The LAFP is excited to recognize Dr. Mark Dawson as our November Member of the Month. He has been in practice in the rural community of Rayne for over 40 years. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University School of Medicine-New Orleans. He completed a family medicine residency at W.O. Moss Regional Hospital in Lake Charles, La., and a pediatrics residency at Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge. He holds dual board-certification in family medicine and pediatrics.
He has combined family medicine and business acumen to build a thriving 40+ year practice that boasts 4 primary care providers. We asked him about his choice to earn an MBA and how that has helped him with the “business of medicine”. He stated, “I earned my MBA from LSU. This has been found to be very helpful in the everyday running of the practice. The MBA allows me to understand spreadsheets, accounting, and other financial data. However, while useful, an MBA is not essential to the running of a successful private practice. A group of 3-4 physicians can easily hire a good office manager and accomplish the same goal.”
Dr. Dawson is committed to mentoring our family medicine students. We asked him what advice he offers to students rotating in his clinic. He answered, “I am a staunch advocate of independent private practice. According to Medscape 2023 “Young Physician Compensation” office based single specialty group practices earned the most in 2022 with healthcare organizations placing second and hospital- based practices finishing a distant third. Small group independent practices earn more than employed physicians because of two factors: 1. Overhead is much less in independent practices because they don’t incur the cost of multiple layers of “management” found in employed practices. 2. Independent ACOs generate significant income for independent group practices (4-5 times more than the same bonuses given by hospital systems to their employed providers).
He continued, “Bottom line- health systems don’t hire physicians to lose money. The most successful practices are small group independent practices. While salaried positions may seem attractive at first glance, further inspection shows that such positions seldom give physicians the financial independence found in independent small group practice.” He also talks to the students about loan repayment options available to them to help pay off their debt.
We asked him what he sees as the biggest opportunity in the specialty in the next five years. He stated, “The biggest opportunity in the future is the emergence of rural health clinics (reimbursements are much better). The biggest challenge on the horizon is the fact that society has become impatient. Urgent care clinics survive because patients use them for convenience. The best way to counter such culture is to provide same-day appointments in your clinics.”
Dr. Dawson is married to his beautiful wife, Linda. They are the proud parents of 4 daughters- one is a pediatrician who practices with her father, another is a Pharm D, the third is an RN-nursery nurse, and the fourth is a dermatopathologist who practices in a three- provider dermpath group in Jackson, MS.
Please help us congratulate Dr. Mark Dawson as our November Member of the Month!