Dr. Laura Mildner is an experienced orthopedic doctor located in the Manhattan area, working at the Presbyterian Pediatric Orthopedic Hospital for 8 years of her career. She studied at NYU for her undergraduate degree, and she aspired to work in the medical field after her first degree. After she graduated, she began her post grad degree at Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians for four years. Once Dr. Mildner finished her medical school, she began working at the Pediatric Hospital for eight years for residency purposes. Dr. Mildner eventually decided she would like her own practice and began making plans to start her own orthopedic clinic. Dr. Mildner now owns Mildner Orthopedics in Manhattan and takes patients with a variety of bone problems and standard checkups. Dr. Mildner works in the office for a large portion of the day with patients and offers telehealth appointments to ease the burden of the pandemic. Dr. Mildner’s services range from arthritis care, bone dislocation, carpal tunnel, and even ligament tears. As she works, Dr. Mildner identifies an issue with a patient’s bones or diagnoses a patient if they have not disclosed such information. After the issue is found, Dr. Mildner prescribes different medicines or practices to help the patient with their bone issues. Dr. Mildner then works closely with the patient to follow up and ensure that they notice an improvement in their bodies. When Dr. Mildner is not in the office, she can be seen jogging down Broadway to Union Square in the early morning. Also, Dr. Mildner also likes to visit local museums when she has the time to unwind and take a break from work.
How did you get started in this business?
I got started in my industry when I finished medical school and I was working on my residency. While I was working for those few years, I started thinking about how I wanted the rest of my career to play out. I liked working, but I wanted to take charge of things and actually run my own practice. Eventually, I finished my residency and put my plan to work about starting Mildner Orthopedics.
How do you make money?
I make a profit by providing my services to patients, usually through surgeries and other procedures that patients may request. I also do normal checkups and answer any questions an individual may have and consult them on medications they should take.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took me 3 months to become profitable. During my first month of being open, finding patients was a process that couldn’t happen overnight. People need time to build trust with your company and brand, so I knew it would be a little while until I had patients coming in all the time. Thankfully, there was a need for more orthopedic doctors in the area I decided to work, which was a great boost for me.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Doubt was a feeling that always lurked around the corner in my circumstance, especially because I knew I would work in a field with people. Being a doctor can be tough on the soul because the last thing you want is to make a patient feel unsafe or fail to help them properly. I always feared that my practice wouldn’t work because of scenarios that came into my head, but I snapped into reality and shifted my attention back to why I wanted to do this. I became a doctor because I had a passion and drive for this, and I knew I wanted to help people feel better in their lives. The best way to handle those negative emotions is to sit down and talk to yourself and understand why you’re doing the work you’ve chosen.
How did you get your first customer?
I remember getting my first client so fondly, because it was something that was so special and exciting for me. A friend from college had a grandmother who moved near my new practice, and she was looking for a better place to get knee surgery. My friend told me that his grandma was being overcharged and given ridiculous prices by other orthopedic surgeons, so I stepped in and offered to consult with her about the knee surgery. Soon enough, she came in and fixed her bone alignment and she was so elated to finally get rid of the pain she had been feeling for months. It was such a validating experience that I’ll never forget, and from that day on I was fired up and ready to work all the time.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
One marketing strategy I would say works well would be research the trends your target audience may like. One thing I’ve noticed with a lot of businesses is that they’re very specific with what they want their audience to engage in, and they know exactly how the target group will feel about the trend. Staying current and following up on your target audience is a strategy that works so well when you’re trying to gain more clients and traction.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision I had to make was closing up shop for a few weeks due to COVID-19. I was not expecting to have to leave what I love doing the most, but the number of deaths kept going up and hospital beds were filled to the brim. I had to make the decision for the best interest of my patients, employees, and myself
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I believe my versatility and will to fight makes me successful. I’m always ready to change things up and help my clients in the best way possible. Listening and comprehending are two important skills I have in my toolkit to work with my clients, and using both of those are a great help to becoming successful.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment in business was when I was legally cleared to use the name “Mildner Orthopedics” for my practice. It was such an exciting moment and a big step into truly creating the dream I’ve had for so long.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am hopeful that the future holds more patients discovering my practice and deciding to make me their go to doctor. I’d really love to speak with future patients about their past experiences with orthopedics, how they’re feeling, and how I can help them with any fears they may have about surgery. More clients means more time for me to connect and listen to the stories they bring from all walks of life. I’m actually pretty excited with the new technology thats always coming out, and researching how it could be beneficial to my practice. Its all very interesting, so I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for the business.
What business books have inspired you?
The Financially Intelligent Physician by David Norris is a book that always inspires me, because it really shows the true key to keeping up with your business while providing your patients with the best care possible. It’s quite the read for anyone looking to start their own practice or even studying in medical school.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to erase any comparisons to others. The easiest way to feel behind in life is to compare yourself to others who have completely different circumstances than you do. Stay in your own lane and focus on getting to the end, because there’s only going to be one person in control of your destiny: you.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Of course! I would love to have someone come and shadow me and learn about the work I do. If anyone is interested, my contact information is listed on my website. Feel free to email me at anytime and I’ll make sure to get back to you.