Dr Mueed Mian on starting a joint business

He never planned to run his own practice, but when COVID hit, the career path of rheumatologist Dr Mueed Mian took an unexpected turn.

  3 minutes


Rheumatologists are the most chilled-out medical specialists. That statement may not be supported by experimental data, but it has been borne out of observational data collected by Dr Mueed Mian. When he was a medical student, he was shadowing a few rheumatologists. “One of the things that was very striking for me was, first of all, that I found the medicine really interesting,” he says, “but secondly, they seemed to be very nice and very relaxed people. I thought there was something about the specialty that perhaps attracts some of the more relaxed physicians.”

So Dr Mian wasn’t too fussed about whether he would pursue his career in private practice or public hospitals. His observations were reinforced when he travelled to the UK to do one of his electives; “It looked like it was reflected across the board, at least in two different hospitals, in different countries.”

So he followed the data, and was preparing for even more training in the UK when COVID hit. “I was ready to go in 2020,” he says. “I had bags packed and then, because of COVID, all of that just fell through.” Instead, he ended up practising in a number of different local hospitals, including the Northern Hospital at Epping, and a private practice in Brunswick. While he remained relaxed, a new and very specific drive crept into his demeanour.

“Once I started my work in the inner north of Melbourne, I realised very quickly that a lot of the patients I was seeing were from the catchment area where I did my public hospital work,” he says. “So, it became very clear to me that we should open up a private practice in Epping very close to the hospital. I thought that would be of huge benefit to the community.”

A fork in the road

An advantage Dr Mian had in his career was his certainty about the specialist road he wanted to go down. However he hadn’t given a lot of thought to running a private clinic—specialists can happily practise between hospitals for as long as they want without ever opening a practice. Now the need was clear, though, he started kicking some ideas around with one of his mentors, Dr Andrew Foote.

“Andrew is senior to me. He's the head of the rheumatology department in the Northern Hospital, and he's been a mentor to me for a long time,” says Dr Mian.

"I had brought up the idea with him prior to me being a consultant.

“I was really motivated for us to do this. We work very well together. We've been good friends and he's always been a great adviser of what to do throughout my career.”

They hired 1Group Property Advisory as a buyer’s agent. Dr Mian thought it would be a reasonably slow process, but everything happened more rapidly than he expected.
“It was pretty intense actually,” he says.

Easy does it 

Within the space of a week, the agent had found the property they are now based in—a residential house that required conversion—and they had put in an offer. “He just told us, ‘This is the one for you. This is exactly what you need. It's close to the hospital, and it's got all the right things that the council wants’.

“I took a big leap of faith in going ahead with it, and the agent was not wrong. So, within a couple of months we got council approval. As I understand it, for a house to be repurposed as a commercial property, that’s pretty quick.”

Finance for the purchase and fit-out came from BOQ Specialist. “BOQ Specialist are experts in this area, so they understand the nature of the work that I do,” says Dr Mian. “I was very lucky to have a banker in Luke James who is a lovely person and someone I can get on the phone to, whenever I need. He understands what is involved in financing a doctor and the different income streams we tend to have and the way that they can assess it. And they've definitely been very accommodating with financing. So, for a lot of different reasons, I've been very happy with them.”  


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