Firefighters, Fear, and the Future of Your Medical Group

The large red machine lumbered forward from behind, lights flashing. A fire engine heading off to a fire.

As horrible as a fire is — the danger involved, the risk of loss to the home or business owner — there’s also an inherent opportunity: an opportunity to rebuild, to renovate, and to renew. The stories of the phoenix or of Noah and the flood.

I’m not analogizing the horror of having your house burn down to some business situation. Rather, it’s to the action of the firefighters. To the fact they rush off to face the challenge of fighting the fire.

In healthcare today, whether it’s on the systemic level or the micro level, there are real business dangers. Many react to the danger much like they would if they were turned into a firefighter for the day: with absolute panic.

But, there’s opportunity inherent in healthcare business risks and fears. Many medical group leaders simply don’t see it.

Certainly, in either case, an actual fire or the fire of healthcare business uncertainty, the fears are real – it’s what you do in face of those fears, how you choose to act. That’s in large part a matter of perception.

I would assume that firefighters are still afraid of fire, but that at some point in their training, they way they view the situation evolves. It’s much the same for medical group leaders. It’s not denying risk, not denying the impact of significant consolidation, and not denying the other major changes impacting physicians and healthcare businesses. But it’s the evolution of how those situations are viewed. The risk remains but the opportunity burns through.

Start training to see the opportunity as opposed to only the risk.

This works on the group level as well as on the individual level. Within groups, choose the leaders who can and will focus on opportunity not just on preserving the status quo, or worse, on shrinking back on everything due to fear.

It’s also a function of group governance to the extent that groups must allow their leaders to lead, as opposed to choking them back, always restricting them to the zone of safety, the zone of the usual, which today is far more dangerous. (Get The Medical Group Governance Matrix, either on Amazon or for free, here.)

How do you view risk today? Do you view it as something to run from, something that you must simply try to minimize?

Or are you willing to run toward the fire, to maximize your opportunity?

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss


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