Dr. Joseph Yi: A Medical Entrepreneur's Journey

 (photo credit: DR. JOSEPH YI)
(photo credit: DR. JOSEPH YI)

Opening a business as a doctor involves more than just hanging a sign outside. Many doctors don't opt for private practices because they lack the experience as entrepreneurs. This decision makes sense since, according to research by Michael T. Deane for Investopedia, as much as 20% of businesses fail within the first two years of being in operation. Medical school teaches you how to become a doctor but not how to start or run a practice.  That's what makes Dr. Yi's story such a unique one. As a first-generation immigrant, Dr. Joseph Yi has overcome many challenges to become the entrepreneur he is today. This article explores his success and highlights what makes him such a useful individual to learn about.

A History in the Medical Field

New entrepreneurs, especially those who are immigrants, start off by having to build their own business, and Dr. Yi is no exception to this rule. He obtained his MD at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and went on to do his residency at Cooper University Hospital, where he graduated as Chief Resident. His history in medicine, especially mental health, set the stage for his ambitions later in life. Upon graduating, Dr. Yi opened up Modern Behavioral, an outpatient behavioral health clinic specializing in helping people struggling with substance addictions and mental health reach higher in the game of life. It was here that he could bring about real change in how people approached addiction and mental wellness (not illness). Thanks to his communication and understanding with colleagues, he also founded a supplement line known as Beyond Recovery alongside three colleagues including NY Times Best Selling Author of EAT TO LIVE - Joel Fuhrman, MD.

Growth and Development as an Entrepreneur

Dr. Yi believes that passion is what defines whether a business succeeds or fails. When he got started, many people tried to talk him out of opening the clinic. However, he saw the promise within the idea and kept on with it. When the business was established and required scaling, this entrepreneur already knew what had to be done. He hired staff for their dedication to the cause and was able to rely on them as the company expanded. With smart delegation to competent staff members and a focus on technology, he grew and developed the clinic into something much more impactful.

A Different Approach to Treating Addiction

Modern Behavioral isn't a typical clinic for those recovering from substance abuse. A study by the Addiction Center found that more than 2 million Americans suffer from opioid abuse. However, Dr. Yi's treatment method is unique in how he approaches the problem. Instead of solely relying on medicines, Dr. Yi understands the need for holistic treatment (observing the body as a whole). Many times, he will recommend that patients learn to eat smarter and figure out ways to stimulate the mind & body alongside psychological wellness techniques. This unique approach not only works but differentiates him from the competition who merely just prescribe medications which only result in masking symptoms.  According to Dr Yi, symptoms are a form of communication from the body. Afterall, the human body does not speak language so it can only communicate through feelings.

Important Lessons to Learn

Dr. Yi is a successful entrepreneur not because he corners the market but because he understands that at the end of the day, his clients seek results. Many of his wellness strategies created over the years come from understanding what his clients are going through and openly admits that data obtained from his client’s experience far supersede what he was taught from the traditional medical textbooks. His unique background, alongside setbacks he's overcome, allows him to grasp the problem from his clients' perspectives. This type of approach is lacking in modern medicine, where there is less humanity overall. Dr. Yi's guiding statement is that knowledge can be taught in school, but true wisdom stems from experience. It’s the little things that ultimately separate the best from the rest.