Can A Mechanic Shop Teach Us Anything About Managing A Pediatric Practice?

I took my car in for alignment the other day. As I was waiting for the car, I thought about why the car needed alignment in the first place. If the car’s tires were aligned once, why the need for realignment?

My guess is that the car gets misaligned when something happens to it. For example, the car is jolted by a pot hole. I guessed road conditions, weather, vibrations or simply usage tend to mis-align a vehicle as well.

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Regardless of the reason, one thing is for sure; alignment brings a lot of value. Not only does it keep the car from veering off, but it’s also a preventive measure (kind of like a wellness visas). If you don’t care of your car’s alignment, the misalignment can create bigger problems in the future.

You know what else needs alignment?

You and the employees of your practice.


For the same reasons your car needs alignment.

There are things that cause us to veer off the path. Just like a car, your practice may have been jolted by an event. When this happens, we start to pull a little left. We tend to forget, lose focus or start heading down a path we weren’t intending on going down.

The jolt may have been a big change or a transition that occurred in the practice. But it could have also been subtle, barely noticeable. Anything from an important team member leaving the practice, to opening a new location to hiring a new provider.

Perhaps it was none of those things, but time.

That day at the mechanic shop I said to myself, just because I’ve aligned the staff towards our objectives, our purpose, our goal once, doesn’t mean that the alignment remains. 

I was reminded that to keep Salud Pediatrics focused, on task, an aligned towards our objectives, it is my responsibility to remind, affirm, correct and make adjustments (sometimes this process includes “changing” old worn out parts for new ones that perform better) to ensure the practice performs at its best.

And sometimes, that alignment begins with me.

What needs to be aligned?

I don’t know what those things are for your practice, but for me, areas in which we need to be frequently aligned are: our practice mission and core values.

I always go back to the core values and our mission because in it, I find reminders on why Salud Pediatrics exist in the first place; what’s are purpose as a practice; why do we come to work; who are we there for?

Once those things are in perspective, I know what needs to be done.

What about you?

What are the areas in your practice that need to be realign? Where have you or your staff veered off? Is the  practice pulling to one side more than it should? Has it been a while since you “aligned” the practice?

If so, it may be time to bring it in to the mechanic shop.

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