- Lisa E Goldman, MD, MSW
How to do a Humble Grand Opening for your independent ideal medical clinic.
There are millions of ways to open your own practice and billions of ways to plan an open house to let people know you are ready to see patients. Mine went very well and no two healers have the exact same vision so everyone will have a different twist on how to do your open house. I may do another one someday once I catch up with the many small tasks around here. I have gotten some unbelievably magical conversations with my new patients who are turning up like daffodils on a spring day. How did this happen? Magic and Love I suppose.
Whole Human Psychiatry’s Humble Grand Opening happened on March 8 and 9 at Solar Powered Offices in Tucson. It was so much fun and there are still left over cup cakes in the freezer which are making me eat them one at a time every night until they are gone. Now my escaped doctor friends around the country are asking me how I did my humble grand opening....... well......
I started out small and this reflects my ideal psychiatry practice. I’m hoping to keep it small. I like having a tiny, highly personalized psychiatry practice and I don’t want a corporate drive through production driven clinic. Ever.
The human people I get to take care of are a joy to me. To attract the right group of these people, I decided to dispense with formalities and pretense. And just let people know I’m here and I’m ready.
I just opened it up to people I know in my town, announced it via Facebook, messenger, and to a few key people I texted or called them. There were others I should have texted or called but I didn’t plan it out perfectly and so unfortunately some of my favorite people didn’t come because they couldn’t or they didn’t know about it which would be my fault.
Andy was reffing volleyball that weekend and he had that lined up months earlier and was just as glad to let his wife be the boss of her own party. He was just happy that I was happy.
At any rate........ I borrowed the conference room in my building where I’m renting office space. It is basically a room with
a table and 8 chairs, nothing fancy.
I began collecting art supplies (this might be too hokey for a family medicine or internal medicine practice but I’m psychiatry and I’m in a pretty informal town so I can get away with the art project idea). I found old used magazines in thrift stores, got a whole lot (well like 3 dozen maybe) and glue stick, scissors, glitter, rubber cement, sequins, markers, tape, feathers from every weird fabric store or crafts store in town and bought poster board at Target.
Then I took the poster board to a FedEx late at night so they wouldn’t ask me what I was doing, and used their paper slicing paper cutter to slice each piece of big awkward poster board into four pieces so I could get four times more manageable sized art poster boards for my money.
On the afternoon of the Humble Grand Opening I laid out all the art supplies on the table before the guests arrived. (I should have allowed two or three hours or accepted more offers of help to do this but I’m a last minute control freak so I was scrambling around last minute like the ADHD Jewish mother that I am), bickering with my dad who was there trying to help by staying out of the way.
I saved the food run for the last errand of the day before the Humble Grand Opening so that ice wouldn’t melt and cheese slices wouldn’t produce food poisoning.....
I served snacks (a veggie tray, fruit salad, cheese, crackers, potato chips, red vines, wine, coffee, water, apple juice, soda and cupcakes). I set up a music mix from tunes I picked out just set up to play from a laptop. Some hillbilly music, a bit of Latin pop, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, The Clash, Black Eyed Peas, Howling Wolf, Perez Prado, you know, just ordinary party music. A little something for everyone.
I planned the outline of the event about a month in advance but didn’t hone down the details till a couple days before. I held the event on a Friday afternoon and then on Saturday the next day, from 3-8pm both days. I told people to just drop by whenever convenient and stay however long they liked.
Most people took the opportunity to make an artwork but not everybody did. The artwork idea is to create a vision board. By cutting out images that appeal to you and arranging them, you get a very original collage and just about everybody can come up with an idea that becomes successful and unique. Tell people to imagine their ideal life and what’s included in that. You get some really cool surprises that way!
It was really more than anything else like a homecoming party I made for my friends to just let them know I came back to town after being gone for 5 months and that my doors are open. Even if no referrals come out of it directly, it was fun to just hang out with friends. And I’m not worried about my business taking off. I have so much fun taking care of the amazing smart and interesting people who come in to see me for psychiatry It’s almost scary. But super fun. THIS is what all those long painful rotten years of medical training was all for! I look forward to coming to work now!
There is a word in Yiddish that means “homemade” or “slapped together”. Ungepatchka. It describes kind of what I did with the humble grand opening for whole human psychiatry. Some Martha Stewart type people like a more organized affair................................. Oh well, good for them.
It wasn’t big. It wasn’t fancy. But it was fun. I do a lot of stuff just spur of the moment without thinking it through a lot and I usually get better results that way. The magic ingredient here seemed to be the love from my friends that made them show up and made them overlook all kinds of imperfections.
I am finding that so much good can come from every last one of us following our dreams and listening to the inner wise voice that tells us our life’s purpose which for some of us involved following our impulses to be creative and to live our our fantasies of helping people. I figure I will let the big greedy insurance companies look after themselves. I’m having too much fun just hanging out with my friends and neighbors, starting my tiny psychiatry practice and taking care of amazing and super awesome patients! Let’s turn up the music, eat vegan cupcakes and dance!