Hard work is the answer to growing the business, but I think the key is to always put patients first.
Jim Gray MD of Meridian, Mississippi, is certified in Diagnostic Radiology and is a member of the American Board of Radiology. He is an entrepreneur with a physician owned imaging center. He has been practicing as a diagnostic radiologist and general radiology for over 10 years.
Jim Gray MD began his education at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1995. He continued his education at Southeast Missouri State University earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 2000. He went on to Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine for his medical degree. He had his residency at the University of Mississippi and his fellowship at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
There were a few reasons that influenced Jim Gray MD to join a small practice with a team of eight. He recognized that most radiologists were limited from a work environment perspective. Working in a small practice allows him and his team to make a difference in their community. He was also aware that large academic centers had an expectation for a radiologist to specialize in a specific modality.
With his practice, Dr. Jim Gray is not limited to one specialty, as his team works with multiple local hospital on different contracts. Jim Gray MD is well versed in the use of various technologies in his practice and at the hospital such as X-rays, PET scans CT scans, MRI scans to diagnose diseases.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Early in my training after a rotation, I was most interested in the fact that the radiologist was the person who provided the first diagnosis and found the problems. I didn’t want to be the person who had to relay the diagnosis to the patient. I preferred to find the issue, so I focus my training on radiology.
I opened my practice because I like academics and I enjoy working around other residents and those coming up in their training. Radiologists are very limited to locations for work. I decided to take charge of my own life. As a private practice radiologist, I could establish my own business, then I could choose where I wanted to live. Also, in large academic centers, you are expected to have a sub-specialty. I am able to work with all modalities and keep a larger skill set.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
To be honest the work predicts the day. From the time I walk in the door to the time I leave, there are always studies available for interpretation. Hospitals never sleep. There are around the clock procedures to follow, but I don’t have to search for anything to do to be productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Radiology is not a very creative field. We are academics. We find answers to patients’ medical issues. We leave the solutions for the doctors.
What’s one trend that excites you?
What excites me is that right now women’s health is a major focus in medicine. There is an emphasis on early detection of breast cancer. The thing that excites me is that there has been so much development in technology in this industry. There have been so many improvements in the way we do things for small lesions in the breast. It is an incredible long-term outlook for patients. 30 years ago, if you gave a diagnosis of breast cancer it was seen as having the plague. Early detection is the first line of defense. With so much awareness and research that has done, it is a long-term survival rate. I have a special interest in early detection for breast cancer at my practice.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My first reaction to that question is coffee! I am not a coffee aficionado, a little light roast or perhaps an espresso keeps me going. It is my quick-fix energy boost. I do back to back studies every day for 10 or 12 hours straight.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would probably have told the younger Jim Gray MD to pursue medicine a whole lot sooner. I would have pushed myself to go into healthcare at an earlier age because the rewards are just so great. It is humbling to know that you can help people. It is very rewarding. I would have encouraged myself to take an interest in the healthcare profession earlier on.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I don’t know if it is factual and I don’t know if this is true, but I am pretty sure that we never went to the moon in 1969.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The one thing that I do is to always make myself available when anyone comes in to ask me any questions. It is important to be polite and acknowledge that person and to be respectful of the time they need. So many times, people get irritated if they are interrupted as if their time served would be better doing something else. People are important. I like to let them know they are important.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Hard work is the answer to growing the business, but I think the key is to always put patients first. If you put patients first, your practice will automatically grow. Patients who are at the hospital are very important as they go to the hospital for a diagnosis initially.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It is common with small practices to look to for less expensive ways to cut costs. Sometimes it is not best to go for a cheaper percentage. I think it is better to establish a good relationship and respect with people we work within our office who you know will do a good job for you. If we work together it is the best practice for a practice.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I am an avid “Cheer-Dad” every weekend. If I had the time every weekend I would get into the child-sports-paraphernalia business. It could be for screen printing or customizable photographs. There is a lot of money to be made for the child-sports teams and competitive teams. There is a lot of money for people who cater to that element.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best money that I’ve recently spent was when I had my daughter detail personal cards for me. She spent two days working on the cards. It made her feel good about herself. I’d rather pay her than anyone else. It was money well spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use STATdx as my gold standard for radiology. It is a wonderful paid program for radiologist as an encyclopedia. It is information at your fingertips.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. It sums up everything you need to know in life.
What is your favorite quote?
Two roads to go in the woods and I took the one less traveled.
- Any productive day starts with coffee.
- People are important.
- If you put patients first, your practice will automatically grow.
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.