Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

He Asked

From time to time, I still get taken in. From the comments:
Dear Dinosaur #1,

I always get a chuckle out of your blog. From where I stand, you have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the practice of medicine. Please forgive my unorthodox communiqué. Although I have never left a message on a blog before, I do hope this one reaches you.

I’m an ophthalmologist and I would like to ask you for a favor. My wife is also an M.D. She and I have put together a report describing 8 ways physicians in private practice can ethically and professionally make their practice more profitable. I would be most indebted if you would be kind enough to read our report and let me know your thoughts.

With appreciation,
Followed by contact info, including phone numbers and website.

So like someone with nothing better to do, I went over and checked out the site. Sure enough, it's nothing but marketing mumbo-jumbo purporting to provide all kinds of help to physicians to increase their practice income...and for only $6,700 for their "Guided Practice-Building System(tm)" [yes, apparently it's actually trademarked] which includes both pre-recorded audio consultation and 10 hours of one-on-one telephone consultation, plus unlimited fax and email questions during the "consultation period."

Or, if you want more, you can have their Two-Day, On-Site, Practice-Building Assessment & Consultation, which also includes staff coaching, patient satisfaction evaluation and a 30 day period of unlimited email and fax communication to assist in implementing recommendations along with 4 more fifteen minute phone consultations. That's only $15,900.

Seems to me like the best way to make money is no longer actually practicing medicine, but rather selling practice management and consulting services to other suckers doctors.

There was a contact page where I could address my response in private, but it had a 1000 character limit. So, in response to the direct request for my thoughts, here they are:
Dear Dr. Karlsberg;

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I perused your website, downloaded and read your "7 Barriers" report. Here is my assessment:

You may very well be an ophthalmologist, but what you and your MD wife are now doing is providing highly priced marketing services to gullible physicians that appears aimed primarily at positioning them to go to a cash-only and/or concierge model practice. Your slick website (which really is lovely) and extensive use of marketing jargon -- most of which is meaninglessly generic -- seems intended to intimidate potential doctor-clients into thinking you are offering something of value.

Bottom line: thanks, but no thanks. Personally, I feel I have a good handle on my practice's financial issues, and in fact I am moving towards a cash-only model in the next few years. As for other docs, mainly struggling FPs, I would discourage them from spending the kind of money you are charging for what appears, in my opinion, to be a very marginal benefit and extremely unlikely to produce any significant return on the investment.

#1 Dinosaur
Hey, he asked.


At Mon Mar 16, 04:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But really, is the AAFP's Transformed project any more reputable?

Transformed is now selling its non-evidence based conclusions to guillable family physicians. And Transformed has specifically stated that they are unable to provide any data on the impact of their recommendations on a practice's finances.

Snake oil everywhere!

At Mon Mar 16, 04:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny...
You wouldn't go to an ad agency for treatment for a UTI, why go to a doctor for marketing advice.
(full disclosure: I work in advertising and marketing)

At Mon Mar 16, 07:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It needs more oomph.

How about a few "fucks," "shitbirds" and "scroungy, gutter-feeding, syphilitic trollop-lickers?"

(It's up to you as to whether the putrid purveyors are syphilitic o r the trollops are.)

At Mon Mar 16, 08:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a timeshare presentation.
Chuck Brooks
FutureWare SCG

At Mon Mar 16, 11:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were probably testing if an FP could see through their scheme. They now know they need to make a few adjustments before marketing it to other private practices.

At Tue Mar 17, 09:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's weird, i've never seen a physician owned consultative business that didn't list more about the physician's clinical background(s).

you would think that they would want people to know those things.

it looks like they run a lot of other businesses and possibly have some of their own financial issues.
Letters to the Editor
Jane Adler Karlsberg MD 1 Robert C. Karlsberg MD 1
1 Marital Communications Institute, Bethesda, MD


well, good luck to them.

At Tue Mar 17, 08:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This website is prettier and I don't think Transformed costs as much on the front end, or maybe they just cover up the cost better. But for pity's sake, people actually buy either of these?

At Wed Apr 08, 03:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, Dr. Karlsberg's Maryland medical license was revoked in August 2007. See

Robert C. Karlsberg, M.D., License #: D06842
Area of Practice: Psychiatry (Potomac, MD)
Revocation; the Board will not entertain an application for reinstatement for 5
years. The Board concluded that the physician committed many egregious acts of
unprofessional misconduct by entangling himself inappropriately and unethically in the
personal, financial, and professional lives of 5 of his patients. He provided dangerously
substandard care to his patients. The Board also concluded that the physician was guilty
of intimidating or attempting to intimidate a person to withhold or change testimony in
hearings or proceedings before the Board; and guilty of trying to hinder, prevent, or
otherwise delay any person from making information available to the Board in
furtherance of an investiga tion of the Board. Date of Action: August 13, 2007


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