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Q 1.    Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Ans:    I am a family doctor in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  I provide direct, personalized medical care to my patients. In a world where a visit to the doctor feels like sitting on an assembly line, I practice a different approach.  Patients can reach me by voice, text or email directly, any time. I don’t rush my patients and I listen carefully to learn what they need and how I can help.  I see patients in a peaceful office by the beach in Fort Lauderdale and I see patients in their own home when needed.

Q 2.    Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Ans:    I have been a family physician since the late 90s.  I went to undergraduate at Vassar College in New York and studied music and mathematics as well as the sciences.  I went to medical school at Des Moines University in Iowa.  I completed my residency in family practice in Miami, Florida.

I am also an amateur software engineer and I have made significant programming contributions to the OpenEMR project.  I have written an iOS app and published it to the Apple App Store.

I learned from a lecture in residency that a doctor only needs a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and a scale to see patients.  In 2005, I left my busy job at what I would call a big box clinic where I felt patients were treated more like cattle than human beings.  From that time forward, I have always made myself directly accessible to patients and treated them with the respect they deserve from their physician.  There have been many names for way I have worked for many years now,  Concierge medicine, VIP, micro-practice.  I would just call it being a good doctor and being there for my patients.

Q 3.    What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Ans:    While I continue to practice traditional family medicine, seeing patients for a variety of issues, I have recently made the treatment of opioid addiction a primary focus.  Opioid addiction, which is addiction to heroin and pain medications, has become an epidemic in the US. These drugs are deadly and they are killing many people every day. There is life saving treatment available in the form of a medication known as buprenorphine. A common brand name for this medication is Suboxone. The requirements for a doctor to prescribe this life saving therapy are very strict. I have worked hard to meet the requirements and to be compliant at the state and federal level so I can be available to help as many opioid addicted patients as possible.

There is also a movement in my area to prevent patients from having access to maintenance treatment with Suboxone. There are people who provide misinformation to suffering addicts to keep them away from the scientifically proven benefits of Suboxone.  Even the United States Surgeon General is urging doctors to provide this treatment to our patients.  My goal is to get the word out and educate patients and their families on the proven, life saving benefits of this standard of care treatment.  I also want my patients to know that addiction is a medical condition and not a moral failing. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.  There are also additional life saving treatments that can be provided, such as the naloxone auto injector.  This is a device which a family member or caretaker can use to save the life of an overdosing opioid addict.  There are also other long term treatment options that can be used to prevent dangerous relapses, such as the naltrexone monthly injection.

Q 4.    What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ans:    Do something to make a significant positive difference in the lives of your customers.  Do things differently from your competition to give your customers a better experience.  Be available to your customers and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Q 5.    What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans:    Do something that you love so much that when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep, you want to go right to work.  Do something that you are naturally good at so that if you work hard, you can do it better than anyone else.  Don’t give up, even when things seem hopeless.

Q 6.    How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans:    About 24 hours.  When I sleep, I dream about how I can do a better job for my patients.

Q 7.    To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans:    I attribute my success to being nice to people and listening carefully to their needs.  I also listen to advice and criticism and work hard to always improve my practices.

Q 8.    How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Ans:    The best marketing has always been word of mouth.  My patients love to recommend me to their friends and families and I appreciate that.

Q 9.    Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans:    I believe in keeping overhead expenses as low as possible and not being wasteful. A business should be funded by its own sales and grow slowly with a solid foundation.

Q 10.    What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans:    The best way to achieve long-term success is to not give up too soon and to always work on improving and educating yourself.

Q 11.    Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans:    I see myself continuing to provide excellent medical care to my patients and helping other doctors to do the same.

Q 12.    Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Ans:    I admire the work of Pamela Wible, M.D. in educating doctors on how they can better serve their patients by dropping out of abusive healthcare systems and working with their patients directly on a more personal level.

Q 13.    How important have good employees been to your success?

