Dr. Amit Gosalia of West Valley Hearing Center: “Time management is critical to a successful practice”

Time management is critical to a successful practice. In the early days of my practice, I would only schedule time after hours to work on the practice. The problem with this was, first, I would be exhausted by 7pm, and second, no one was around to meet or talk to after hours! The lesson was […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Time management is critical to a successful practice. In the early days of my practice, I would only schedule time after hours to work on the practice. The problem with this was, first, I would be exhausted by 7pm, and second, no one was around to meet or talk to after hours! The lesson was to schedule time during the day to work on the practice, and schedule meetings over lunch. My business partner, my wife Charmi, would handle a lot of the business when I was busy with patients, and we made a good team!


As a part of our interview series with prominent medical professionals called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly Successful Private Practice” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Amit Gosalia, Board Certified Audiologist

Dr. Amit Gosalia has been a proven leader in the audiology profession from the state level to the national level. He has been invited to speak to physician groups, news channels, national and international conferences, along with mentoring future doctors in the profession across the US.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you ended up where you are?

I knew from a very young age, I wanted to be a doctor. My father is a, now retired, Cardiologist and all of his friends were physicians. I was surrounded by it. I manifested that when I grew up, I would be a doctor. Well, 4 years of having too much fun in undergrad put a damper on that dream, temporarily. After moving back home, searching for what I was going to do with my life, I ended up meeting a lady who sold hearing aids in Phoenix. She wore a lab coat and had, what I thought, a stethoscope around her neck. “I’m like a doctor who helps people hear” was all I needed to hear to jump 2 feet in. However, after over a year of working with her, I realized I needed some didactic education in the hearing sciences, known as “audiology”. She was not an audiologist, in fact, she didn’t even have a college degree — not quite the doctor after-all.

After graduating from Arizona State University, I made a handshake deal with a doctor to see patients and eventually buy her out after 5 years. Unfortunately for everyone, her husband passed away, right at 4.5 years and our handshake deal fell through. The lesson I learned was always get agreements in writing. However, this ended up being a blessing in disguise. I knew little about business at this point, and if I had purchased that business, it most likely would have failed. However, as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens.

In 2007, an opportunity appeared. There was a small to medium sized practice in Vancouver Washington, looking to hire a doctor and the owners wanted to eventually transition out. On paper, it looked great, however it was almost an identical situation to my first attempt at purchasing a private practice, join the practice and buy my way in after 5 years…but this time we signed legal documents! 5 years is a long time and the anticipation started weighing down on me. After 4 years my wife Charmi and I purchased the business and got to work. We engulfed ourselves within the community, following our philanthropic spirit, and the community responded in kind. We both joined numerous non-profits, volunteered on boards, got involved with civic leaders and networked at every opportunity we could! The term ‘audiology’ became a household term in Vancouver WA thanks to all the PR we did.

We ‘3Xd’ the practice, meaning we grew the private practice to 3 times what it was, and in 2017 decided to sell the practices for a substantial sum and move to Los Angeles where I’ve partnered at West Valley Hearing Center. I’ve taken those lessons and have applied them here, and we’ve seen steady growth year over year.

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?

This is a great question! I can’t just name one, because the reality is for me there are three pillars of mentorship: Professional, Leadership and Financial. My professional mentor is Dr. Wayne Staab who taught me so much about audiology and hearing aids. He also introduced me to some of our profession’s biggest names. As my professor, he asked our whole class if anyone wanted to volunteer at the American Auditory Society meetings where all the big-name researchers in hearing sciences came to share their work. I was the only one who went! To this day, I still use his lessons with students I currently teach! 
My leadership mentor has to be Dr. Gail Whitelaw of THE Ohio State University. She has tirelessly worked on the national level and the state level to make our profession a better one. What she’s taught me is that we need to be go-givers and pass on our knowledge and experience to the future of our profession, and her students love her for that reason. She doesn’t stop giving. I find that I have been trying to mirror her passion and do what I can to help the future of our profession with the same level of humility and enthusiasm.

Regarding the financial mentor, you may not believe me, and I promise she is not standing over my shoulder! My financial mentor has been my wife, Charmi. She began a path towards leadership, following and learning from financial leaders. Suddenly we had books, audiobooks and even podcasts playing everywhere we went in the car… and of course, we started saving!

I can not be where I am without these three pillars of mentorship, it is who I am.

What made you want to start your own practice? Can you tell us the story of how you started it?

In 2007, an opportunity appeared. There was a clinic in Vancouver Washington, looking to hire a doctor and the owners wanted to eventually transition out. On paper, it looked great, however it was almost an identical situation to my first attempt at purchasing a private practice, join the practice and buy my way in after 5 years…but this time we signed legal documents! 5 years is a long time and the anticipation started weighing down on me. After 4 years, In 2012, my wife Charmi and I purchased the business and got to work. We engulfed ourselves within the community and the community responded in kind. We love giving back in all forms of philanthropy. We both joined numerous non-profits, volunteered on boards, got involved with civic leaders and networked at every opportunity we could! We 3Xd the practice, meaning we grew the private practice to 3 times what it was, and in 2017 decided to sell the practices for a substantial sum. I’ve taken those lessons and have applied them in a private practice that I’ve partnered with in Los Angeles, and we’ve seen steady growth year over year.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I met a young man, recent veteran of the US Armed Forces. He indicated that he was suffering from severe ringing in the ears, couldn’t get any relief but could not afford to get appropriate care. He hadn’t slept in days. Quit his job. He tried drinking, sleeping pills…both together, just to get a full night’s sleep. He was on the verge of suicide. He asked if I could help him and if he could pay me later.

