Physician career move
Physician career move

Practicing medicine and entrepreneurship

Marcial Travelstead

Table of Contents

As a franchise owner, this physician has multiple income streams and creative outlets







Melva E. Pinn-Bingham, M.D., along with her husband, Leon Bingham, currently owns two Cold Stone Creamery franchises and enjoys practicing medicine and entrepreneurship. One store is located in Hampton, Virginia, and the other is not yet underway. They also previously owned a Subway sandwich franchise. Pinn-Bingham is an entrepreneur who believes that physicians are capable of doing so much outside of medicine. She credits her husband, a real estate investor, with his support to enable her to be successful in being both a physician and a franchise owner.

Why own a franchise in addition to being a physician?

Number one: leverage. Second: cash flow. Third: buying a proven system. I’m all about efficiency. That’s what I’m paying for. A proven profit. I think when we did the business acquisition, we definitely chose the right company. We also have children who love the product!

What don’t you like about owning a franchise?

I don’t like that franchises are not equal. The food service industry, such as quick service, is harder to run because it requires inventory, turnover, etc.

What has surprised you about this path?

Since my husband and I had the opportunity to become franchise owners with two different brands of franchise chains, especially during a pandemic, we had a unique perspective. It was surprising to see the contrast in leadership styles and approaches to profitability in the franchise world compared to each of the two franchises and from the one I’ve known inside the hospital system.

What advice do you have for other physicians considering owning a franchise?

It comes down to values and purpose. There are a lot of opportunities, but all companies are not the same. You need to speak to people who have already done it. My advice is to know what your goal is. When my husband and I went into it, we didn’t need three years to turn a positive. We had very strict buying criteria. Being business owners, we were able to leverage on so many levels. It’s all about multiple income streams and leverage.

How would a physician get started?

You have to select what industry you’d be interested in and the type of franchise that you really want, and narrow it down. You need to decide between a pre-existing business or business acquisition versus a new location to do the business and construction fees. You most likely need to meet with someone like me who would coach you through it. You can go to websites specifically for franchise requirements regarding budget, applications, funding options, existing owners, and how to get started. You can also find out from the franchise directly.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Financial structure and legal protection are really important. This includes all of the insurance, such as workers’ compensation, business protection, and the liability umbrella. These issues are not taught in medical school, and other entrepreneurial areas don’t always address what a franchise does. Some of the documents involved with purchasing a franchise can be 700-1,000 pages. Things change so much that we need to rely on experts and consultants. •



Marcial Travelstead

Easy to Register >> Control your visibility >> 100% free

Take control of your Job Search

Recommended PracticeLink Magazine Blogs

Develop your own content and stand out during your job search through knowledge sharing and exhibiting your expertise. Develop your own content and stand out during your job search through knowledge sharing and exhibiting your expertise.
PracticeLink MagazineJuly 6, 2021
Distinguish yourself through knowledge sharing
The world of medicine is constantly changing and evolving, which requires physicians and advanced practice providers to stay up to
an orange pawn in the shadow of a king chess piece an orange pawn in the shadow of a king chess piece
PracticeLink MagazineAugust 10, 2023
Interviewing for physician leadership positions
You’ve already mastered being a stand-out candidate during the job search. But, if you want to advance your career and