Ans:    Good employees make all the difference.  This is especially true in the world of medical clinics.  A good employee can help to make the patient’s experience pleasant and positive.

Q 14.    How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Ans:    If an idea is good, I don’t give up on it.  A person may only get a handful of great ideas in their life and if they know these ideas are great and they can improve the lives of others, they should never give up on these ideas, even if no one else understand their importance.

Q 15.    What motivates you?

Ans:    I am motivated by solving problems with novel, unique and effective solutions.

Q 16.    What are your ideals?

Ans:    My ideals are to continually educate myself and others and to help people solve problems to make their lives better.

Q 17.    How do you generate new ideas?

Ans:    I generate ideas by listening carefully when people speak, by reading and by going out in the world to have new experiences.  Applying ideas from one area to another is one of the best ways to come up with new solutions to solving problems.

Q 18.    How do you define success?

Ans:    I define success as having control of my own time and to be able to do things that I enjoy doing.

Q 19.    How do you build a successful customer base?

Ans:    I build a successful customer base by doing my best to solve my customer’s problems.

Q 20.    What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Ans:    I most enjoy the creative aspect of being an entrepreneur.  I love coming up with new ideas to solve problems and documenting procedures and systems to make things work better.

Q 21.    What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Ans:    One very satisfying moment in business was when I helped another local doctor by installing an open source EMR in his office that he had used at one of my locations in the past.  Once we got it up and running, he had a smile on his face and said, “there it is.”  I knew that he would be able to work more effectively and provide better care for his patients.  It was a way to improve the lives of many people beyond what I can normally do as a physician with one patient at a time.

Q 22.    What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Ans:    The major difference is owning your own time.  Yesterday I had to go to the dentist.  I let a few people know that I would be tied up for a few hours but I did not have to ask for anyone’s permission.

Q 23.    What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

Ans:    Trying out new ideas which often don’t work out eventually leads to discovering the ones that do work very well.  I promote creativity and the contribution of ideas in the workplace.

Q 24.    In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

Ans:    Freedom.

Q 25.    If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Ans:    I don’t know that I would do anything differently.  All of my experiences have contributed to who I am and what I can do to help other people.

Q 26.    How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Ans:    It is better.  I have more time to spend with my family and I can motivate my children to be entrepreneurs.

Q 27.    What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

Ans:    I often have fears of failure and I try to keep in mind what the worst case scenario is and that it is not as bad as I fear it to be.

Q 28.    How did you decide on the location for your business?

Ans:    My business is located in an area where I grew up and have lived most of my life.

Q 29.    Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Ans:    Yes, I believe that it is when a person determines how they can apply their own unique abilities to solving the problems of others to make their lives better, then they are on the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Q 30.    If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

Ans:    I would like to meet Benjamin Franklin and ask him what he would do differently in today’s world.

Q 31.    Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Ans:    My wife has been my greatest inspiration for believing in me and supporting me in my work even in difficult times.

Q 32.    What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)

Ans:    My favorite books where the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov.

Q 33.    What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Ans:    My biggest mistakes have involved going back to work for other people.

Q 34.    How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

Ans:    You can prevent mistakes by learning from past mistakes.

Q 35.    What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

Ans:    I enjoy listening to and composing music.  Learning new topics in programming and writing software is relaxing.  I particularly like the Perl language for writing small programs in my free time.

Q 36.    What makes you happy?

Ans:    Making other people happy makes me happy.

Q 37.    What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans:    I have had to sacrifice income at times and the respect of my parents and siblings who did not always understand that when I worked for others, it was an abusive situation to me to have my life and my time controlled by other people.

Q 38.    If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?

Ans:    I would ask: “If you wake up at 4 am and you can’t sleep, what is the first thing you think of doing?”

 

Contact Detail :
Company name    Mark Leeds D.O.
Address                3290 NE 33rd Street
City                      Fort Lauderdale
State                     FL
Zip Code              33308
Tel No                  (954) 776-6226
E-mail Id               drleeds@gmail.com