As a part of my interview series with prominent medical professionals about “How To Grow Your Private Practice” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD medical director of Mudgil Dermatology, PC, is one of few dermatologists to be board certified in both dermatology and dermatopathology. Dr. Mudgil takes a holistic and wellness-based approach to his practice, which has locations in Manhattan and Long Island, New York. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Mt. Sinai.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell our readers a bit about your ‘backstory”?
I’m a dual board certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist with practices on Fifth Avenue in New York City and on Long Island. I practice cosmetic, medical and surgical dermatology. I’m a native New Yorker and always dreamed of running my own private practice. I’m all about the hustle and grind and love getting up every morning to do what I do!
What made you want to start your own practice?
I never imagined working for anyone but myself. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset since I was a kid. I’m very particular and somewhat unyielding in both my professional and personal life — it would be tough for me to not be the one calling the shots.
Managing being a provider and a business owner can often be exhausting. Can you elaborate on how you manage both roles?
It can definitely be challenging at times, particularly when it comes to staffing issues etc. It’s really about working through the tough times, looking within to see if maybe problems in the office stem from the top (namely, my decisions), and making necessary adjustments to improve office dynamics. There are always bumps in the road, but the key is being resilient and working to find solutions.
As a business owner, how do you know when to stop working IN your business (maybe see a full patient load) and shift to working ON your business?
Honestly, this is something I learned to do just recently (after practicing for nine years)! I was having numerous staffing issues and various other problems in my offices during late 2017 early 2018. I realized that I’d been working in my business and not on my business after reading Michael Gerber’s book the E-Myth Revisited. I literally went on a business book reading binge and made a lot of changes ON my business, which has really helped professionally, but also personally.
From completing your degree to opening a clinic and becoming a business owner, the path was obviously full of many hurdles. How did you build up resilience to rebound from failures? Is there a specific hurdle that sticks out to you?
The office issues I was having during late 2017/early 2018 were certainly a transformative time for me. Again, it’s having the fortitude and determination to work to find a solution and not giving in to the problems themselves. It’s a personal trait I guess — I know there’s always a solution. It’s a matter of grinding through issues and hustling to find the fix.
What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Grow Your Private Practice” and why?
Defining my personal core values has been really helpful for me in growing my practice. This is something I share with all my staff, so they know what I’m about, what my practice is about, and what we all need to do to serve our patients in the absolute best way possible. The following is literally taken from an email I send to all new staff.
- Care and Compassion: Our patients come to us in need. Our job is to try and understand their needs to the best of our ability and to help them with any problems they may have with sincerity and sensitivity. All of our patients should be treated in the same manner as you would a loved one, best friend, etc.
- Attention to Detail: As you know, this is my favorite term. Attention to detail means you are thorough and accurate in your work. This is what separates average from elite. Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Bruno Mars — these figures are the best at what they do because of their painstaking attention to the smallest of details. That’s the standard to which I hold myself and what I expect from all of you.
- Integrity: This means everything you do is done honestly and with the highest moral and ethical standards. Nothing less, ever.
- Accountability: Accountability means that we all share an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for our collective AND individual actions. We all make mistakes — it’s how we respond to the mistakes we make and the subsequent behavioral changes we personally implement to prevent the same mistake from happening over and over again that demonstrates accountability.
- The last thing to know, is that it takes time to grow a practice (years). Patience is key.
Many healthcare providers struggle with the idea of “monetization”. How did you overcome that mental block?
That’s a tough one for me still, at times. That being said, I realize that I personally don’t have an issue paying for top quality service, whether it’s at a restaurant, clothing store, hotel, doctor’s office etc.. As my practice has grown, I realize that I offer a unique service and my patients seek me out. Time for me now is incredibly valuable, more so now than when I started my practice nearly a decade ago.
What do you do when you feel unfocused or overwhelmed?
I shut down negative thoughts, focus on what needs to be done, and do it. Inaction creates anxiety. I buckle down and put in the work that needs to be done. It’s as simple as that.
I’m a huge fan of mentorship throughout one’s career — None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Who has been your biggest mentor? What was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?
Solo practitioners are few and far between these days. My biggest mentors were other docs who started their practices from scratch who were incredibly generous to me with their time and by sharing their valuable resources/connections with me when I was starting out. I’m incredibly grateful to all those who helped me in those early days, and I do my best to pay my gratitude back by being an open book for other young docs who are trying to hang up their own shingle.
What resources did you use (Blogs, webinars, conferences, coaching, etc.) that helped jumpstart you in the beginning of your business?
It was honestly just picking the brains of other docs in private practice in New York City who’d already done what I was aspiring to do.
What’s the worst piece of advice or recommendation you’ve ever received? Can you share a story about that?
Ha! When I was a resident, I overheard a senior doctor who was in private practice talking about the virtues of working for herself and the benefits of being in private practice etc.. When I was getting close to graduating, I reached out to her and mentioned that it was a dream of mine to open up my own office in Manhattan (close to the neighborhood where her practice is) and was hoping to pick her brain. She literally took a complete 180! She told me running a practice was a real headache, too much administrative burden etc. etc.. Boy am I glad I shut out that negativity, and decided to move forward.
Please recommend one book that’s made the biggest impact on you?
There are too many to name! The E-Myth Revisted (Michael Gerber); Crushing It! (Gary Vaynerchuk); The 10X Rule (Grant Cordone) are three good ones!
Where can our readers follow you on social media?
For other incredible interviews, please check out our podcast: Healthcare Heroes.
A special thanks to Dr. Clairborne again! The purpose of this interview series is to highlight the entrepreneurs, innovators, advocates, and providers inside Healthcare. Our hope is to inspire future healthcare providers on the incredible careers that are possible!