Just What The Doctor Ordered: Some Special Issues and Strategies for Physicians and Dentists

AuthorJeffrey Robert Matsen
ProfessionFounder and managing partner of Matsen Voorhees Mintz LLP
Just What the Doctor
Some Special Issues and Strategies for Physicians
and Dentists
Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with and representing several physicians with respect
to their business, tax, estate, and Asset Protection Planning needs and objectives. Contrary to the experi-
ence of some of my colleagues, for the most part, I have found the doctor–lawyer relationship to be a very
enjoyable and satisfying one.
Obviously, as a general rule, doctors don’t like lawyers. There are a few manifest reasons for this.
First of all, a malpractice lawsuit brought by a lawyer is the physician’s worst nightmare. Secondly, most
lawyers don’t make an effort to appreciate and understand their physician client’s practice and the time
and pressure constraints it engenders. Physicians are, obviously, bright and have put significant time and
effort into the medical education process; yet, many lawyers don’t give full faith and credit to the physi-
cian’s background and operating practice.
Actually, I think an attorney’s approach to the way he or she represents clients should be similar to a
physician’s treatment of a patient. For instance: A client comes to me with a legal, tax, or business prob-
lem. I try to gather the necessary information so I can understand the client (patient) and his or her con-
cerns. I probe to identify the specific areas of need (identify the symptoms). Once I have done that, Ican
make a diagnosis and follow that up with a designed strategy (remedy/plan of care). I then perform the
services and implement the strategies just as the physician would in addressing the health condition of the
patient. Finally, I follow up and make sure that the client’s plan is properly maintained, and I recommend
and schedule regular meetings with the client (checkups). I also prescribe various steps (medications) that
can be taken to keep the client’s legal and business health in good shape.

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