The EntreMD Podcast

From Burnout to Boom: The Entrepreneurial Journey of Dr. Rinku Mehra

November 16, 2023 Dr. Una Episode 378
The EntreMD Podcast
From Burnout to Boom: The Entrepreneurial Journey of Dr. Rinku Mehra
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What does it really take to make an impactful transition from a burnt-out physician to a thriving entrepreneur? In our latest episode, we got the chance to sit down with Dr. Rinku Mara, a pediatric endocrinologist who dared to take that leap. Dr. Rinku shares her compelling journey of resilience and dedication, from academia and private practice to becoming a medical director, eventually leaving that behind to create a healthcare practice on her terms.

Dr. Rinku's entrepreneurial journey was not without challenges. She informs us about the importance of documenting even the most seemingly insignificant wins and how they can create massive momentum. Dr. Rinku shares insights about her strategic use of social media, and the value of physician referrals in growing her business. She also discusses the crucial role of setting boundaries and entrusting tasks to a competent team for the overall success and well-being of the business.

This episode is not just about Dr. Rinku's inspiring journey but also about the EntreMD Business School's transformative impact on her entrepreneurial endeavors. Our conversation veers into how creating and maintaining meaningful connections can significantly influence businesses. We delve into the powerful trifecta of coaching, accountability, and community that the EntreMD Business School offers to aid physicians in building multiple seven-figure businesses. Tune in and get ready to be inspired and empowered to begin your own entrepreneurial journey in the world of medicine.

When you are ready to work with us, here are three ways.

1. EntreMD Business School Accelerator - If you are looking to make a 180 turnaround in your business in 90 days, this is the program for you.
2. EntreMD Business School Grow - This is our year-long program with a track record of producing physician entrepreneurs who are building 6, 7 and 7+ figure businesses. They do this while building their dream lives!
3. EntreMD Business School Scale - This is our high-level mastermind for physicians who have crossed the seven figure milestone and want to build their businesses to be well oiled machines that can run without them.

To get on a call with my team to determine your next best step, go here www.entremd.com/call

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Speaker 1:

Hi docs, welcome to the EntremD podcast, where it's all about helping amazing physicians just like you embrace entrepreneurship so you can have the freedom to live life and practice medicine on your terms. I'm your host, dr Ibnah. Well, hello, hello. Welcome back to another episode of the EntremD podcast, and you, my friend, are in for a treat today, because I have Dr Rinku Mara here. She is a rock star student of the EntremD business school. She is a pediatric endocrinologist. She has a really fascinating journey, especially over the last year, and so we're going to have a really interesting conversation, and I'm grateful that she came on to share her story, because in the physician space, we need to see as many examples of what is possible as possible, because once we see it, we can't unsee it, and this is how we change the physician community. So, dr Rinku, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me. I am so grateful you're here, so I want to give you a moment to introduce yourself to the listener, because they're probably wondering why I'm so excited, but I'll let you tell them.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so I'm a pediatric endocrinologist. I have had I sometimes feel like a crazy journey to get to where I am right now. I have practiced in academics. I've practiced in private practice. I was a medical director for a large multi-specialty group and I pretty much hit the ceiling where I was in the multi-specialty group. So I had a team of doctors under me and nursing staff and I was really involved in a lot of things in my practice and I was always interested in innovating and developing new types of clinical models. And I was always told no by the administration and the hospital. And as a pediatric endocrinologist and Dr Eunice, a pediatrician, historically we have just not made a lot of money. We don't make a lot of money for the hospital. As endocrinologists I don't do any procedures, so I don't really make a lot of money for the hospital system or the clinic. And I was really told that my staff was not working hard enough, my medical doctors were not working hard enough and that we just had to see more patients. And I ended up at a point about four years ago, almost complete burnout, I think, just because I was seeing patients every 10 to 15 minutes. There was no opportunity to innovate, it was just do the same thing over and over, but do it harder and do it faster. And I left clinical medicine actually completely and I said I'm done with this. I don't want to even come back to this area, because I didn't feel like we were valued. I couldn't do anything the way I wanted to. I couldn't see patients where I wanted to, I had to see diabetic patients every 15 minutes often and I just felt like I was giving horrible care to my patients and, not to mention, being told multiple times that you just are not producing enough really made me feel undervalued. So I left my practice in 2020 and at the time, my husband thought I was completely crazy, like he just thought I was out of my mind. He thought I had ruined my career because I was the medical director, really the top. I could take my vacation whenever I wanted, arrange my schedule whenever I wanted, and he was like you're nuts, why would you do this? And I ended up taking a couple years off. I from clinical medicine, I went to the non-clinical world. I worked at the FDA, I worked at an insurance company in Medicaid, thinking that I wanted to serve a broader audience and I really wanted to do something for the underserved population and ultimately I decided that corporate medicine in whatever avenue I was going in, whether I was going into the FDA or healthcare, health insurance it just wasn't me. It wasn't like how I wanted to practice. I was not a corporate physician and I ended up developing my own direct care practice after talking to many people and networking, really just trying to and really doing a lot of soul searching, career coaching, really trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and I ended up building a telemedicine practice that serves a broader audience and right now I'm in four states and for me it has been really life changing and transformational for me that I can practice medicine the way I want to. I can see patients in an hour's time, I can do telemedicine visits for my diabetic patients and I can do telemedicine actually from overseas for some of my military families and really improve health outcomes, which is what I wanted to do. But it's been a journey because it's taken a lot to get over that feeling of not being good enough or not being able to do this and I think it's taken a lot really to really get to the point that I feel like I'm needed and my services are needed, and I think the business school really helped me with that too is just sort of a more of that mindset, although every week I have the same feeling like not good enough, that's not working. But when I see my patients I just feel like the type of care that I deliver is just what everybody deserves, like your family deserves that type of care, my family deserves that type of care, and so I think that's been just really what I've discovered over the last year actually, Wow, okay, so there are a lot of parts of your story that I actually didn't know about.

