Monday, July 23, 2007

The PC: Am I a professional or a corporation?

This morning I noticed my incorporation kit sitting in my book case and decided to have a look. I find it very interesting. I am professional corporation. My corporation was incorporated in New York State in February 2006. I have a corporate seal and by-laws, and I take minutes. The first meeting of the share holders took place on February 21, 2006. I signed the minutes as the secretary , the director, and chairman. Well that certainly sums up the role of the solo practitioner. According to the article of incorporation--the documents--I'm supposed to have periodic shareholder meetings, which I do, with myself, daily.

My corporation has 200 shares. I own all of them. When they were issued, they had no value. Zero. I don't know what they would be valued at currently, probably somewhere between the $0.00 and Google's stock price. In case you have never seen an actual common share document, they are quite impressive looking, even pretty, and of course, are the color green.

As a corporation, my fiduciary responsibility and my legal obligation are to make a profit and moreover, to maximize it. That is the law.

As a professional, my ethical and fiduciary responsibilities are to provide the patient with the best medical care at the lowest price possible, given their medical situation.

How can I reconcile these 2 seemingly adverse goals, the corporate one and the professional one?

I believe it can be done. Maximizing profits at the expense of good patient care is ultimately counterproductive and bad from a business perspective. Any practice's long term problem is 20-30 years of continued growth, or at the very least, survival. Unethical medicine, while it may be profitable in the short run, is in essence a short term solution for what is a long term problem. I prefer to do the right thing by way of the patient and to provide them with the best care that I, and my staff, can give them, and then encourage them to tell others about how great we are. So far, this has been a successful business model for the corporation, Richard A Schoor MD PC, and the professional, Richard A Schoor MD FACS.

Thanks for listening.

The IU Inc.