One of Australia’s foremost obstetricians and gynecologists, Dr. Raouf Farag is particularly known for his expertise regarding In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF. At his Gosford practice on Australia’s Central Coast, Dr. Farag and his staff have cultivated an incredibly supportive environment in which patients are able to benefit from highly personalized care delivered by experienced and knowledgeable medical professionals. With years of experience and a clear devotion to the patients he cares for, Dr. Farag has created a medical practice in which patients can feel confident in receiving nothing but the most outstanding medical care.
Since founding his medical practice so many years ago, Dr. Farag has helped guide countless patients through pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period by delivering obstetric care that adheres to the lofty standards the practice has outlined. In addition to guiding patients through their pregnancies, Dr. Farag has also played a vital role in assisting patients who encounter fertility-related difficulties through his expertise regarding IVF. A leading IVF specialist, Dr. Farag has overseen many successful pregnancies involving patients who were unsure they would ever be able to have children. Dr. Farag’s accomplishments in the medical field are undeniably impressive, but he has consistently maintained that his priorities will always be with the patients who are under his care.
Where did the idea for Dr. Raouf Farag – Consultant, Obstetrician & Gynecologist come from?
Even before entering medical school I knew that I wanted to go into private practice as early as possible and to be involved in obstetrics, gynecology and IVF. The field itself is so rewarding, and having my own practice allows me to control the quality of care we provide at all times so that our patients are always treated according to the very highest standards.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I usually am very busy, and my days can be quite unpredictable if I have any patients who are close to term and may go into labor at any time. On most days, however, I arrive at the practice very early and go over the day’s schedule with my practice manager and take time to review each patient’s individual case well before they arrive. I will then spend the remainder of the day meeting with patients and working with the staff to ensure each patient continues to get the most out of our care.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am very analytically inclined, so bringing an idea to life involves a great deal of deep thought and thorough research before I begin the process of applying it to my practice in some way.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Over the years I have noticed that more and more patients are taking a more proactive approach to their medical care and are coming to the office with a great deal of information. This is wonderful since we all benefit from patients being as informed as possible.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One of the very first things I learned from the first business course I took as an undergrad is that no entrepreneur is successful without the help of others. This notion was reiterated in many different ways throughout my medical schooling as well, so I have made it a habit to deeply value the quality of the people I bring on my staff. By surrounding myself with a wonderful and caring team devoted to providing patients with outstanding support, the entire practice has benefited and I am a much better doctor because of it.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
While I had a wonderful residency experience, I did encounter one doctor who felt that it was important to put the doctors-in-residence through what amounted to a “stress test.” I found this to be wholly unnecessary and I worry that this approach may result in many good doctors being pushed out of the field altogether after enduring an experience that almost never occurs elsewhere in medicine. This experience allowed me to learn that the best way to find out what people are capable of and to tap into their full potential is to always treat them with the courtesy and respect they deserve.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
My vision for the practice was one that provided comprehensive services, so I made it a goal to provide those comprehensive services right from day one. My staff and I had no problem managing the different care options, but it would have been more financially sound to phase in the services over time instead of making such a large initial investment in all of the necessary medical equipment.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As a doctor, I know how important it is to make sure patients understand that you deeply care about them on a personal level and will do everything within your power to ensure they receive the best possible medical care, so I always make a point to connect with each one of my patients and to treat them in the same way I would treat a family member. I do this with my staff as well, and I believe it is essential to show the people who support you just how much their support truly means to you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Our focus on providing personal care to our patients has been the most important factor in stimulating our growth over the years. Our patients know that they are in good hands when they come to our practice.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Out of the desire to provide comprehensive services to clients right from the time we opened, I invested a lot in outfitting the office with state-of-the-art medical technology. This was a sizable investment that has paid off in the long run, but caused an unnecessary financial burden that could have easily been avoided had we adopted a more narrow focus at first.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have noticed that many patients feel that constant note taking interferes with a doctor’s ability to connect with patients and reassure them. Notes are obviously critical, and I think that a business that provided professional note-takers or scribes to doctors would be an incredibly lucrative endeavor.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I sent a nice gift of baby-related necessities to a patient who had just successfully gone through a high-risk pregnancy. She was so concerned about the pregnancy and was such a wonderful patient that I felt a gift was the very least I could do.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I have a few programs that allow me to review or enter notes from locations throughout the office, and our insurance and medical billing software has really allowed us to streamline our processes so we can focus on what is most important, which is caring for our patients.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Vincent Lam wrote a wonderful book called “Bloodletting and Other Miraculous Cures.” It is about his experience practicing medicine, but I feel it is appropriate for entrepreneurs as well.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Dr. Maurice Ramirez has been something of an inspiration to me from an entrepreneurial standpoint. He founded a company designed to provide greater education regarding how to best prepare for and deal with a disaster. Dr. Ramirez applied his medical skills in this endeavor and now heads a company that benefits so many people in need.