This was extremely humbling, and I knew I had to help this guy, not matter what it cost. It was this experience that made me realize that even though I was early on in my career, I had to make space for giving back to those who needed me the most. And my patient? After 7 visits, he stopped drinking, was sleeping well and started working again!

Because it is a “helping profession”, some healthcare providers struggle with the idea of “monetization.” How do you address the business aspect of running a medical practice? Can you share a story or example?

The fundamental issue that many doctors I run into is they don’t appreciate their own value. Yes, we all got into healthcare for the ‘care’ part if it, however, the years of education, professional liabilities, overhead and equipment costs, can be extremely costly. It all comes down to value and that value is commensurate with that level of education and risk.

When I was in my program, a guest speaker, Jim Kothe, asked our class, if there was a perfect solution to cure hearing loss, what would you pay? The answers ranged from 100 dollars to 10 million dollars! His response was that whatever we wrote was how much we valued our hearing. 20 years later, I tell you, he is 100% right. How is that relevant? We are valuable. We get paid to improve our patients’ quality of life, and there is no price for great health. Doctors are valuable.

Managing being a provider and a business owner is a constant balancing act. How do you manage both roles?

After I purchased my first practice, I learned about different types of owners. Since I was the sole provider at my practice, I could not be an ‘owner investor’ who could be the owner but not involved in the day-to-day. What I needed to be at that time was an ‘owner doer’, balancing both being the doctor and the owner. I knew my strengths and my weaknesses, and micromanaging staff was not a strength of mine. I relied on, and trusted my team. We had a policy and procedures handbook that everyone was required to not only follow daily, but also use as a reference so that I wasn’t being asked questions in between patients where I could make an impulsive decision, which could be incorrect. Surrounding yourself with a trusted team is the only way to manage a growing and/or striving business.

From completing your degree to opening a practice and becoming a business owner, your path was most likely challenging. Can you share a story about one of your greatest struggles? Can you share what you did to overcome it?

Cash flow. We never learned about cash flow in school! Within 5 months of starting my practice, I was running out of money faster than it was coming in. It became obvious, we were not budgeting appropriately, and my staff were paying our accounts payable in full, versus net30/45/60/etc! It took some deep digging to figure it out, but once we figured it out…we also found a lot of other issues. Thank goodness insurance payments started coming in and we never looked back. Cash is king.

The path to where I am now wasn’t a smooth one, can you tell me an entrepreneur’s story that wasn’t?! I think the story I like to share with my students and young doctors is when I had hit rock-bottom. One bad quarter. No income and no savings yet. When I hit bottom was the day my wife called me from the grocery store and the credit cards wouldn’t work. I knew why…we were broke, credit cards maxed. I knew at that moment that I could never let that happen again. Cash flow was so critical. Decided to begin a small salary to pay myself. To this day, it still gives me anxiety, thinking about that situation but I now know, that putting aside 6 months of operating expenses (including my own salary) was critical for those rainy days.

Ok, thank you. Here is the main question of our interview. What are the 5 things you need to know to create a thriving practice, and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Goal-setting & budgeting
  2. Cash-flow
  3. Delegate
  4. Know your patient demographics
  5. Time management

As a business owner you spend most of your time working IN your practice, seeing patients. When and how do you shift to working ON your practice? (Marketing, upgrading systems, growing your practice, etc.) How much time do you spend on the business elements?

Time management is critical to a successful practice. In the early days of my practice, I would only schedule time after hours to work on the practice. The problem with this was, first, I would be exhausted by 7pm, and second, no one was around to meet or talk to after hours! The lesson was to schedule time during the day to work on the practice, and schedule meetings over lunch. My business partner, my wife Charmi, would handle a lot of the business when I was busy with patients, and we made a good team!

I understand that the healthcare industry has unique stresses and hazards that other industries don’t have. What specific practices would you recommend to other healthcare leaders to improve their physical or mental wellness? Can you share a story or example?

Lots of drinking…is what I thought would help early on. It became obvious that the stress of running a successful practice was beginning to weigh down on me and the drinking was causing many negative effects. My ability to make decisions was getting cloudier and cloudier.

Meditating, reviewing my SMART goals and daily exercising has allowed me to be more organized mentally and kept me on track to keep all of my separate businesses. I do believe in this process now, even though for years it was recommended to me, and I kept blowing it off.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story about how that was relevant in your own life?

I have to share these two quotes since they are both foundational quotes for me and are interrelated. “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” and “If you take care of your patients the business will come”.

What I’ve done differently than many other doctors is not focusing so much on each individual patient and which services to promote to generate revenue. By promoting patient care and genuinely caring for my patients, they opt to choose what’s best for them and I don’t come off sounding like an apathetic doctor who is just looking to overbill. By focusing on best practices and patient care, I was able to scale my practices, and continue to scale our current practice in Los Angeles.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Visit my website at www.drgosalia.com, Instagram/Twitter/LinkedIn: @DrGosalia and my YouTube channel @DrGosalia

Thank you for these great insights! We wish you continued success and good health!

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    Dr. Amit Gosalia Of West Valley Hearing Center: “Communication”

    by Jerome Knyszewski
    Community//

    Dr. Zain Husain: “Be the best at what you do.”

    by Dr. William Seeds
    Community//

    Karol Ward: “Practice Building Mindset”

    by Luke Kervin
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.