100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2017-2018 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Kitahama Kids’ Clinic

President Tadashi Kitahama

Message to young people
Do not be afraid of making mistakes. Keep challenging yourself.

I worked at a large hospital for 10 years and was 33 years old when I decided to open my own clinic. However, many people around me were against the idea simply because they thought it was too late for me to start out on my own. I didn’t give up; instead I did thorough marketing research and showed them management studies to convince them that it could work. Owning my own clinic means that I am not only a doctor, but also a manager. Of course my main job is to see patients and help them get well, but I also need to pay the bills and manage my staff. I need my patients to choose my clinic repeatedly and that is why I am committed to their satisfaction. I need to be a successful businessperson, as well as a good doctor to keep providing quality service to my patients.

Considering the number of patients I have to see daily, I can only spend an average of three minutes with each. Satisfying them and their parents in such a limited time is the key to being a successful pediatrician.

I pay attention to them and decide what they need to know and how best to explain it. If I pay attention, I can pick up their worries and use the smallest pieces of information to open conversations. It is important that they feel they are being heard and all their questions are answered clearly.

I write down everything from my patients’ conditions to where they went on holiday. By checking the notes, I can ask relevant questions so that they feel more cared for. I also try to avoid unnecessary treatment and medication to cut down on costs and stress on the patients and their parents, and explain why they are unnecessary. These extra efforts lead to their satisfaction; that is what keeps them coming back.

I believe that a business centered on reliable medical skills helps enhance the satisfaction of the patients and their families. Good management can increase motivation among staff, and highly motivated staff can work proactively with more efficiency and creativity, presenting a pleasant and energetic atmosphere. My job is not just to diagnose and provide treatment and medication, but also to minimize the patients’ costs while ensuring they are satisfied.

These things are not taught in medical school. Medical skills can be acquired at medical schools, but not management theory. I needed to teach myself about business and I read many books, attended seminars and learned business, management, hospitality, as well as history and investment. There were many things I could learn from the people outside the medical world.

My next mission is to open clinics in as many prefectures as possible under the same principle. To start with, I plan to set up a way to educate doctors who want to launch their own clinics. I want to provide them with business insights, information and necessary knowledge to become independent. General hospitals have training systems, but they only focus on the medical aspects. A place where entrepreneurial education is provided to doctors is necessary.

If doctors can manage their clinics better, patients can receive the benefits of greater efficiency, less waiting time, no unnecessary treatment or medication, more attention and a pleasant atmosphere. I want to spread my idea and inspire doctors to start clinics committed to the satisfaction of patients.

Company Profile

Kitahama Kids’ Clinic
Kanagawa Prefecture
Pediatrics, Child Raising Consulting