Believe in what you are doing. It is so much easier to sacrifice and work hard when you truly believe in your goal or end point. It is not an easy feat going through medical school and juggling work-life balance. Throughout the years, many doctors experience burnout and other health ailments, as well as the emotional and relationship toll that growing a thriving practice can have on medical professionals. Unless you truly believe in what you are doing, it will be difficult to see it through.
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. Gaurav Bharti.
Dr. Gaurav Bharti is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been recognized by American Airlines magazine as one of the “Best Plastic Surgeons of America” and a Castle Connolly Top Doctor. Dr. Bharti is highly focused on further the medical aesthetics industry through innovative concepts to improve patient outcomes and contributing to cutting-edge advancements. As a fellow mentor to the next generation of aesthetic surgeons, he has continued to contribute his expertise and continued education as an influential speaker in the industry. Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Bharti practices at H/K/B Cosmetic Surgery, where he also acts as Co-Owner and Managing Partner. Additionally, he also serves as Co-Founder of practice growth consulting firm, K&B Management.
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?
About 15 years ago, I met Dr. Bill Kortesis during plastic surgery residency in NC. Even from the beginning, we both found that our dissatisfaction for the status quo had challenged us to seek the absolute best patient outcomes and speared our vision to take patient care and later our practices to the next level. Five years ago, we became business partners and have successfully grown our practice to be instrumental in the aesthetic space with colleagues, business partners, and the general public.
We know that we wanted to take it a step further and shape the future of aesthetic medicine by creating a network of practices with the ecosystem to ensure that the most advanced procedures and techniques are implemented so that patients can attain their personal best. This ecosystem will not only provide patients with the ultimate experience, but also give providers the opportunity to enjoy an incredible lifestyle that is both lucrative and rewarding without the struggles of being a solo private practitioner on an island with no support.
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?
My biggest mentor is my father. The most valuable lesson I learned from him is that I can do anything I want, as long as I am dedicated and put forth the effort.
What made you want to start your own practice? Can you tell us the story of how you started it?
We wanted to be in our own practice to be able to provide patients with the highest level of care. Working in a hospital or university setting is very rewarding but often limits a plastic surgeon’s ability to really go above and beyond for our patients. We pride ourselves on innovation, new technology, patients experience, and the very best aesthetic results. We had to control every aspect of care and the only way we could do this was with our own practice.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
This is a tough question because every single patient interaction and every single business event have impacted and shaped the way we are today and where we will be tomorrow. Everyday is a unique opportunity and challenge in this profession. We have learned, and I personally have learned, to constantly grow from every experience and make tomorrow better than it is today. The experiences vary in great depth and each one is as interesting as the other.
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?
Physicians work extremely hard to get to a point where we can see patients, provide the care they need, and earn a living. We spend money to go to medical school and earn a mere stipend during residency and training. The long years, hard work, and sleepless nights have created physicians that emerge from training with mountains of debt. Working in a hospital or under another medical association is simple. We take a wage and call it a night. However, with your own practice, there are risks involved and a tantamount of hard work for everything we do. Fighting with insurance companies is a struggle that many in the profession must deal with.
Yet, we choose to be independent. We choose to provide the ultimate service and experience, and the simple transparency about pricing our services. Every medical practice is a business ultimately and has to be run like one, whether or not we choose to do it.
Managing being a provider and a business owner is a constant balancing act. How do you manage both roles?
It if often a struggle but overall, a great experience! We thrive on clinical care and ensure our practice is run in the best fashion and with the upmost integrity and value our patients deserve. There is a fine balancing act between being a business owner and a provider in the medical space. This balance consists of being fully aware of what needs to be done, what our patients need, and then ensuring that the business is run seamlessly so that employees can function in their roles to create a thriving 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?
Medicine is a very interesting space. We are taught to do everything in our power to provide for our patients but at the same time have to be extremely careful to ensure we do no harm and document and ensure that we are doing everything in a medicolegal fashion. Most physicians are in employed roles and many private practices have been rolled up and are now owned by larger entities. This has been a struggle for us because we want to change the face of medicine and change the face for aesthetics as a whole. To do that we have be innovative, we have to disrupt, we have to be able to recognize problems and act on them to fix broken systems. The only way we could do this is collaborate and synergize within our practice and with other professionals in the industry. Now our goal is continue this trajectory and provide the best patient care and environment for our colleagues to thrive.
The struggle has been sacrifice of time. We have to sacrifice personal wellbeing and time with our family routinely to be able to have this incredible enterprise we have built. It will we all worth it as we are building platforms to make the space more efficient and create opportunities for all involved to flourish and have greater qualities of life.
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.)
- Believe in what you are doing. It is so much easier to sacrifice and work hard when you truly believe in your goal or end point. It is not an easy feat going through medical school and juggling work-life balance. Throughout the years, many doctors experience burnout and other health ailments, as well as the emotional and relationship toll that growing a thriving practice can have on medical professionals. Unless you truly believe in what you are doing, it will be difficult to see it through.
- Have fun at work. Enjoying yourself at work not only makes you happy but elevates your team. As a plastic surgeon, I truly enjoy what I do and our team at K&B Management reflects this as well. Happiness is infectious.
- Be real. Honesty and being straight up with people is the best mentality. You will gain trust rapidly and be a better leader. Our patients and employees appreciate the authenticity we bring to the table and we have had many satisfied patients who continue to return or would vouch for our quality of work and care.
- Take care of your team. Acknowledging your team is crucial. They thrive off of your energy. Rewarding them with respect is more important than money. Our team at K&B Management is given the credit and recognition they deserve, and they remain motivated to help grow our thriving practice.
- Never forget the end goal. Never forget the why. This is key. The why is the reason we all do it. If we can remember that all the time, then the whole team is unified and will crush any goal. A great example is our team at K&B Management are always aligned and work towards the same goals for both the practice and our patients.
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?
This is a great question. We are always surgeons first because our patients are first in our books. But we are able to continually tie this directly into our operations and practice management. We work daily with our managers, assess the status of the practice, and tactically approach each day and specific time points between patients. We then have high yield rapid meetings with
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?
Stay active. Workout when you can. Make sure you take care of yourself and your family. Nurture friendships. And unplug from work daily.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story about how that was relevant in your own life?
Anything is possible when you apply yourself.
I have frequently found myself in situations when people have told me that is not possible, or you won’t be able to do that. But I have found ways to make things happen. From getting into plastic surgery or dealing with difficult situations that seem to have no solutions, I have taken a deep breath and thought about what my father taught me — “you can do anything.”
How can our readers further follow your work online?
My website is gbhartimd.com. Readers can also stay updated with the latest innovative practices at instagram.com/drgauravbharti and fb.com/GauravBhartiMD. My LinkedIn profile is linkedin.com/in/DrGauravBharti and I look forward to connecting with all of you.
Thank you for these great insights! We wish you continued success and good health!