Speaker 1:

So this is a very fun conversation and really thank you for taking us all the way behind the scenes and this whole journey. Right, because you're describing what a lot of people are feeling, at least the beginning of your journey, and you normalize that. What if it does take you four years? But what if, at the end of four years, you find yourself in a place where you're like I'm practicing medicine the way I want and I feel valued and my life is playing out the way I want it to play, and to think that, like entrepreneurship, setting your own up your own practices, what kind of set the stage for you to do medicine on your terms and to do life on your terms and all of that. Before we take a little bit of a detour here, I do want you to talk to the doctor who feels the way you felt. The doctor that has constantly been told whether it an employed physician, by administration or director or whoever, or maybe the person runs a private practice and they've been told this by, like, the insurance companies and all like what you're doing is just not that valuable. You're not bringing a lot of money, like just sit down and do what you're told, or whether it's a coach, like we get this in all kinds of angles, but what would you say that person who? To that person who feels devalued?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, I think it's a very difficult position to be in. I mean it's very difficult. I felt like I was completely devalued and I was the top of the food chain, especially in that organization, like I was the person to go to for a pizza and a currant, and then to be told over and over again that you guys are not working hard enough, you guys don't bring enough revenue, you need to work through lunch, you need to work on the weekends, you need to, and really what helped me was ultimately to get coaching. Actually is to get coaching. I had a very difficult decision to leave. I made a very difficult decision. I lost 10 pounds when I decided to leave. I looked for a new job, probably for three or four years, and ultimately I finally said it's enough, I just can't take it anymore. Because I remember going through the halls of the hospital and I was on call and I remember thinking is this my life, this is what my life is going to be? Every day the same thing, every week the same thing, and every time I go to the meetings for our bonuses to be told well, you guys just didn't work hard enough. I just kept thinking that and that was what ultimately made the decision for me. It was very hard. It took a lot of strength because I felt like, and it took a lot of strength for me after I left, because I left multiple times. Each time I kept saying, oh, I'm not a doctor anymore, I left to go to the FDA or I left to go to do the insurance, I'm not a doctor anymore. But ultimately it came back to me to say I want to be able to practice the way I want to live my life the way I want to live. I think it was a very enriching experience. Now I feel well, looking back at myself, thinking why did I feel that way? I think it's just because of the situations you're put in and we as physicians are put in that situation. But we are very intelligent people and you say that all the time we went through med school, we learned organic chemistry, we were the top 1%, and I think it just takes a community, sometimes some coaching, mindset shifts and really now I feel like I could probably do any job, like I could leave this job and do something else. I could find something and ultimately it would be okay. It may not be what I envisioned myself doing when I left medical school or residency, I never in my life thought that I would start my own practice, ever, like it was not in the cards, especially when I talked to my peers who I used to supervise and they're like you're so brave for doing this. We have no idea how we would have even started doing this. And then I think, well, yeah, it is like I did have this journey and I'm grateful to have it. I'm grateful to be able to figure out, like how to do this, and I feel like the sky's the limit, like I could do so many other things. So I think it's just a journey that we all have to come across and accept it, and accept that we can do anything and sort of overcome that burden of you're not good enough, because I think we hear that a lot from everyone and it's not true.

