How to attract surgeons (business)

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by HollywdAnesth, 05.13.14.

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  1. HollywdAnesth

    HollywdAnesth 2+ Year Member

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    I work for a small private practice group, and we are always on the lookout for new business. We have tried everything from visiting surgeons at their clinic to catering lunch in the doctor's lounge. If this were baseball, our batting average would be abysmal.

    What do you do to get surgeons to use you?
     
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  3. ThoracicGuy

    ThoracicGuy 2+ Year Member

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    What do I look for in an anesthesiologist? I want them to be quick with intubations, epidurals, and preop work (a-lines, cvl, etc). They need to be personable. They should listen to our needs during surgery and communicate appropriately with us during and after the case. To be honest, most of the anesthesiologists I've worked with have been able to do that. Perhaps the surgeons you are visiting already have that where they work? Also, though, the hospitals I've always been at have only one group of docs, so its not like I have my choice between groups. As surgeons we don't have a big say in the hiring and firing of anesthesia.
     
  4. urge

    urge 7+ Year Member

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    Don't do that.

    As far as I can tell, all a surgeon cares is about having OR time.
     
  5. HollywdAnesth

    HollywdAnesth 2+ Year Member

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    Unless the hospital has an exclusive anesthesia contract, you have absolute say in the hiring and firing of anesthesia.

    You said everything which I suspected. As long as someone shows up and the patients wake up comfortably, surgeons don't care tremendously about who's passing the gas.

    Thanks
     
  6. Stank811

    Stank811 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Hollywdanesth….what does your small group bring to the table that the existing anesthesia practice already doesn't…essentially what are you telling these surgeons your group is going to do better
     
  7. nimbus

    nimbus Member 10+ Year Member

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    Are you in a surgeon request community? If so it can be difficult to disrupt the existing allegiances.
     
  8. Guy Caballero

    Guy Caballero 2+ Year Member

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    In general, the same rules that apply in other aspects of life (avoiding traffic tickets, getting into exclusive clubs, avoiding sexual harassment charges etc) apply here.

    1. Be handsome.
    2. Be attractive.
    3. Don’t be unattractive.
     
  9. gasdoc77

    gasdoc77 2+ Year Member

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    They say people are subconsciously attracted to a large head. There's always cranial augmentation.
     
  10. HollywdAnesth

    HollywdAnesth 2+ Year Member

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    That's the biggest question I have. I don't think there is a noticeable difference between the anesthetics given by reasonably competent providers. We need the work, so we show up. I pass cards out to anyone I can. If I see a surgeon waiting on anesthesia, then I usually chat him/her up and give them a card.

    As brash as we make surgeons out to be, many are very hesitant to drop whomever they are using for the sole reason of avoiding hurt feelings. It's boggling.
     
  11. urge

    urge 7+ Year Member

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    Your current model is not clear to me.
    Are you credentialed in a hospital with lets say 20 other anesthesiologists but no real group? Are you constantly going after each other's business?

    What if surgeon A wants you, but you are busy with surgeon B?
     
  12. HollywdAnesth

    HollywdAnesth 2+ Year Member

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    I work at multiple hospitals, most of which have at least 3 groups of anesthesia providers credentialed there. We are not constantly going after each others' business, but nurses and OR staff will tell us "Dr. A had to wait 2 hours for his anesthesiologist the other day, he was pissed.." or "Dr. B took an hour and a half to get someone to sleep for a total hip. Dr. Ortho was really upset and had to cancel 3 clinic patients..."

    I'm surprised that nobody else here has this problem. Does everyone primarily work for a large group with exclusive contracts?
     
  13. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    Yeah, one group owns the contract at every hospital I work at.

    I'm surprised that Investigation Discovery doesn't have a show on every other week detailing the sordid succinylcholine-dart murders of anesthesiologists poaching other anesthesiologists' business at your hospital ...
     
    okayplayer likes this.
  14. RocurWorld

    RocurWorld ASA Member 5+ Year Member

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    So where I'm at now every hospital has an exclusive contract with the anesthesia groups. I'm moving to Denver soon, and it seems there it is like the setup the op is talking about. There are multiple groups in a hospital. Different surgeons use different groups. There are no exclusive contracts, and there are some solo practitioners even. I'm told though that there isn't much competition or poaching of surgeons; but they did say an anesthesiologist will occasionally leave a group to practice solo with a surgeon or group of surgeons. It's certainly an interesting set up.
     
  15. psychbender

    psychbender Cynical Member 10+ Year Member

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    So, how does call work? Is it a rotating system where group A is on call Monday, group B Tuesday, solo practitioner X Wednesday, etc? Do people from the different groups help each other out if there are problems? Sorry for the naivete, I only have experience with academic or single-group coverage.
     
