On 19th of July I am addressing a bunch of very smart doctors who have taken part in a competition to reach a particular status. I am doing a very small talk, and will do a long Q n A. I hope they are patient (!!) enough to listen to me..and listen to some unpalatable things like the following:
- Their education and training does not include business skills, Finance and practice management are as important as diagnostic skills. Not easy, but has to be learnt.
- Doctors are very busy and tired. So they cannot find time for money matters
- Doctors do a very expensive education course – and if it is funded by a loan, the EMI takes it toll on the earnings, leaving very little for investing.
- Doctors start earning very late. If they do their DM, they are about 33 by the time they finish their education.
- Because doctors are very busy it becomes easy for salesmen to sell them whatever they want.
- The income that is reflected in the Profit and Loss account is a function of what their accountant thinks should be shown as an income – the reality is nowhere near the shown figure.
- As many of them have a cash accumulated, the only “investment” that they can think of is property.
- Throwing data about equity performance vs. real estate performance is of no use to them – they have cash to be invested – which can only be invested in real estate.
- All the skill up-gradation that Doctors do is with regard to their own field and very little on practice management. Almost nothing on money management!
- Doctors are a little scared of technology, finance, income tax, search, seizure, raids and of course accountants – unless they are married to a CA!
- Most of the “finance” and “investment” knowledge that they have is got from their Accountants, real estate agents, or fellow doctors – and could be very lop sided.
- A very, very few doctors plan their practice – which means taking on a partner, creating a franchise, selling while retiring, taking a vacation, are all very difficult.
- Doctors ability to “market” their services is restricted to “hoping” that their existing clients will give them references. They do not even seek to members of networking organizations to learn the nuances of networking.
- Doctors idea of financial planning is largely restricted to tax planning – which means they buy assets (and claim interest and depreciation as “expenses”), or use some tricks given by their accountants.
- Insurance planning, wealth creation, making a will, financial goal setting, MIS, are alien to most doctors.
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