Speaker 1:

And it's not true people. We are good enough. And I just love listening to you because what I'm hearing from you is and I've come to this place where I really feel like I'm unstoppable you know what I mean, and that is such an empowered position to be in, and I'm also grateful that you took the bold step to do this, because it did require a lot of courage. But it's a gift to you, it's a gift to your patients and it's a gift to the physician community, because everybody's better for it, right. So let's shift gears a little bit, because somebody may be saying I hear you, but private practice, I heard it doesn't work, dpc and all of those kind of things. But when we were working through our wins for the third quarter, right, you shared a win about how, in the third quarter of the year, you saw twice as many patients as the entire first half of the year, and so I wanted to talk about that, because I'm guessing that marketing and recruiting patients maybe wasn't part of your role as a medical director and all of that stuff. So talk to us about that win and what you think was responsible. So what are the things you did that were responsible for that?

Speaker 2:

I pretty much did everything you told me to do. I will say it's really hard. I will tell you the marketing is I just don't like it at all, but I think it's gotten better. I never in my life that I would be on social media like ever promoting anything, promoting health, wellness. I didn't even have an account that I was active on, so I think the social media piece helped a lot. It's gotten me more comfortable, I think. Learning about strategies, blog writing being another people's podcast, doing these Instagram lives, reaching out to other physicians who, interestingly, it's still uncomfortable. Reaching out to other pediatricians to say, hey, I'm available, because part of it is that I don't take insurance and that's the first question pediatricians have. But I think doing all of those things helped a lot and I think it continues to help. Sometimes I'm surprised oh, I have a patient today at 4. She found me through another physician that I networked with, and so I'm really grateful for the physician community. I'm also grateful for the physicians who understand that good health care sometimes is not insurance-based and oftentimes, actually, it's not insurance-based and we come from a place of serving other people and we've always been serving others, and so I think those things all really helped, even though I didn't really recognize everything that I was doing. I don't. I'm still not good at it. I'm not good at keeping track of everything I'm doing. I mean, I reach out to people, I talk to people, but I'm not good at keeping track of what it is. But I've started collecting information now about where people find me, how my patients find me, and a lot of it is from physician referrals online, instagram, tiktok not so much I'm not a TikToker yet, but I think all of those things helped.

Speaker 1:

And I love that you said. It's not something I really like, I'm uncomfortable and all of that, but you still did it. You still did it. You still continue to do it and that really speaks volumes and I hope everyone who is listening can take that with them In the process of becoming an entrepreneur, in the process of building a practice that will let you serve the way you truly believe you want to serve your people and also create, be a win for you as well. You're going to do a number of uncomfortable things and reach it out to other pediatricians, even when they're like you don't accept insurance. What's that? That's uncomfortable. The videos, the Instagram lives, all of those things but you did it, so big shout out to you for doing the work. Now, when we got to, let me say, the end of the first year, your first year in the Entry of the Business School, you talked about a concept around documenting wins. Do you remember that? And if you can talk about that a little bit? And the reason why I ask that is this will be so valuable to everybody, because I find it's one of the things that triggers massive momentum. It doesn't seem like it at the time, but it really creates momentum for us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I think a lot of it also comes from the fact that I, like I said, I've had a lot of coaching and I think a lot of the things that I have not done historically in my professional career has been documenting things that I've done well. So even a lot of it has been imposter syndrome for many, many years. And even when I was appointed medical director for the practice, I was like, oh, that's just luck. I mean, there's nobody else who's good enough to do this. Nobody else wanted this. Multiple things that I have had happened to me. I sort of just felt like it was just luck that it happened. And so I think the same thing went for documenting these wins. I just haven't been in the habit of doing them. I just do things, Even to the point that my husband sometimes was like how do you do that? And I was like, I don't know, I just do this. Isn't this normal? And so I think that it's just coming from a place for me that I'm just not used to documenting anything that I've done. And so when it comes to the point that I was like, oh, I saw more patients, I was like, how did that happen? I don't even know how that happened. What did I do? And then I started looking back and saying, well, I did x, y, z, but I'm not in the habit of weekly or daily just going through that. I have a checklist of things that I do. So I think even now I still feel like I have a degree of imposter syndrome, and I think a lot of us have that, and I think that's what I've learned is to start documenting some of those things, Start saying, well, this is what I did and this is what happened, maybe as a result of it. But I come from a place, even for my patients, that I don't expect them to say, hey, you did a great job or whatever, give me a good Google review. I don't expect that, but it sort of happens. And so I think all of those things are important to recognize and maybe start documenting them, but I will admit I'm still not good at it at all, yeah, and that's the thing I say.

