Taking care of business

Family physician Gregory Oliver, DO, has always had an interest in business, although it wasn't until his late 30s when he became an employed hospital physician that his interest deepened.

In 1995, the then 39-year-old had sold his four-office practice to a local hospital system and was named its outpatient clinical administrator while he continued to see his patients. He felt his life had become routine until one night when he saw an infomercial by a famous self-help guru. Spurred by the program, he ordered the guru's book, tapes, and other materials. The information didn't change his life, Oliver says, but it opened his mind.

"I think a lot of us physicians; we go to school, we learn so much, and then think, gosh, I've learned so much, maybe I don't need to learn about anything else," he says with a laugh. "What the program taught me was, there's a whole world out there that I need to know more about besides the medicine I learn."

Since launching, the practice's gross revenue has grown from $700,000 in 2003 to $3.3 million last year, with more than a 25% profit growth every year except during 2009's economic downturn, when he still saw 12% growth.

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