Dr. Brian Gantwerker: 3 best ideas for business development

I am Brian R. Gantwerker, MD, a neurosurgeon and small business owner. I've been in private practice for over nine years now.


I own a solo neurosurgical practice based out of Los Angeles and Santa Monica. I'm originally from Chicago and graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed medical school in 2001 at Rush Medical College at Rush University. I completed a complex spine fellowship under Volker Sonntag, MD, at the Phoenix-based Barrow Neurological Institute.

In my civilian life I'm a husband, father, son and brother. I'm also one of the luckiest guys I know.

Prior to opening the practice with my wife, I had no experience running a business. While opening the business my wife was about 8 months pregnant with our son, Alexander.

My three best ideas on business development are:

1. Put yourself where you want to be. When I first was considering starting my practice, I was at a party. There I met a wonderful, respected and successful plastic surgeon. I told him my idea of setting up shop in a very saturated market. Most people I had spoken to were very adverse and had chosen to go further and further afield, some even going as far north as Bakersfield, almost two hours north.

He told me: "Put yourself where you want to be." Simple enough, but it made sense. Life is short and it's too short to establish yourself far from where you live. It stresses you out, your family out, and your work suffers. The streets may be paved with gold, but you put yourself at risk for becoming another divorce statistic.

2. Consider who you want to work with. When we started the practice we identified good physicians that we felt do a good job taking care of their patients. We knew they would appreciate good work. That is who mattered to us in the beginning and who matters to us now. If you want to be super busy, go to high volume producers. If you would rather give more time to each patient/client, aim for concierge doctors.

3. Social media matters. When it comes to social media, LinkedIn, Twitter, or the social landmark that is Facebook, post about subjects that you care about and that you think people will have an opinion on. You will be surprised about the opportunities that will come. You may discover others in your area that represent potential referrals or partners.


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