What’s Your Story?
I’m a Physician in Atlanta. I have been practicing here for over 25 years and my area of particular expertise is in the non-surgical treatment of uterine fibroids. For many years I have wanted to create my own Center for treating women, but this model did not fit conveniently in to the group practice who originally hired me. They only wanted me to see patients from the hospital that they covered. It became obvious to me that we had different missions, and therefore, I left the group thirteen years ago to start my own Practice. Three years ago, I realized my dream of constructing my own Center and we have had the privilege to care for patients from throughout the Southeastern United States, as well as from a number of countries around the world!
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I never consciously decided this. I knew that the way Medicine is being practiced was not to my liking. I wanted patients to enjoy the medical experience as much as we could make it for them. There was (and I would contend there still is) no Center in the country that is like ours. Our Center has been recognized for clinical excellence, patient care, and patient satisfaction from a number of independent agencies. We have customer satisfaction scores that hospitals can only dream of. Having my own Center allows me to hire only those individuals that understand our mission and have the highest Hospitality Quotient (measurement of one’s ability to take pleasure in pleasing other people). If there was a model like ours, I wasn’t aware of it, so I created it along with my team. At that moment I guess I became an entrepreneur.
What do you wish you knew before you started your business?
I wish my Medical School would have offered courses in business. I had absolutely no business knowledge when I started my Practice, so I formed teams of people that I felt could help me fill in those large gaps. I also wish I would’ve had the nerve to have left my original group practice years earlier. I tried to force a square peg into a round hole, but eventually I realized I needed to make the jump in to solo Practice, and that it would be ok. It was scary, but it turned out my gut was right, and was the second best decision I have ever made in my life (marrying my wife #1).
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
That failing is ok. My former group practice was so afraid of failure that it would paralyze them in to inaction which is actually worse. Measure everything so that if you fall short you can learn from it and correct it for the future.
What advice do you have for an aspiring entrepreneur?
Believe in yourself and trust your instincts. Surround yourself with the smartest people you can find to help you bring your business to life. Find a mentor who has done what you’re trying to do and see if they’d be willing to help you in any way. Be strategic and analyze the landscape. Where are you strong and where are you weak? Try to anticipate things that could derail you and try head these off if you can (i.e. proactive vs reactive, chess vs. checkers mentality). Don’t be afraid to fail, but also learn from your mistakes. Stay positive and don’t listen to (or continue to employ) anyone who is negative or one who doesn’t believe in your mission. Celebrate every success (no matter how small) with your Team. Be grateful (and humble) with your successes. Get involved in your Community. Be a positive role model and give of your time (and eventually your money) to your Community as best as you can.
John C. Lipman, MD, FSIR
Founder & Medical Director
Atlanta Fibroid Center (A subsidiary of the Atlanta Interventional Institute)
Office Phone Number: 770-953-2600
Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30am - 5pm