In the Garden of Eden, during the fall of man, God asked Adam: “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Adam answered by blaming his wife, Eve. And when God asked the woman: “What is this that you have done?” Eve responded by blaming the serpent. Man’s inability to take responsibility for his wrongs, it seems, was embedded in his genetic makeup from the beginning of time.
In my twenty-five years in private practice, there has been plenty of serpents to blame for my personal and business woes. I was never short of excuses for my failures, shielding myself in the process from my inadequacies. I had also witnessed dozens of colleagues abandoning the medical profession, driven to other fields, and hiding behind similar excuses to mine for their failure.
Some had gone on to thrive in their newly found occupations, but for others, disappointment stalked the rest of their professional lives. For the latter, I am certain no other question tormented them more than: What does it take to win? What does it take to get things right in their floundering medical practises?
Winning in business is a seminal objective since success extends beyond the individual. Not only do our health practises prosper but also our families, children and marriages win. Winning at work can lead to being a champion at home. If for anything else then, that is why the message contained in Dr. Makuluma’s compelling and riveting book is vital. Inspired by his own experience, and profoundly stirred by the doom he witnessed in private practice, the author’s sublime ‘project’ reminds us that success, and indeed failure in health care practice, is often not by accident.
Success, he tells us, is a choice. When we run a race, we should do so with the mind of a champion: and that is do so with a plan to win and not surrender to the myriad business setbacks endemic in the medical profession.
In “The Business of Health Care” Dr. Makuluma gives us his blueprint-a strategy which when properly executed would eliminate flaws in private health practice, unravel the mystery behind success, and lead to victory. The genius of his plan is the sheer simplicity of its precepts. The author readily confronts the complexities of running a medical practice with carefully thought out principles, and with also simple but deliberate language.
From the outset, he jolts the reader with invaluable advice: The key to successfully operate a health practice is to be financially literate. This is the “basic formula”, he writes, for operating any business. On the surface this observation is obvious, and yet it remains the cardinal reason for the failure of many health practises.
It has also been stated repeatedly in several different ways throughout the ages. “A fool and his money are soon parted”: goes the old adage. “The men who can manage men manage the men who can manage things, and the men who can manage money, manage …