If you are an internist or a hospitalist looking for internal medicine opportunities to increase your bottom line, I have the perfect business opportunity for you. Walmart. It's a physician marketing gold mine. Yes folks, you heard it here first. Walmart is no longer just the place where nurse practitioners can practice their life long dream of refilling thyroid scripts and generating Wellness plans for healthy 45 year old mothers with no medical problems. Walmart is not just the place where healthy middle class mothers pop in for some prescription strength Zyrtec to treat their seasonal allergies. Walmart is about the walking wounded. Walmart is about the poorest of the poor. Walmart offers the perfect patient population for internal medicine physicians searching for a challenge.
I've been thinking about my new internist driven Walmart model of care ever since I was able to confirm an old Walmart urban legend. What was this long regarded secret, known only by the chronically sick, chronically debilitated, and chronically poor?
Happy: What do you do for fun since you are limited by your six liters of continuous oxygen?Stranger: I have my son drive me to Walmart and I cruise around the isles in their electric scooter with my friends. With my oxygen on all the time, there isn't alot I can do. So me and a couple friends go scootering down at Walmart three times a week.
My jaw dropped. Of course. Walllmmmmaaarrrtttt. That place is a gold mine of internal medicine opportunities. Why hasn't any internist thought of this before? Walmart is where all the poor and disabled people go for their basic needs. It's a one stop paradise shop. It has everything. Canned soups. TV dinners, Cigarettes. Flat screen TVs. A bathroom. Discount toiletries. Walmart has everything this population could ever want. Why not use Walmart for daily entertainment as well? It's their social Mecca. They have handicap parking spots by the dozens. Walmart charges no entry fee to get in. The cigarettes are cheap. Dozens of electric motorized scooters line the isles fully juiced up and ready to go. Walmart has everything the chronically disabled, smoking, oxygen dependent, wheelchair bound COPDers could ever ask for.
Who knew there were scooter gangs congregating in the halls of Walmart? I just figured they were all looking for the buy one get six tube socks free deal of the week. It's time internists take control of their destiny. Internist education is far too qualified to be wasted on the minute clinic model of care. What we do takes a far greater understanding of the human body. We hold a knowledge that can only be appreciated by people who have experienced the rigorous training of a degree in medicine. We are far too qualified to provide such a service by itself. No folks, that's not for us. However, Walmart does offer internal medicine opportunities that are limited only by our imagination.
The halls of Walmart proudly present to us the Patients of Walmart (PoW). The internal medicine opportunities are obvious. These are complicated disease ridden patients who come scootering for a nice Saturday stroll with their friends. If they can't come to your office to get the care they need, it's time that we, as highly trained internal medicine physicians take our services to them. There's no reason we can't offer training to the unkept public.
I'm going to call it the Doctors of Walmart (DoW). The model is simple. DoW will require at least four doctors to start. How will it work? It's all about location, location, location. Four internists will set up shop in key markets across the Walmart experience. One doctor gets the cigarette checkout stand to corner the COPD market. Another sets up shop in the boxed and canned goods isle to take advantage of decompensated heart failure PoWs. One doctor heads for the electronics, gaming and cell phone department because that's where all the poor and disabled people spend their discretionary free government money. And last but not least, one doctor sits inside the attached McDonald's that seems to be competing, and competing well I might add, for the scootering public.
Your patients are fully insured with Medicaid or Medicare. They're all on disability. They all have free government money just waiting to be spent on something from China. For internists, this is an opportunity of a lifetime to capture the enormous economic potential hiding in the Patients of Walmart. Once you've completed their scooter side exam and you've billed their insurance, you can use the chiropractic marketing techniques you learned to sell them stuff they don't really need. Once you've entered their psyche and you've associated your doctoring skills with the fun of their Saturday scootering stroll with their friends, you'll have a revenue stream for life.
Internal medicine opportunities are everywhere. You just need to know where to find them. The Patients of Walmart offer the perfect opportunity for Doctors of Walmart to exploit this haven of free government money and free entertainment to finally associate your internal medicine skills with something fun and exciting, as these original Happy Hospitalist Walmart ecards help to explain.
This post is for entertainment purposes only and likely contains humor only understood by those in a healthcare profession. Read at your own risk.