VOL. 129 | NO. 170 | Monday, September 1, 2014
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
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Atlas Men’s Health Celebrates One Year
By Amos Maki
At Atlas Men’s Health in Midtown, you can get some basic primary care services, such as a physical, testosterone replacement therapy, wellness injections and routine vaccinations.
And after a night of too much drinking they can take care of that awful next-day feeling with their IV Hangover Therapy.
“We’re a neighborhood wellness clinic that offers wellness and health maintenance services, such as immunizations and routine exams, as well as treatments like testosterone replacement,” said Atlas Men’s Health founder Robert Booth.
After spending the better part of two decades working in the emergency room field, Robert Booth started Atlas Men’s Health last year.
(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
“And if you have a hangover we can take care of that, too,” Booth said with a laugh. “It’s a get-out-of-jail-free card if you have a bad hangover.”
Atlas Men’s Health, at 14 N. McLean Blvd. in Midtown, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. The clinic has grown from zero patients when it first opened its doors to 150 per week now.
“We’ve grown as we projected when we opened the clinic,” said Booth, 41. “It’s done well.”
Booth took the plunge into small-business ownership after spending the better part of two decades working in the emergency medicine field.
The former U.S. Navy hospital corpsman and fourth Marine field medic worked as a paramedic from 1996 to 2003. After receiving an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Mississippi in 2002, Booth enrolled in the physician assistant program at the University of New England in Portland, Maine, in 2003. After completing an emergency medicine residency program in San Antonio, Texas, in 2006, Booth and his wife moved to Memphis in 2007 when he was hired at Methodist University Hospital.
Booth said he initially enjoyed working in the emergency room environment, where the only things you were sure the job would bring each day were unpredictability and excitement. But over time the job began to wear on him.
“I’ve been doing emergency medicine in one form or another for 20 years now and it wears you out,” said Booth. “Working in the (emergency room) is quite stressful and it takes a toll on you mentally and physically.”
His twin daughters were born in 2010 and Booth knew he had to make a change.
“Working in an emergency room, the schedule you work and the stress levels you have are not healthy and I realized I needed to look at avenues for redirecting my life,” said Booth. “I was never home and when I was home I was sleeping or recuperating.
“In emergency medicine a lot of time you’re dealing with people who don’t care if they’re healthy and they only show up when they’re in crisis,” he said. “The emergency room is a very negative environment and the clinic was an opportunity to take all those years of training and apply them to a patient base that is actually trying to be healthy. Nobody is cursing at me here.”
Booth had been receiving testosterone therapy and it had worked wonders for him, giving him more energy and stamina to carry him through those long emergency room shifts. So when Booth was evaluating what type of clinic he wanted to open, he drew on his own life experiences and a light bulb went off.
“I had started to get testosterone shots myself and it had such a positive effect on me I thought this was something we needed to look at, something we needed to do,” he said.
Booth said one key to his success was picking the right location to open the clinic.
“Our competitors that do this are almost all out in East Memphis,” he said. “The whole Downtown and Midtown markets were completely ignored. At the end of the day it all comes down to convenience for people, and if we could put something in this area that had been neglected we could generate some interest and people wouldn’t have to drive all the way out east.”
Booth also said focusing on the needs of customers who are busy with their own lives, families and jobs was crucial.
“You can run in here and be out of here in 10 or 15 minutes, which people really can’t do with their primary care doctor,” he said.
Booth said he would urge people who have a burning desire to be an entrepreneur to fulfill their dream because living with regret isn’t really living at all.
“I can live with failure but I cannot live with not trying,” he said. “If you’re thinking about starting a business, you’ll be happier that you at least tried. You’ll be able to look in the mirror and say you tried. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you.”