The most important revelation with regard running a practice and indeed our lives in an efficient and happy manner, really comes from Michael Gerber. I call it life’s sanity mantra.

Michael first said in his landmark book The E-Myth ‘…we cannot manage people because people are basically unmanageable’.

Give up trying to manage your children, give up trying to manage your spouse, give up trying to manage your staff, give up trying to manage your patients.

The biggest mistake in training students as well as some “accountable care” in my opinion is they teach we can actually “manage patients”.

We cannot manage patients behavior. 

We can only manage processes. 

We can empower them to make good choices, but you cannot manage them.

Understand and continually remind yourself of these facts just as I have to day after day after day. Remind yourself of this the next time a patient does not take your advice. If something is not working in patient care, it’s often something wrong with your systems.

But here is the good news: You can design, tweak, invent, enforce your practice systems and indeed your personal life.

You can control how much money you save, you can control how much you exercise.

You can control how much time you devote to education, vacations and so on and so forth and you must accept responsibility and operate your life under this premise if you’re  going to be happy, and successful.

To this end, lets never stop helping one another and radically improve healthcare in the process!


Patti Hayes is CEO of Perfect Practice Web, and has 30+ years experience in practice management.

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