you think you have any more any more books and you are we going to see any more from the. I’m looking at right now I’m in the very early stages of a book on leadership called Just Leadership.
It’s just leadership is my working title. And in that I’m talking about I’ve noticed since covid and a bunch of other things have happened in the health care system. [41:39] People just aren’t trusting leaders these days. And I think the foundation of leadership is trust.
And in order to be trust, I think we have to be just. And that means we have to do what we we have to mean what we say and do what we say and no double standards, no special preferential treatments.
We have to stand by our principles. And that’s really what that book is going to be about.
I’ve got examples in there in terms of what will motivate and demotivate an employee and how you can generate loyalty. I wouldn’t say generate earn the loyalty, if you will, with your behaviors, with your actions. [42:25] And that’s really what that book I’m I’m still piecing it out. But that’s kind of the working thesis.
Sounds like it’s going to be a good one. And I’m looking forward to seeing that myself. Even even as a retired physician, I think that’s probably going to be some good reading.
So I’m looking forward to it.
Well, it’ll be a while. But, yep, that’s that’s my current project. I’m going to the mini.
Well, David, I’ve really enjoyed talking to you about your whole story and particularly about. [43:01] The books, which sound very interesting. And I’m certainly going to be looking into one, if not both of them. And like I say, I’ve already been a listener to the podcast,
which I find very enjoyable. So congratulations to you on all of that. We’ve come to the point in the.
Program that I actually like the best, that I look forward to the most, and that’s when I get out of the way. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. And audience, Dr. David Norris is going to give us his personal prescriptions for success. Sure. I would say my first one is never stop learning. [43:41] You know, it doesn’t matter how many degrees we have or the initials behind our names, we don’t know it all and we never will. And therefore I encourage you to be lifelong learners.
In not only healthcare, but in the business of healthcare and in leadership, in the psychology of leadership. Just realize that, you know, you don’t know everything. And if you want to be. [44:09] A strong leader and if you want success, always be looking for new sources of information, always be improving your fund of knowledge because nothing ever stays the same. Everything’s changing. And in order to stay on top of that, you always need to be learning. I would say the. [44:27] Second one is always be humble and always ask questions. If you don’t understand something, then ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You know, a friend of mine…
Who had money stolen from him by his office manager freely admitted that he didn’t know how to read the income statements and didn’t know what some of the line items were but he didn’t He felt dumb asking or didn’t want to look dumb.
Asking questions, so he just didn’t and. [45:05] That cost him a lot of money so I would say always be asking questions be humble and Never be too proudful that to admit that you don’t know something because really I think what that’s about is that’s not so much of you looking foolish is really you feeling foolish.
I’m gonna tell you I would much rather feel foolish in a room of peers or in a small room than Then have it published across the papers when we file a lawsuit for embezzlement because then I actually look stupid,
Or foolish so I would say always be humble ask questions and it’s it’s better to.
It’s better to swallow your pride and feel foolish in the short term than to look foolish in the long term And then and then I would say the last one is you’re never stuck you know, I I think life is what you create it to be and.
We all make decisions in life and some of them don’t work out. [46:02] And But in order to be effective leaders effective physician leaders, we need to make effective decisions and be effective decision makers and in order to do that We have to realize that
Sometimes the decisions we make at one point in our life aren’t always those consequences aren’t the results that we want. And I think we’ve talked of, I’ve shown that in this podcast episode that I made a few decisions in life.
And they just weren’t the ones that I really wanted. And they probably weren’t the best decisions for me at the time. But I wasn’t stuck and I made new decisions to correct those decisions and set a different path and set a different trajectory.
And I would say that any physician who’s out there who’s feeling stuck right now, you’re not. You can make a decision to change. And sometimes that change can have costs or consequences. But I think in the long run, it will pay off.
So those are my three that I would say. My prescriptions for success would be number one, never stop learning. [47:17] Number two, always be humble and admit what you don’t know and never be afraid to ask a question. And then three, realize you’re never stuck where you are. You can always make a change, make a decision and improve your situation.
Well, Dr. David Norris, I want to thank you so much for spending some time to talk to us and let me pick your brain a little bit today and especially for sharing those very profound prescriptions, which I think are really valuable.
It’s been a lot of fun talking with you. And before we go, I want to give you an opportunity to tell our audience where they can find you and find your books and your blog and your podcast and anything else that you’d like to share. [48:01] Sure. Your audience members can find me at my website. That’s www.davidnorris.com. That’s D-A-V-I-D-N-O-R-R-I-S-M-D-M-B-A.com. There they can find information about me, my consulting, my speaking.
You can access the podcast from the website or you can find it at iTunes or Google Play. It’s the financially intelligent physician with David Norris.
My books are available for sale at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Just search David Norris MD MBA and you should be able to find them on either one of those resellers. And then if you want to shoot me an email, you can always shoot me an email at David at David Norris MD MBA.com. I’m more than happy to help you out.
Well, David Norris, anesthesiologist, author and financial expert advisor. It has been a lot of fun speaking with you today and I thank you for making yourself available.
Thank you for having me. I’ve enjoyed it.
Thank you so much for joining us today. We’d really appreciate a review from you, and a five-star rating helps give our podcast much more visibility, and that helps us reach more listeners. [49:24] Exclusive content is available on our Patreon page, including membership-only material like personal rapid-fire Q&A sessions with our guests. [49:34] Be sure you never miss an episode by visiting our website at rxforsuccesspodcast.com to subscribe, and while you’re there, learn how to get CME credit from CMFI just by listening. [49:50] Special thanks to Ryan Jones, who created and performs our theme music, also Craig Claussen of Claussen Solutions Group, who edits the show.
And remember, be sure to fill your prescription for success with my next episode.