Business Lessons from a San Antonio Doctor

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When people imagine becoming a doctor, they probably don’t think about the business side of practicing medicine. Dr. Richard T. Schlosberg IV, a San Antonio pediatrician who co-founded ABCD Pediatrics over 20 years ago, learned early in his career that a knack for business combined with his love for the medical field made for a more meaningful experience for patients, which extended beyond the doctor’s office and enriched the San Antonio community. For Schlosberg, his willingness to think like a businessman was critical to his company’s growth over the years. This journey all started when he found the right city to house his pediatric practice.

Schlosberg moved to San Antonio from Phoenix 21 years ago. His new home offered the ideal conditions he believed he needed to open his pediatric clinic: “As a pediatrician, I just needed rooftops, elementary schools, good people, and a good town,” Schlosberg said. San Antonio offered all this and more. For Schlosberg, his move from Phoenix to San Antonio was a fortuitous one because it became the fertile ground from which his medical business would grow into what it is today. Schlosberg said, “Fortunately, we landed in San Antonio, and there was no looking back. It’s been great.”

From day one, Schlosberg has focused on differentiating his business from others, which he thinks plays a critical role for any company starting up. “I think you have to find something that identifies you as an individual entity, makes your brand slightly different than everybody else,” Schlosberg says.

For ABCD Pediatrics, their differentiation began with the waiting room, where they decided they would suspend a toy train system from the ceiling. “It’s little things like that, that separate you out in terms of your marketing, your branding, but really have nothing to do with what we do,” Schlosberg explains. He believes the train worked because it was something different for a waiting room, “It was far more inspiring to the kids, and made us unique.”

This successful act of differentiation stemmed from one of Schlosberg’s core beliefs that you must remain out of your comfort zone. For people thinking of starting their own business, Schlosberg advises, “I think the first thing you have to do is not be comfortable where you are.”

This idea is the core of his business mantra and it lies at the heart of another key to his entrepreneurial success: being ahead of the competition. ABCD Pediatrics was one of the first offices to adopt a fully electronic system for patient medical records, which allowed them to further expand to other locations such as Schertz, Boerne, and Bulverde.

With the growth ABCD experienced, it became harder for Schlosberg to oversee every detail of the offices, which meant he had to form relationships with other businesses. One such relationship was with The Bank of San Antonio, whose Positive Pay technology discovered a fraudulent check that saved Schlosberg’s practice from losing tens of thousands of dollars. Although Schlosberg was skeptical of Positive Pay at first, The Bank of San Antonio’s team encouraged him to use it, and his trust in them obviously paid off. Their businesses grew together, alongside each other, and he thinks these kind of relationships are critical for the success of any company.

All of Schlosberg’s work and growth as a doctor and businessman has been in service of giving more San Antonio families their ideal pediatric experience. His success has been important for him, but it all centers around the most important aspect of his day –forming relationships with kids and their families. Schlosberg’s work revolves around his positive connection with people and what he has done to strengthen the San Antonio community. “When I see a patient go off to college and the family reminds me I saw them in the nursery when they were born, it is incredibly special. That’s what I’m most proud of, just the relationship and the impact I’ve had on kids and families in San Antonio.”

To learn more about Schlosberg’s entrepreneurship and other success stories of San Antonio entrepreneurs, check out The Bank of San Antonio’s “Business Heroes Podcast”.

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