Family medicine is a whole new experience these days for Praveen Rajanahalli, MD, MBA’16. When he enrolled in the Physician MBA Program at the Kelley School of Business, he was feeling overworked and burnt out. After the MBA program, Dr. Rajanahalli launched personalized primary care clinic Supro Direct. And he’s never looked back.
“There’s hardly any burnout here. The burnout level here is at 10% compared to 100% in my previous practice,” he says. “This is like normal work; this is happiness. I love doing what I’m doing. It’s changed a lot of things.”
Having workshopped his ideas for Supro Direct with professors and peers during the Physician MBA Program, Dr. Rajanahalli has successfully led the concierge primary care clinic for the past four years. Patients purchase a membership for unlimited care at the clinic, which begins with an extensive workup of blood tests that gather baselines. Several of these labs are not offered as routine screening in a traditional primary care setting. The workup includes:
- A cardiac stress treadmill study
- Body mass analysis (mSECA)
- Retinal scans
- Complete body scans for skin cancer using artificial intelligence
- Extensive blood tests, including genetic disease testing
- Optional sleep apnea tests
Even minor problems are investigated to prevent issues down the line, providing preventative care that most busy offices simply do not have the time — or equipment — to complete.
“When we have an abnormal finding during a physical exam, like enlarged lymph nodes, we use an in-house ultrasound system to check the area before referring out to a specialist or additional imaging,” he explains. “That has been a game changer. We diagnosed nodules in one patient’s thyroid very early and referred her to a specialist.”
Dr. Rajanahalli says he always loved medicine — even when he felt buried by his work. Now he can achieve the preventative measures and foster the personal, one-on-one relationships with patients that his schedule didn’t permit in the past. He says the experience at Kelley helped him pursue and realize his dream.
“The Physician MBA at Kelley gave me the confidence and the drive I need to do this. I continue to revisit the concepts I learned at Kelley because I still pull out literature and books my professors provided in class,” he says. “My Kelley executive coach, Chuck Stoner, told me if I didn’t make the move to my dream of personalized medicine, I would regret it 10 or 20 years later. I said to my wife, ‘I wouldn’t have made it to 60 years old from the stress.’ In the back of my mind, I knew I could always return to traditional medicine, but this has really been a success.”
Along the way, Dr. Rajanahalli has stayed engaged at Kelley, even picking up some tips at alumni events hosted specifically for the physician-only program.
“One of the speakers at an alumni lecture series event taught me some skills to help improve my revenue system and increase employee satisfaction. As a result, I began incentivizing my team for their good work,” he says. “If you incentivize employees you see better patient outcomes, employees are happier and as a result, patients are much happier as well. Patient experience went through the roof. That’s a Kelley tool.”
Dr. Rajanahalli found the lessons in revenue and delivery system to be particularly helpful. As he has grown his business, he says he remains inspired by what he learned in the program to find new ways to generate revenue at Supro Direct. During the pandemic, he found an additional revenue as a designated civil surgeon, conducting immigration medical exams during downtime. He even began offering regenerative medicine and launched a skincare division, which he trained an employee to manage.
“The Physician MBA equipped me to look outside the box. Don’t keep prescribing pills for every problem — what sources do you have to bring in additional options? That was a skill I gained from the program and continue to use,” he says. “If you want higher patient satisfaction, better experiences for your patients, better revenue for the practice and greater physician satisfaction, enroll at Kelley.”
If you want higher patient satisfaction, better experiences for your patients, better revenue for the practice and greater physician satisfaction, enroll at Kelley.”
Physicians typically develop a close-knit cohort of classmates as they learn together throughout the 21-month Physician MBA Program. Many alumni like Dr. Rajanahalli say the experience doubled their network of physician connections. He says it was one of the greatest takeaways from the program.
“If you go to a medical conference, you may meet a whole bunch of doctors, but you can’t spend enough time with them. In class, you have more time to talk to each other, create connections and learn from one another,” he says. “Every doctor from a different specialty or location will teach you something you don’t know. That was worth it. That network — making those network connections — was worth it in the MBA classes.”
In fact, Dr. Rajanahalli continues to consult with physicians, both from his cohort and other alumni he has met since graduating. Many are people he considers “friends for life,” and they remain engaged to bounce ideas off one another. Chief medical officers, cardiologists and internal medicine physicians have become advisors and confidants for Dr. Rajanahalli as he grows his practice.
“Other physicians I met at Kelley have visited our office and gave me tips on what to do differently: Have you tried this or thought about this?” he says. “It’s like knowing a bunch of consultants who advise you for free. They’ve known you for a couple years; they inspire you and give you confidence. That’s on the house when you join the Kelley Physician MBA Program.”