An obstetrician and gynecologist practicing on Australia’s Central Coast in Gosford, Dr. Raouf Farag is one of the most highly regarded physicians in his field and is frequently sought after due to his reputation for providing expert care during both routine and high-risk pregnancies. With years of experience and an impressive track record of outstanding patient care, Dr. Farag has established a practice in which he and his staff are able to offer a full range of services and obstetric care, including In Virto Fertilization (IVF).
Throughout his career as a practicing physician, Dr. Farag has worked diligently to ensure his patients are treated according to the highest standards of care and benefit from a caring and professional environment. At his practice in Gosford, Dr. Farag’s staff includes a practice manager along with multiple midwives, sonographers and receptionists, and each member of the doctor’s team has a deep understanding of the importance of maintaining a supportive and sensitive atmosphere.
Dr. Farag also specializes in IVF, making it possible for families with fertility-related concerns to take advantage of a variety of procedures offered by the doctor’s practice in Gosford. As an obstetrician and gynecologist known for his exceptional bedside manner, Dr. Farag has never lost sight of the fact that he pursued a career in the medical field out of the simple desire to help guide patients through a life-changing experience. By consistently facilitating successful birthing experiences that are personalized according to the wishes of each individual patient, Dr. Farag can now look back on a successful medical career in which he has played an essential role in the lives of countless patients and families.
How did you get started? What inspired you to start this business?
After completing my medical schooling and residency requirements, I felt that the best way I could serve the community was to found a practice that provides necessary medical services and allows patients to have a highly personalized and comfortable experience from beginning to end.
How do you make money?
The medical services we provide are all priced according to the accepted standards and guidelines, and the overwhelming majority of those services are covered by each patient’s insurance. In most cases, we bill the insurance company for the services we provide to patients.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took a very long time to become profitable, but I understood that this would be the case very early on in the planning stages. I feel that providing patients with the best medical care possible requires access to the most advanced technology, so we invested heavily in medical equipment in order to ensure our patients would be treated in a manner consistent with our philosophy. Taking the long view has proved to be wise, and we will always continue to make business decisions with only the best interests of our patients in mind.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
No, not even in the slightest. I put a great deal of time into planning this venture and made a point to surround myself with a gifted and dedicated staff, and with my medical training and years of expertise I felt nothing but complete confidence that the practice would be a success.
How did you get your first customer?
Our first patient was actually a friend of the family who learned she was pregnant just as we were about to officially open the practice for business. It is always rewarding to work with every patient, but it was particularly special to help someone who has essentially been a member of the family for so many years.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We do a fair amount of advertising that includes several different mediums, but our goal is simply to inform the public about the options that may be available to them. This is especially the case with IVF, as many patients who might be able to benefit from options related to IVF are somewhat unaware that they even exist. Simply generating awareness seems to be the most effective strategy for our particular field.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
As a physician I am faced with difficult circumstances on a daily basis and often have to make tough decisions in an instant. Since there are real patients involved in these decisions I cannot go into too much detail, but I have long made it my goal to be prepared for every possible scenario so that I can quickly and confidently proceed with the ideal course of action.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I genuinely care about each one of my patients and want nothing but the best for them. The same is true of my staff, and I have been consistently amazed by the caring and supportive atmosphere we have been able to create.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
It is always such an amazing moment each and every time I am able to have the pleasure of handing a baby to a parent, and it would be difficult to say that there is anything that can top that, especially when it was a high-risk pregnancy.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am quite content with the way our business currently operates but I have considered expansion and may revisit that idea sometime in the future as long as I can be sure that the practice will be able to continue providing highly personalized care. I am always excited at the prospect of working with new patients, and I cannot imagine any circumstance in which I will not continue to feel that way.
How important is it to be flexible in your approach to patient care?
It is of the utmost importance for so many reasons, as I have to be flexible enough to be able to offer the type of care that best suits my patients. This involves educating my patients about the options at their disposal along with specific considerations regarding their personal circumstances. As for day-to-day flexibility, my schedule is often disrupted due to the relative unpredictability of labor, so I have to always be aware of each patient’s timeline in order to be prepared in case I have to be called away on relatively short notice.