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Eric Schweiger, MD, Founder and CEO of Schweiger Dermatology Group, opened his first brick-and-mortar practice in New York City 12 years ago. Now he owns more than 90 practices in and around the tri-state area. What’s more, Schweiger Dermatology Group has been named to Crain’s New York Fast 50 and to Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America multiple times. He spoke to Practical Dermatology® magazine about his vision and what makes Schweiger Dermatology Group so attractive for practices and patients.

What is the history of Schweiger Dermatology Group?

Eric Schweiger, MD: Our very first office opened in 2010 in midtown Manhattan, and it was just me and an office manager. During those very early days, I started to see a trend of patients who wanted easier access to health care, including evening and weekend appointments and the ability to schedule online. Our second office opened two years later in the Flatiron district of New York City and shortly thereafter we grew throughout the greater New York area and began to open practices from scratch and acquire practices from dermatologists who no longer wanted to oversee the administrative part of their practice. We are now the largest group practice in the Northeast with more than 90 practices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and most recently, Connecticut.

What’s next for your growing group?

Dr. Schweiger: Our first priority is to make sure all of our current dermatologists are hitting their individual goals for building their practice. Secondly, we are continuing to grow and add practices within our region and neighboring regions.

How do you manage it all?

Dr. Schweiger: As a doctor, it is very important to me that we are a physician-led organization with a very strong medical leadership team. Our chief medical officer and regional medical directors oversee all decisions regarding patient care. We also want to make sure there is a cohesive patient experience, which is why all practices are under the Schweiger Dermatology Group brand. A core part of our brand means ease of access. We have one electronic medical record system and practice management system, which means that patients can go to any location and doctors have access to their charts.

What makes a practice attractive to you?

Dr. Schweiger: We have been successful with all different types of practices—medical, cosmetic, and surgical. The most important aspect is making sure there is a good cultural fit. We want all doctors who join our practice to share our commitment to great patient experience, work well with their colleagues, and be aligned with our vision.

What are the benefits for employees/doctors with this model?

Dr. Schweiger: We handle all administrative duties, so doctors can spend more time with patients and less time with paperwork. We have opportunities for our doctors to take on leadership roles. For example, David Goldberg, MD, JD is very strong in cosmetics and has built a cosmetic mentorship program for other dermatologists to help build upon their aesthetic skills. Daniel Groisser, MD is an outstanding medical dermatologist and knowledgeable in efficiency and billing. He has started a mentorship program for our doctors who want to hone their skills in these categories.

What business lessons did you learn along the way?

Dr. Schweiger: I have learned the importance of having a central vision. “The Ultimate Patient Experience” drives how we treat our patients and how important it is to treat them as consumers. “The Ultimate Patient Experience” means delivering excellent and accessible dermatology care and always looking from the patient’s perspective. I have also learned how important it is to provide frequent and transparent communication to our dermatologists and staff. This was particularly important during COVID-19 since there was so much uncertainty during that time.

Any mistakes you have made along the way that you

learned from?

Dr. Schweiger: Our first half dozen integrations did not go as smoothly as we would have liked, but we now know what to expect and have made improvements. We are not perfect but have learned how to communicate throughout the process and how to anticipate unexpected challenges.

How do you divide your time between a growing business and practicing medicine?

Dr. Schweiger: As the practice has matured there has been a shift in how I spend my time. I am now focused more on our administrative efforts and spend most of my time working with the leadership team. I do still see patients on a limited basis, as I think it’s important to remain connected to the practice. I am also constantly interacting with our dermatologists to understand their experience in the clinics.

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