Anudeep Mukkamala is the founder of Health Hour Pediatric Center at Rochdale, Manchester. In addition, he founded a child development center that helped educate parents on how to effectively train their kids into independence. Apart from his service as a pediatrician, he still serves the community by giving lectures at different organizations despite his old age.
Health Hour Pediatric Center was founded by Anudeep in 1991. Health Hour was doing well, but Dr. Anudeep wanted to have more equipment and facilities for his clinic. He and his wife were always on the lookout for potential sponsors and investors to their pediatric center. Until a businessman named Michael Burlow learned about Dr. Anudeep’s actions of waiving his professional fee for families that couldn’t afford to pay. Micheal, who owns a chain of restaurants and resorts, expressed his interest in supporting his mission in the area. With this investment, Health Hour Pediatric Center doubled its bed capacity, allowing it to accept patients from neighboring towns. They also received financial assistance from the government, which they used to help parents who couldn’t afford to pay.
With the investment he got from Micheal, Doctor Anudeep founded a child development center and in 1995, he conducted a child development study for the Child Development Society. He advocated for parental and medical leave, and he worked with the group to do more comprehensive research on child care. In 1997, he sat as the chairman of the aforementioned organization. While working for this facility, Dr. Anudeep authored a book about child care development entitled Readiness Indications for Children.
Now, Dr. Anudeep still works at his center with two other doctors and a dozen staff members. In addition, Dr. Anudeep has continuously been receiving invitations to give lectures on child development and pediatric medical care in coordination with child development organizations aside from the lectures he gives at the child center that he founded.
Where did the idea for Health Hour Pediatric Center come from?
When my wife and I moved to Rochdale from Boston Massachusetts, we were already thinking of opening a clinic so I could practice my profession and, I’d like to believe, my calling. When we checked the place, we immediately saw the need for professional help as the hospitals are far from the area. Parents, especially mothers, could take care of their children when sick but in a very limited way. When our neighbors learned that I am a doctor, they started coming to me for advice and prescription. So, my wife said, “Let’s open a clinic.” And so we did! We rented a small building that could serve inpatient and outpatient consultations.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Well, the clinic opens at 8, but I have to be there at 6:45 to check on my inpatients. After that, I have to be in my office for consultations. Before, we didn’t use any appointment booking platforms, but because of the pandemic, we had to require parents to book an appointment. It actually made me and my staff more efficient because we know how many patients we have in each day and what they are there for. Following the booking schedule makes me productive, and I get undisturbed break time because it is already indicated in the booking platform. You know, if you get in between breaks, you have time to recharge your energy.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Unlike surgeons and others in the field of medicine, there’s not much opportunity for pediatricians to brainstorm. It’s more on the knowledge we have as medical doctors. The knowledge that we gained from studying, researching, and experience. These are what I use to diagnose my patients accurately.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Any innovative technology that could help me do my job better and faster. I’m looking forward to seeing more AI-operated medical machines that could increase accuracy in surgeries. I also want to see how medical 3D printers work in medicine. Though I am not a surgeon, these things still excite me because they will eventually be beneficial to my patients.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Well, I’m not a businessman, but personally, waking up early is one. I start my day at 4 to meditate, exercise, and eat breakfast. I can’t be productive without doing these things because these are the things I do to stay healthy physically and mentally. Second, I limit distractions when I’m working. As much as possible, I do not accept non-work-related visitors that are not scheduled, except for an emergency.
What advice would you give your younger self?
When I was just starting my career, I was so hesitant and scared. I tend to doubt myself if I could really be a good doctor. I focused on the problem and not the solution. Thus, I want to tell my younger self to be a problem solver, not a problem identifier. Kids, especially babies, are very delicate. Focus both on patient treatment and child care research so that you can be as helpful as you dreamed you’d be as a doctor.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I can’t think of anything right now, but as I have said earlier, many people might oppose the idea of AI in the field of medicine, but I am for that idea. Massachusetts Institute of Technology did a big study on it to support it’s vast potential. I know the possible threats but in my point of view, we can use technology for better healthcare experience and find a solution to job employment issues more wisely.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As a pediatric doctor, I always try to learn something new from my mistakes, experiences, and other people. Although I studied well and received my diplomas, I always come across something new that I need to deal with such as rare diseases and symptoms. These challenges teach me great things. So, we should not stop learning and adapting to situations. Everything changes so we have to learn how these things work, if we don’t, we will be left behind in our career and personal life.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Patients are like customers to us. So our staff has to make sure that they are assisted promptly. Yes, clinics and hospitals have to have great customer service too. From registration to billing, they have to feel respected. They are dealing with sickness and we don’t want to stress them in the process of getting well. More importantly, I make sure that my diagnosis is accurate.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When we started Health Hour, we had several patients whose parents are financially struggling and we often waive their doctor’s fee. Because of that, we couldn’t generate income to buy equipment and facilities for the center. We couldn’t just send patients away so the center has remained the same for a few years without improvement concerning facilities until we got an investment from a businessman. If it weren’t for him, Health Hour couldn’t continue helping those patients.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I don’t have any business idea, but I want to give some advice to parents as a pediatrician. Don’t miss your child’s immunization, and make sure to guide your child in every stage of his development. It might not be possible for working moms, but you have to make sure that your child is guided to avoid any health, mental, or emotional problems in the future.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Oh, not exactly a hundred dollars but I paid for one of my patients’ medical needs; just a few medicines from the center so they could go home rest assured. Instead of letting the parent write a promissory note, my wife suggested to just give the medicine they need because they’ll surely have a hard time looking for that amount of money, especially at this time of pandemic. It actually often happens at the clinic especially when my wife is there.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Since the pandemic started, we have been using an online booking system to easily manage the traffic in the consultation area. If I’m not mistaken, it’s called Bookitit. That’s what my secretary uses for appointments. I don’t actually open it every day because my secretary and or the head nurse manages it for me.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Of course, I would recommend parents to read my book Readiness Indications for Children. There are a lot of things to learn in this book such as when to potty train their kids and when to send them to daycare centers. Childcare education is important so that parents understand their toddler’s behavior. It will help them manage their time and energy with their kids.
What is your favorite quote?
A quote from Einstein – “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” It’s a beautiful quote that always reminds me to continue my legacy of helping people through my profession.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.