Speaker 1:

The undisciplined mind not to say your mind is undisciplined, like all our minds do what they do, they just is always going to look for what didn't work or what we can't do, what somebody else is doing, and blah, blah, blah, blah blah. But when we stop to take stock of what we have done and what has worked, it's really mind boggling. So talk to me about how you felt, because I think this was a point for you where you're like I haven't really taken stock of what has worked. But then you had this time where you're like okay, let me sit down and do this. Were you blown away by what you had accomplished or what had happened? How did you feel after that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was. I mean, I was sort of taken aback by everything that I did, especially when I started to think about how many things I never would have done before. I mean I could just go. I mean even there are weeks sometimes that I sort of feel like unmotivated and don't feel like doing things. And then I look back and say, well, these are the weeks that I was motivated and I did like X, y, z, and so once you start documenting a lot of that, you can tell this is how I got to the place that I'm at right now. And I know you talk about snowball sometimes and sometimes I feel like that sort of happens. Like there are weeks that I just feel like things are just working out completely and then there's that downslip and then I'm like getting to that phase of, well, nothing's working at all, like whatever I did is not working. But I feel like just kind of keeping that momentum going really helps is just documenting everything that I've done and being systematic about it Also.

Speaker 1:

Love it. You guys describe the typical entrepreneur's journey right. Yeah, I hit two million in revenue Yo three of my people quit yeah right and. I find that once for me, once I started getting out of resistance, like expecting everything to be a high, high, then things got a lot better. It's a high, yay, something else I'll be like ooh, and just keep moving, because both things can happen at the very same time. I remember the first Entremdee Live. It was big for me. First event People showed up, People flew in from nine different states, all this stuff. We're about to get on stage and I get a text message from a nurse practitioner who was working with me and is okay, this is my two weeks notice. I haven't really enjoyed working with you and all that. Like these two things, right, like high, high, low, low are happening at the exact same time, and that's the life of an entrepreneur, and so that's amazing. Now in the Entremdee Business School, in Entremdee in general, we're really big about building your dream business and your dream life. Right, because there's also this fear, like when I go into entrepreneurship, I'll lose my life, I won't have time for anything, I won't have any money, all of those things. So what impact has starting this practice, growing this practice, having the impact you want? What has that done on the personal side for you, like in your life?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I will say that it did take up a lot of my time in the beginning, sort of getting things going and sort of it still takes up time, but I think I've gotten better about studying my boundaries at this point, like I used to be like, oh yeah, I can see you after hours, or I have somebody pick up my kids from school or whatever, and now I'm like, well, I can't do that because that's not why I started this process, and so I think it does take a lot to set boundaries and to say this is what I'm not going to do. And even as I grow, even though I want to see my patients at 5pm, but I just can't because I have to take my own kids to their activities. So I think boundary setting is very important and I think it gets lost and a lot of us who are in this entrepreneurial journey because there is always something to do, there is always somebody to call or somebody to network with or some Instagram posts to do something. So I think the biggest thing for me was learning how to delegate, because I've done a lot of it myself and I will say that when I was a medical director, I used to feel like I was incompetent when I used to ask other people to do things, like I used to ask my nurses to do things. So I felt like, oh, why can't I do this? And now I feel, well, that was probably the best thing Like I need to have a team and I need to have a good person. So I think that's what really this has helped me overcome that part of my life. That was four years ago even. But to say no, I have a good team and it's okay to be as a leader, to delegate, and so finding VA to delegate to, which takes time off my hands, or finding an assistant to answer my phones takes time off my hands to do other things, and so I think that's all been a learning process that all of us are in practice and we do things, but we don't really understand. I mean, I didn't understand what the role of all these people was, and now I do Like I have a good team. I have a good team, and the other part that I've learned is to fire quickly if it doesn't work out. If it doesn't work, I need to work with people that are going to build me up and not sort of bring me down. So I think a lot of those things are just lessons that I'm learning as I go along, which I wish I had known 10 years ago.

