A Novel Idea for Safety, Productivity and Less Stress

Sometimes the key to peak performance isn’t rooted in rigid discipline, trendy gadgets, or the latest app.

Sometimes the key to peak performance is a service or technology uniquely applied to a surgeon’s life, like the one my mentor, colleague, and fellow orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Richard Santore applied a few years ago.

His application? — Hire a Town Car service to drive him to and from work Monday through Friday.

Hire a Town Car?

OK—technically the idea isn’t Dr. Santore’s (he borrowed it from a few of his joint replacement friends in NYC and LA) but considering Dr. Santore is the one who brought it to my attention, I’m going to give him the credit.

Now, I wholeheartedly realize how pretentious this sounds.

Paying $900 per week for a car service, Jeff? Are you CRAZY?! You think THAT is a good idea?

But the truth is…it is a great idea for some surgeons.

Allow me to explain, as Richard explained to me...

Safety

In the day-to-day life of a surgeon, time is precious and every free minute sacred.

The more tasks you can take off your plate—tasks that really don’t need your attention or expertise—the more effectively you can focus on the things that do require your talents.

By outsourcing the responsibility of driving to a professional whose sole purpose is to get from Point A to Point B safely, Richard reduces the risks associated with commuting (speeding tickets, car accidents, sensory overload, and undue stress) to a minimum.

Stress

Driving to and from the office or hospital every day in heavy traffic isn’t a pleasure—it’s a pain.

A gauntlet of fast cars, untimed stop lights, honking horns, bicyclists, and pedestrians you must carefully avoid in order to get to the place where your actual skills as surgeon are put to use.

Instead of waking up every day to curse the impending commute, Richard smiles knowing he’ll be able to catch up on the news with a cup of coffee, take phone calls, check his email, and get valuable consulting work done while somebody else handles the driving.

Productivity

Since his one-way commute time is about 35 minutes, Richard spends 70 to 80 minutes in the car every day. With someone else handling the driving, there’s a lot he gets done in that time.

Besides, Richard has more consulting work to do than he can handle, and his hourly billing rate—$700—more than offsets the expense of the car—$85 including tax and gratuity for one-way to the hospital and then his office one mile away.

Imagine having a ‘really good stock broker’ who could take a $200 investment and give you $500 return daily—that’s what the car service is to Richard.  (His billed time $700 - $200 cost = net $500 or 250% return)

The car service isn’t an expense—it’s an income producing investment, with the car doubling as a WiFi-ready, mobile office.

And when the traffic is bad, he gets even MORE work done!

Expand Your Schedule

So, if you’re a surgeon looking for a creative way to expand your schedule, consider hiring a car service to handle your commute. Look at the operating expenses, cost savings, and planned revenue.

-Jeff

PS—Have your own creative way of freeing up time and getting more work done? Email me at jeff@jeffsmithmd.com to share your story.


 

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