I want to go a little off topic today and share a story with all of you: I want to tell you about our journey to starting Studio Med. We contemplated putting this on our "about" page but passed because we do not want to distract our patients from our mission and the services we provide. That being said, we do think our experiences in the past year might resonate with some of you and is worth writing about.
Let's start with the who and when. Olivia and I started entertaining the thought of Studio Med back in July 2016. We were both working in the procedure room for a private practice. We were such workaholics (and we still are!) back then we used to pull 10-hour shifts day in and day out. For a private practice it was quite a long shift. When we decided to quit our job and start Studio Med we contacted a good friend and an excellent ER doctor, Dr. Herman Chiu, to join us, and the rest was history.
Now I am sure you have heard stories like that, but the who and when are not nearly as interesting as the why. We started this venture for two reasons, one idealistic and one circumstantial. Having worked in multiple medical offices, both of us have learnt a great deal about the medical industry, and some of the things we have seen were hard to agree with. One of the things was the quality of patient care. We believe that half of patient care is medicine, and the other half has everything to do with, for a lack of a better term, customer services, which was missing in a lot of the offices we have worked in. I mean, we have all seen that Facebook friend cursing the living hell out of the 4-hour doctor's visit he/she just had. Difficulties in getting an appointment, long wait time, undertrained staff.. you name it, we have seen it. We were also baffled by how much insurance payments were a factor in the quality of care patients received on a daily basis. Sure, doctors got bills to pay and billing insurance companies is a pain in the behind, but enough is enough. We want to build an environment in which compassion and hospitality for the patient is the focus of every employee and make going to a doctor as hassle free as possible.
Okay, here's the kicker. We did not initially quit our job to go make the world better. We were actually offered a job from another doctor at the time and we both accepted the offer. Long story short, signing a contract before quitting your job does not guarantee anything. We were lied to, manipulated, and fresh out of a job. We kept our heads up high and decided we want to control our own destiny, and this horrific experience we deemed the first of many many more lessons to come in the following eight months.
We started doing researches, cold calling and looking for spaces. We learnt how to make business plans, cut costs, and budget. We learnt about marketing and SEO and how we still have a lot more learning to do. There were people who did not take us seriously because we are young (to be fair I still get carded when I order a drink to this day, so..) and we had to earn the respect little bit at a time. We went from not being able to contain our excitement to agony and back to excitement over and over because business is scary and demanding and it's new to us. But we would not trade it for anything in the world because we really believed in what we are doing, and what we will do in the future. I mean, a dose of optimism never hurts, right?
Bottom line is this: we are proud of what we do, and we are humbled to be at your service. To those who were treated poorly in a medical office, we hear you. To those who are now scared inside and out because of what the American Healthcare Act could mean to you and your family, we sympathize with you. And to those who are contemplating starting a company and happen to stumble upon this post, please know that you have our blessing.
So yea, it has been a long ride and we are still going strong. I hope for whatever reason you are reading this, you find some peace in knowing that hard work pays off and that our job is not to be perfect. We try and we learn and we fight, and we are all majestic survivors.
P.S. I am starting to really LOVE writing here. Don't mind me.