  16. HollywdAnesth

    HollywdAnesth 2+ Year Member

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    The hospitals will have an ER call schedule for anesthesia and they usually just alphabetically fill the calendar days with all of the anesthesiologists that are credentialed at the hospital. Jan 1 AA, Jan 2 AB, Jan 3 etc. Now if my name comes up in the ER call schedule, I have my office number listed. The office will the caller who is taking for my group. Thus we just take call when we take call for our individual group, and we cross cover each other if they happen to be on ER call.
    As for our surgeons, when they have a case to do after hours then they will call us directly.
    When a surgeon takes ortho or face or whatever kind of call at the hospital, but his/her normal anesthesiologist doesn't work there, then they will use the ER Anesthesia call person.

    I hope this makes sense. It's a total matrix of confusion. I just go wherever they tell me to when I'm on call.
     
  17. Stank811

    Stank811 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Interesting….that arrangement sounds painful. I can see how in such an arrangement a pushing surgeon could drive poor medical decisions by an anesthesiologists due to the need to retain business.
     
  18. nimbus

    nimbus Member 10+ Year Member

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    Or it can be a great practice. Working with a small group of surgeons you know well, like, and trust.
     
  19. SaltyDog

    SaltyDog 7+ Year Member

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    My hospital is staffed by 2 different anesthesia groups (MD only) although it's not quite as extreme as the open market in the Denver area. This arrangement is rather unusual in my area despite the fact that all of the hospitals in the county have open staffing and no exclusive contracts.

    For all intensive purposes, we operate as a single department. The schedule is written as though all of us were in the same group. There is a gentleman's agreement that both groups maintain equal numbers on staff. A member from each group alternates writing the monthly call schedule month to month, and we each get to pick our own room everyday according to our place in the call lineup. We just never hand-off cases to each other (even within the same group); our billing goes to our billers, and the other group's billing goes to theirs. Surgeons are not allowed to request a specific anesthesiologist/group.
     
  20. HollywdAnesth

    HollywdAnesth 2+ Year Member

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    The problem with working with a small group of surgeons is that any vacation/illness/birth can derail your business significantly.
     
  21. RocurWorld

    RocurWorld ASA Member 5+ Year Member

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    really? c'mon man, you're a doctor!
     
  22. BuzzPhreed

    BuzzPhreed

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    For all intents and purposes, what you really need to do, HollywdAnesth, is go find about 2-3 tall, thin, athletic, attractive 25-year-olds and get them on the payroll. Just part time. Won't take much dough. You send these people to the surgeons offices on a weekly basis. They have to be flirty. They have to have personality. They don't have to do much else. You offer these people as "practice liaisons" for the surgeons. They will be clinical coordinators and problem solvers for the surgeons. They give a brief description of your practice and what you have to offer. They hand the surgeon a business card with their number on it for the surgeon to call if there are any problems. Each time they call the first question asked is whether or not they booked any cases with your group. You just keep hammering this home. Don't take them food. Take them eye candy.

    This would work for the vast majority of surgeons I know. Most of whom are nerds and never got that much unsolicited attention from hotties before in their life. The new rules for drug reps don't apply in this situation.
     
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  23. Kahreek

    Kahreek 2+ Year Member

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    if i was the surgeon, trust me she would have to do something else, woooooooop wooop
     
  24. MaximusD

    MaximusD Anatomically Incorrect 10+ Year Member

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    Kill it with fire!

    "For all intents and purposes..."
     
  25. HollywdAnesth

    HollywdAnesth 2+ Year Member

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    I will bring this up at the next partner's meeting.
     
    InGen likes this.
  26. core0

    core0 Which way is the windmill 7+ Year Member

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    A long time ago it used to work this way. Surgeon calls to book case. OR charge nurse says which anesthesia group do you want? Surgeon says call Some Divorced Anesthesiologists. Charge nurse calls and books case. In the office the scheduler would book the OR time and then book the anesthesia. If one group couldn't do the case (rare) then there was another group. Lots of these surgeons go back and forth between hospitals and the anesthesiologist follows them.
     
  27. BuzzPhreed

    BuzzPhreed

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    5'6"-5'8" 120-125 lbs. Go to local gym for recruits. Find a redhead, brunette, and blonde. Naturally smiley and pretty is best. Offer them a small salary but also offer to pay them a a substantial bonus for whatever surgeons they 'convert' to and retain in your practice. Trust me. This is gold.
     
  28. FFP

    FFP Offline Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Isn't it easier to find CRNAs who satisfy the same "professional" qualities? The same way certain surgeons cannot stop working with certain PAs, they melt with certain opposite sex anesthesia providers.
     
  29. BuzzPhreed

    BuzzPhreed

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    My way you avoid potential... ahem... "conflict of interest."
     

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