Episode 18 | Our Wonderful Client Dr. Kelvin Larwood
Isabel: Hello and welcome back to ED Going Digital. Today I am joined with one of our wonderful clients Dr Kelvin Larwood. Thank you so much for joining us today, I know you are incredibly busy so we are very grateful for your time! So to begin with, could you tell us a little bit about how you started your career in the medical world and why you wanted to be a doctor?
Kelvin: Okay that goes back a fair way. I have been a doctor, as a specialist for about 8 years but prior to that I was a nurse. Interestingly I grew up in The Solomon Islands, this goes back a bit. So I grew up in The Solomon Islands because my parents were missionaries out there and they ran a hospital and it was really in the bush and the only two things that were really interesting there was the hospital and the other was aeroplanes. My Dad actually built a runway so that planes could come in and land and people could come to the hospital a bit more easily. So I wanted to be a pilot or a doctor, that was it.
Isabel: Wow, that’s so cool!
Kelvin: So then as a teenager it very much shifted to being much more medically orientated than flying. I didn’t get into medicine at the start from finishing school so I actually was a nurse for a while, both my parents were nurses and interestingly my brother is a nurse and so is my sister. So five out of five in my family were all nurses. I did nursing, really enjoyed it and was working in intensive care and really enjoyed attentive care nursing. I wanted to be a doctor but didn’t get into medical school so after a little while they changed the way medical school entries and courses happened so I had my second chance when I was 30. I thought I’d put my hat in the rind and have another go. So that’s how I ended up having a go.
Isabel: That’s lovely, Mum’s a nurse too! Would you be able to tell us a little bit about what you do in the medical world?
Kelvin: I’m an obstetrician/ gynecologist so that means I basically look after women’s health, women having babies, delivering babies and helping them go through labour and birth. Looking after their pregnancies, which is the obstetrics side of what I do. The gynecology side is also looking after women things like period problems, pain, and often involves doing surgery. I often do quite a bit of surgery on this side of gynecology. There is a third part of what I do and that’s fertility so looking after couples because fertility is very much usually a couple sort of thing. Looking after couples or individual women who want to start a family and are having trouble conceiving and helping them through pregnancy. So those three parts all relate to each other.
Isabel: And was there anything that inspired you to specialise in that area?
Kelvin: Yes, that is another one that has sort of a back story. When I was an intensive care nurse and got into medicine. I went into medical school thinking I would do anesthetics and intensive care, that was what I was going to do because I enjoyed it as a nurse. Through medical school I did obstetrics and gynecology and found it particularly interesting. It is a nice variety of clinical things that we see and do and the patients in this specialty are all wonderful and I enjoy looking after them. I just found it very interesting so my focus changed very quickly from what I thought I was going to do to doing women’s health.
Isabel: It sounds like it! That’s lovely! How do you find working for yourself and what are the pain points of running your own business?
Kelvin: What are the good points? I do both public and private work and there’s pros and cons to both but in the private world the thing that is challenging is doing as a clinician doing clinical work you are also running a business. You need to look after staff, you need to look after the business, which involves paying accounts, paying rent, paying wages and making sure the business is actually successful because if it’s not it won’t exist anymore.
Those things are challenging about being in private practice but also part of the fun of private practice and the enjoyment in having something that is yours and you need to look after it and have it be successful and also the patients that you look after. At the end of the day if I’m not providing a service to my patients then the business won’t exist so that is one of the challenges. Making sure you are always focused on what you do, which is looking after patients in my area of specialty and keeping your eye on that ball.
Isabel: Yes definitely, it sounds like there’s a lot to juggle when you’re working for yourself. How has recruiting a digital marketing company impacted your business?
Kelvin: From a business point of view, when one of the pain points is when people don’t know you exist, then you won’t have a business. I recognised early on that marketing was an important part of running the practice but it is something that I wasn’t good at and I didn’t really like the marketing side of it. So that was a pain point that I recognised that I needed to do but I didn’t like doing. Getting rid of that and giving it to someone else like yourselves was good. It’s not painful anymore because I don’t have to do it and someone else does it for me.
Isabel: What passions do you have outside of being a doctor?
Kelvin: My interests are exercise and sport, cycling in particular I really like to enjoy cycling so that is something that I do outside of work. I have a family and I am a workaholic and can tend to work too much. Outside of work that is something for me that is a constant battle to not forget about that and try to make that a priority.
Isabel: How has Englander Davis assisted you in regards to running your business and looking after the digital side of things?
Kelvin: They’ve just made it easy for me. It’s something that I keep a bit of an eye on but I don’t look at too much. So that’s probably why I’ve been slow at answering your emails. It has helped. The practice is about 8 years old and you guys have been looking after me for a couple of years so it certainly has grown and is continuing to grow. It is at the stage where we need to provide the good service that we are providing but keep that going and hopefully that bit of growth along the way.
Isabel: Perfect! What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting their own practice?
Kelvin: So certainly the medical side of things it’s a nice way to do what you do. You are in control of what you’re doing and responsible for what you’re doing as opposed to a big system. There’s an advantage of running your own thing and being accountable and responsible for that and making it work, it’s satisfying.
Isabel: What goals do you have this year for yourself and your practice?
Kelvin: Because it has been running for about 8 years the goal is to keep doing what we’re doing but as you do get busier to not drop the service. You’ve gotten there because of what you’ve done and you need to somehow manage to keep doing that well even though you have more that you’re doing. Being busier is good and that is what you’re trying to do but still maintaining the service that has got you there. Staying in that position where you aren’t missing anything but you’re still providing a good service and really maintaining what you’ve got.
Isabel: Yes, definitely and finding a nice balance between the two. What advice would you give a younger Kelvin in medical school?
Kelvin: The rear vision mirror is good and hindsight is good. I actually think I would find it very hard to do anything different to what I’ve done. The work side of things and the way that I do work is just the way I’m wired so it would be really hard for me to do anything different. It’s not that I’ve done everything right, there’s lots of things I haven’t done right but I get a lot of enjoyment out of the work that I do. So I don’t think I could do too much different to be honest and I feel very lucky that I’ve had the chance to do it because when I finished school I wanted to do what I’m doing now but I didn’t have that chance. It wasn’t until about 10 years after finishing school that I then had a second chance at it.
Isabel: That’s amazing that you managed to do it as well. Thank you so much for your insight into what you do and your take on digital marketing! Thank you so much for joining us today. We really do appreciate your time! We feel very lucky to work with such fantastic clients such as yourself! Thank you again!