The story of Workmed
My father, who you would know as Dr. Bachman, asked me to write this story of Workmed. Although I thought this was somewhat of an odd request, I agreed to do so as our entire family was involved in the creation and building of this clinic. In college, you learn many different things, however, in the early months of Workmed I became likely the only certified collector of drug testing in my college class. My mother Beth and two sisters all became certified drug collectors. Unusual requests and sacrifice involved all of us.
My father told me of his desire and vision to start a new occupational medicine clinic. He had started Midwest Occupational Medicine, and was the lead physician for 25 years. When I asked him about why he left, he simply states that he thought he could make a better widget. Nonetheless, we knew he was serious about his choice when he let his employer know some five months before his departure of his intention to leave. 60 days before his departure he gave his final notice and that is when things started to change.
I did not see much my parents at that time. The two of them were working evenings and weekends in preparation of starting the clinic in Rice. I remember liking this location as it was a few miles from where we pick out our Christmas tree every year. The facility was the office space of a former trucking company. The office had not been used for several years and was in poor shape. My parents spent endless hours scrubbing the floors and walls, cleaning windows and moving supplies in. The two of them would sit at the kitchen table and talk about a reception desk mom found on Craigslist in St. Paul. The garage filled with exam tables, cabinets, and furniture. Dad was up late evenings working on developing the electronic medical record. My parents sat at the table figuring out how to leverage our family assets to take out a business loan. I remember my mom coming home with paint on her hands and arms making us the evening dinner and my dad’s 1989 Suburban filled with carpet which he installed into the clinic. My mom wanted the waiting room to feel like you were walking into a living room, my father love this idea and when it was all finished he commented that no patient would have a high blood pressure reading from this waiting room.
As the process continued, my sisters and I became certified drug collectors. This was truly the beginning of a family business. Fortunately, my drug collection career was short-lived. Several of the people who had worked with my dad in the past had decided to join us. This was a good thing, as each one of them brought a unique skill set and new energy to the project. It is apparent that my father is an unusual in that he allows each employee to excel and add their own imprint on this company, just as he encourages us to live authenticity. The first six months must have been fairly difficult, as the number of patients seen was slow during the cold winter of 2014. Although, even though there was less stability financially, there was a new happiness which had settled into her home.
Thinking of ways to find more business my parents then started working on the second clinic. It was in south St. Cloud. The second location was located at the parking lot of the Pilot gas station right off Hwy 94. Again the kitchen table became the place of conversation for the building of a second clinic. My parents discovered a clinic which was closing in Plymouth, and were able to purchase a digital x-ray machine along with all the exam tables, clinic chairs, and most of the things they needed. They converted the tanning salon into a second clinic. This opened in June 2014. As companies and employees discovered the new location the business continues to grow.
When asking my dad about what’s important in starting a new clinic, he tells me the two things, are most important. First when you close the door and you are with the patient, the patient, deserve your complete attention. Second, in regards to occupational medicine, when the company utilizes your service, you are truly blessed as you have been entrusted with their most valuable assets, the health of their employees.
I have terrific parents who have instilled values in each and everything they do. They live in demonstrate these values every day. There is a poster which hangs in the Rice clinic. The poster has words on it. The words are smile, be kind, be gracious, say thanks, be respectful, be courteous, apologize, be polite, do no harm. I think the story of my parents company, has many chapters yet to be written. Given their functional approach to life, they will continue to be successful.