Open team culture and dedicated doctors helps this medical centre rise to the top
At HealthcareLink, we work with hundreds and hundreds of employers through the on-demand support program, placing general practice doctors and specialists in new workplaces. Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Dr Eshwar Madas, Principal G.P. at the Lane Street Medical Centre in Wentworthville to find out more about his centre, what drives him as a doctor and what makes his practice so successful.
Dr Madas started the centre in October 2012 and in four short years, has expanded from a single doctor (himself!) and receptionist to four full-time doctors, an after-hours doctor, a part-time registered nurse and, of course, the receptionist. The Lane Street Medical Centre also offers allied health services on appointment, such as nutrition and dietetics, psychology, exercise physiology and audiology.
The centre is well-known in the area and very popular. One just needs to ‘Google’ the name and see the many positive reviews online.
“A brilliant and very kind doctor.”
“Excellent doctors, nurse and reception.”
“The service in this medical centre is amazing.”
Positive online reviews being uncommon to business other than the likes of the latest smartphone or “FaceGramChat”, I asked Dr Madas what it was the secret to his success.
“Honest feedback and an attitude to keep the patient top of mind”, was his simple response.
Out of frustration comes the treasure
Dr Madas comes from a medical administration background, having worked for over 10 years as a Deputy Medical Superintendent, then Medical Superintendent for a group of hospitals in Victoria. Frustrated with the bureaucracy and wanting to go back to why he studied to become a doctor in the first place, Dr Madas decided to quit and go into full-time clinical practice. He chose general practice so that he could stay close to the community and have a flexible lifestyle.
After completing his 10-year moratorium in Darwin and NSW’s Blue Mountains, Dr Madas wanted to practise as a GP in Sydney and began looking for a suitable medical centre to join. He speaks, however of the frustration he felt again, this time in not being able to find a place where the doctors worked together as a team.
Hence, the Lane Street Medical Centre was born.
Dr Madas set up the Lane Street practice in October 2012, based on his experience as a medical administrator, general manager of an aged care and as a general practitioner. After doing everything himself for two years, Dr Madas found his hard work was paying off with the number of patients and requests for appointments increasing. He started looking to bring on his first doctor in July 2014.
Dr Madas sees successful healthcare has two factors of influence – providing good quality health service and providing good customer service. To ensure his centre generated these two key drivers, Dr Madas wanted to avoid common misgivings about medical centres – unfriendly receptionist, filthy waiting area, faulty equipment and placed great emphasis on creating and maintaining a friendly and tranquil atmosphere for patients.
Staff recruitment the key to happiness & success
“Recruiting and retaining good staff is equally important, having staff (doctors and nurses) who have stayed from day one, providing continuity of care to the patients of the medical centre”, says Dr Madas of the second key driver to ensuring a successful healthcare practice.
When asked what he looks for in his staff, Dr Madas was inspired by the philosophy that drove the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby team to win the world championships. “If the candidate is a nice human being, he (or she) will make a nice doctor, that is my philosophy.”
Dr Madas is honest in his approach when hiring new candidates. He looks for flexibility, someone with reasonable expectations that can be met by the centre and a willingness to take on feedback by working with other doctors as a team.
Being a non-DWS location placed a few restrictions on the type of candidate HealthcareLink’s support consultant, Api Yuganathan, could put forward for the job vacancy. She found the first candidate, albeit with some restrictions still in place, an ideal fit to the centre, being of a similar cultural background to the local community and having an open nature. Dr Madas agreed with Api’s recommendation and offered him the job the next day!
Then came the tough part, where the HealthcareLink team worked to negotiate with the Department of Health to lift the candidate’s working restrictions due to the special family circumstances he faced. This was a similar situation with the second doctor placed by HealthcareLink into the Lane Street Medical Centre, who has recently joined the practice full-time.
The Lane Street Medical Centre’s efforts to grow received a major boost when a long-standing GP in the community joined the practice, after the closure of a 40-year old practice in the local area.
In line with the open and honest team culture Dr Madas aims to foster in his centre, there are weekly chat and lunch sessions run, where the team get together and requesting help with tricky cases and to give feedback on common patients they have helped. Dr Madas gives back to junior doctors with 2-hour teaching sessions run weekly, as well as training half a dozen IMGs (International Medical Graduates) and the centre is a recognised placement for training for medical students from the University of Western Sydney and University of Sydney.
Dr Madas credits the growth of his bustling medical centre to his staff, including the two doctors introduced by HealthcareLink. “We put a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction, good services and retaining good staff, and because of this, we are reasonably successful as a business and a medical centre”, says Dr Madas.
If you’d like to work with the Lane Street Medical Centre or other employers looking for doctors and nurses around Australia, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.