1What do you think has been the secret to your success all these years?
Probably just the fact that I care about the patients. We always say to them ‘once you become our patient, you’re now part of our family.’ And I really try to treat them like family, even the annoying ones which we all get here and there. [Laughs] But we don't get a lot of them. Some of our patients travel really far because they prefer seeing us than going elsewhere. We have patients who have been coming since 1988. So, some are on their fourth or fifth set of hearing aids. They still like what I'm doing, and I still like helping them.
2What would you say have been the biggest changes to the industry and/or profession over the last 30 years?
The technology has changed a lot. When I started, there were no digital hearing aids. You just had trimpots on hearing aids. If you ordered a custom [hearing aid], you had to order the circuit that went inside of it, then use a screwdriver to make adjustments. There was no Real Ear, so you didn't really know how it was working inside their ear. You just had to go by what patients said. So, it required a little bit more thought and patient participation.
Patient care really hasn't changed though. You still have to have a personal relationship with them and try to help and educate them as best you can. Always educate!
3What advice would you give to practices that are just starting out or have only been in business a few years?
I think now more than ever you need somebody to partner with, especially if you're an independent practitioner because you can't do it all yourself. It just isn't possible. Unless you also majored in business, trying to run a business like this is challenging. I also wasn’t a marketing major so it's really helpful to have people at Consult helping with that.
4As one of Consult YHN’s longest Associates, what advice would you give to our newer Associates?
Listen to what they're saying at Consult because a lot of blood, sweat, and tears have gone into the changes that they have made and continue to make. Consult doesn’t recommend something unless they’ve vetted and tested it. So, listen to their advice.