Speaker 1:

But this is good, though now you're paying it for it. So there are gonna be thousands of doctors who are gonna be saying Dr Rinku said that we should have boundaries and she also said we should build a great team. Right, and you talk about two things that really are the things that set us up to not experience burnout as entrepreneurs, and I think it's some of the things people are not as willing to do. So I'm glad you brought it up. And the boundaries that's real, because we kind of have a work schedule when we're employed and then when we become entrepreneurs, especially in the beginning, we're enthusiastic and all of that. We violate every rule. We work way too late, we work when we shouldn't be working, we almost steal some of our family time to work on all of those things and after a while, like you said, you're like wait, that's not why I did this. I did this so I could live life on my terms. So boundaries are critical, and then building a team is critical and a competent team. You brought out something. You articulated it in a way I've never quite heard it before where you're like, when I delegate, it makes it seem like I'm incompetent, like I should be able to do this right and for everyone listening, I want you to stop and audit, like, where are you not delegating? Because you feel like you should be able to do it right and because we want to start getting. The teams are extensions of us. We want to start getting these things off our plate so we can then take on higher things or we can go rest. Whatever it is we want to do. This has really been full of gems. If you could say one thing, it's never one thing right. But if you could say one thing to an entrepreneur, you're like wow, I met them at the elevator, it's already coming down. Let me just tell them this one thing before they go what would that thing be?

Speaker 2:

I would say, if you're interested in entrepreneurship, just know that. I mean the journey is not easy. It's not an easy one but it is fulfilling. I mean to do something that you're passionate about, to do something the way you want to do it, I think is just priceless, honestly, and it's not easy. Though it's not easy, I mean I've had so many jobs. I even had a job offer last year to be the deputy director for health and wellness in my county and they were telling me I had a strict schedule eight to six, sometimes call on weekends, call every weekend and I was like, no, why would I do that? It's so much work and I work more than that now I work. So it's not easy, but I think it doesn't feel like work, and so I think that's the difference If you want to do something that's meaningful, you're passionate about doesn't feel like work you couldn't do it all the time. If you wanted to then I think it's worth it. But having those boundaries, I think, is important, because that does lead to burnout and you don't want to go in that direction either. Yeah, we don't want to create our own burnout.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so for everyone listening, we do this with our guests because they come in, they tell us all the things, right, they spill all the beans, and so we're going to support her and she's going to tell us where we can find her, and so what that means is you can go let people know if people in that area that hey, there's a great pediatric endocrinologist here or you could just bump her stuff, comment on her stuff, let her know that. Wow, you listened to her podcast episode and she's amazing. That's what we do. We're on TrimD. So, dr Minko, where can people find you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thank you so much. So I am on social media, dr R Mara, that's a good place to find me. Then I also have and I never would have done that Dr Minko, and then I'm at the Mara Clinic. So it's wwwthemeracliniccom which is my pediatric endocrine practice, and then I also have a weight management course that I do at wwwthemeramethodecom. Love it.

Speaker 1:

All right, people go find her. All the links will be in the show notes and, dr Minko, thank you for coming in or for sharing your story, and thank you for what you do, because again, we are at that transition point in the physician community, so the more examples we see of what is possible now you've shown people as a pediatric endocrinologist you can thrive as a DPC doc and you've also told people like you can choose your path and you can make your path work right, which is a very powerful message. You talked about doing the things uncomfortable For you. It was marketing for somebody else, maybe hiring a team member or finally, beginning to their profit and loss statement. I mean, there's so many different things. It's the same principle and then the ways to avoid burnout. So this has been so high. You'll thank you for coming to share your story.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much. Thank you for having me All right people so go share the episode.

Speaker 1:

Tag Dr Minko, tag me, let the world know, let the physician community know this is a great episode. Go take a listen. We'll change your life and I'll see you on the next episode of the Entremdi Podcast. If you enjoy listening to the Entremdi Podcast, you have to check out the Entremdi Business School. It's the number one business school for physicians who want to build six, seven and multiple seven figure businesses. You get the coaching, the accountability and the community. You need to do the work so you can thrive. So find out if this is your best. Next step book a call with my team. Entremdicom forward slash call. That's Entremdicom forward slash call. I count way to celebrate all the wins that we can create together.

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