Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elizabeth Cruz, Founder of Dr. Liz Cruz Partners in Digestive Health, located in Phoenix, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a gastroenterologist, and I founded Dr. Liz Cruz Partners in Digestive Health 15 years ago. Our medical practice is located on 108th Avenue and Indian School in Phoenix, AZ. We specialize in treating patients who are experiencing digestive issues or need screening colonoscopies. In addition to our medical practice, we offer a wellness business that provides a more holistic approach to digestive health. Recently, we started a clinical research arm of our practice, which allows patients to enroll in research studies related to digestive health. This not only contributes to research but also provides the patients with an opportunity to earn money.
Tell us about yourself
I graduated from college in 1988 with a B.S. in Medical Technology. Before starting Medical School, I taught English for one year in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1989, I began my formal career in medicine by attending Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California. During medical school, I was part of a student/staff physician team, which provided relief work to the natives along the Amazon River. I graduated from medical school in 1993 and then went on to do my Internal Medicine Internship under the auspices of the U.S. Navy at the Naval Hospital, in Oakland, California.
Upon the closure of the Naval Hospital in Oakland, I transferred and completed my internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco. In 1996, I was deployed to Guam to fulfill my commitment to the U.S. Navy. While in Guam, I served as a Staff Internist at the U.S. Naval Hospital. During my active duty years in the Navy, I received the Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal as well as the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the National Defense Medal for service during Operation Desert Storm. During my last two years in Guam, I was the Head of the Internal Medicine Division at the U.S. Naval Hospital.
In 2000, I went back to the University of California, San Francisco, where I completed my training in Gastroenterology (GI). In 2004, I moved to Arizona to join the Arizona Medical Clinic in Peoria. For two and a half years, I served as a full-time gastroenterologist in both the outpatient and inpatient settings doing the full range of general gastroenterology, including endoscopic procedures as well as hepatology. In January 2007, I joined Estrella Gastroenterology in Goodyear, Arizona. In January 2008, I opened the doors to my own practice, Dr. Liz Cruz Partners in Digestive Health.
I was born in Los Angeles, California, and was raised in Orlando, Florida. I speak fluent Spanish and enjoy my family, traveling, jazz music, and photography. As a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Gastroenterology, and a member of the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, I love helping my patients eat better, drink better and get off of medicines with supplements and life changes. From a young age, I always knew I wanted to be a doctor because I loved helping people. I decided to open my own practice so I could have control of the type of medicine I wanted to practice, which was a combination of traditional medicine with a holistic approach.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Keeping the business open for the last 15 years - it has had its challenges, but we've managed to stay open and thrive. We are one of the few single specialty clinics that are independently owned left standing, and I plan to keep it that way.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Trying to find time to work on the business instead of always being in the business. There is a lot to juggle, so finding the right team to surround me has been essential. I have amazing staff and partners; without them, it would be difficult to execute at the level that we have.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a plan, know how you are going to make money and know how much you are going to have to spend to do it.
- Be patient; everything always takes more time than you think it will.
- Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you and be willing to delegate.
- Extra tip - you only learn by doing, so just start doing it and learn from your mistakes. As long as you keep moving forward, that is all that matters.
Where can people find you and your business?
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