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Listen in as host David Mandell chats with entrepreneur, former practice CEO and consultant David Valaer. David V. shares details about his former career as a naval Top Gun aviator including lessons from his training that he imparts to practices today.

He explains why his experience as a 100% owner of a company that went through an M&A transaction some years ago impacts his entire approach to working with medical practice owners. David V. explains what he likes to see with a practice as they begin a transaction approach process, including the importance of preparation. He gives some examples of practices he has worked with and gaps in preparation or issues they uncovered when doing the prep work.

David V. then covers the importance of the key staff, including employed physicians, extenders, and others, and explores the essential role they can play in getting the deal done – or stalled. The episode concludes with David V’s final thoughts for physicians considering a transaction.

What You’ll Learn:

  • What Top Gun movies got right – and didn’t – about naval aviators
  • The “5 second” rule David learned in Naval training that impacts his work today
  • The “cadence” of an M&A deal
  • What David learned when he was an owner going through his own M&A deal
  • Why having the right mindset at the outset is so crucial in an M&A process
  • Why David sees the due diligence process as an “exam” like any other a physician would face, and the need to prepare accordingly.
  • The types of issues David often uncovers when doing the prep work
  • What “Q of E” means and why it is so important
  • Why the key employees—physicians and others—are essential to any deal and the power they have
  • Considerations in how to involve these employees as the deal unfolds
  • David V’s final thoughts to physicians considering a transaction. 


  • David Mandell: Bio
  • David Valaer Bio