Don’t be scared to take chances — when I first started practice I had 7000 dollars in my bank account and I had multiple offers for 6 figures. I opted to take out a loan instead of an offer, realized if I failed, it would be on my own terms.
As a part of our series bout business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Schnur.
Dr. Schnur is a brilliant businessman and community leader, but over everything else, he is a very dedicated doctor.
He is a Board Certified Family Physician who specializes in Internal Medicine.
Dr. Schnur trained at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach in both Internal Medicine and Cardiology. He is also the renowned author of “The Reality Diet”, and has been involved in the healthcare industry since 1991.
He is the founder of EliteHealth and ImHealthyToday. With EliteHealth, he is building a company that is all about the patient. With a “no waiting room” experience and employees trained in giving the patients a concierge experience.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I was always interested in being in a profession where I knew I could make a significant difference in someone’s life. For me, being a cardiologist made me feel that I could really impact a family. Heart disease is a leading cause of death, and I wanted to be in a field where I could prevent it. From seeing how sick people were getting, I wanted to be a more proactive physician, focusing more on wellness and prevention, which also led to writing a book, The Reality Diet, and ultimately led to my practice EliteHealth where I focus on prevention. I really founded EliteHealth to get rid of the pain points of the healthcare industry, I felt the healthcare system was failing us, and I needed to fix healthcare. I wanted to be a company that gets paid for keeping people healthy instead of getting paid for treating sickness; I wanted to change perspectives on how people see doctors.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
My latest project Imhealthytoday, is a turn-key program combining a robust national clinical network, COVID-19 testing, testing protocol, online assessment, and monitoring program with the latest guidance to reopen businesses and schools safely.
Imhealthytoday provides professional services, with people who have been properly educated and trained to manage this process for employers so that they can focus on their business. Imhealthytoday goes beyond the existing symptom checking apps, spot solutions, repurposed telemedicine offerings, and non-integrated contact tracing and testing.
We have created an AI-based, proprietary algorithm that is able to triage and optimize who is able to safely return to work or return to school and who isn’t. Imhealthytoday has taken the guesswork out of putting back to work and back to school programs in place. We focused on the optimal outcome for our clients and worked backwards to design the ideal system that fully integrates everything from identifying who is high risk to testing to contact tracing to fully integrated and specially trained telemedicine doctors.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
In medicine there’s a mantra “ you see one, you do one, and you teach one.” When I was in training and first learning how to stitch people up, I was working in the emergency room. A case came in that “taught” me, it was relatively simple with only a few stitches. The next case that came in my attending looked at me and said it was my turn to “do one”. The patient was a 40-year gentleman who had severe lacerations running down his face that required 200 stitches. It took me 6 hours to stitch his face, and when I looked at him I realized I had stitched his face crooked, it didn’t line up perfectly straight. My attending advised me not to let him look at the mirror. So I had to keep him (and myself) calm, as he kept asking me for a mirror, and I just kept pushing it off, telling him his face was too swollen to even tell what it would look like. My attending then came back and together we had to remove 100 stitches and restitch him up. My advice would be “See 10, then do 1”
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
One of my mentors is Dr. Kenneth Ratzan, he’s on the advisory board of Imhealthytoday. He is the smartest physician that I have ever met. He is brilliant, there was not a case that could be presented to him that he didn’t know the answer to. He just knew everything about everything. When I was in training, I always wanted to be like him and I always tried to stump him. He taught me how to stay calm, collected and how to analyze cases. When he says to me you did an amazing job, it means a lot.
Today, I finally think there are things I know more than he does. He finally asked me for advice. He’s been a strong influence on what I’ve done.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
Being disruptive is good if you are looking for better solutions, thinking outside of the box. I was never good at being a follower, but I was also never scared of failing.
An example of a positive disruptor: getting rid of the pain points in the office. People don’t like to wait and at EliteHealth we have eliminated the waiting room experience, introduced our wellness pod. For me, a negative disruptor is trying to introduce too much technology into a doctor’s office; being too automated can lead to the depersonalization of the doctor/patient relationship.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
- Don’t be scared to take chances — when i first started practice I had 7000 dollars in my bank account and i had multiple offers for 6 figures. I opted to take out a loan instead of an offer, realized if I failed, it would be on my own terms.
- Go against the grain: When I decided to write a book, it was because I was encouraged by the owner of Books & Books, a local bookstore in MIami. Everyone else told me I couldn’t do it: I was a doctor, not a writer. As soon as I finished I took a meeting with a publisher in San Francisco, who signed the deal immediately. I became one of the highest-paid authors for health and wellness at that time.
- Don’t live in the past, don’t focus the future — focus on what you need to do today. Try to enjoy what you can do today and in the now to make yourself happy.
Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?
Leads, for me, have always been about networking. I am a huge believer in networking and using your network. I love meeting new people whether it’s going to events or just being social, I used to say — put me on Lincoln Road, and I will easily find 10–15 new clients.
I also think it’s important to invest in a good marketing plan; having a 360-degree approach is important and inclusive of PR, Social Media etc.
I also believe in leveling up, if you have the network to help build your own company, you also have the ability to give back. There are different ways to give back: by helping people build their business, enriching someone else’s life, or helping a patient who is really sick and can’t afford healthcare, it’s important to always talk about taking but giving back.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
I am going to do it with Imhealthytoday, my new venture focused on getting people back to work and school, their normal routines. Our mission is to virus-proof America.
Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. It’s great!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
- “There is no passion to be found playing small and settling for a life than the one you capable of living” — Nelson Mandela
- “Don’t be afraid to fail big and to dream big” — Denzel Washington
These quotes just about sum me up.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I am doing it with Imhealthytoday. We want people to be able to get back to their “normal” and feel comfortable, and safe, and know that they have access to a program that is doctor managed.
How can our readers follow you online? @elitehealth on social media Imhealthytoday.org
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!