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June 2007 Archives


Penny-Pinching Your Way to Success?

pennypinching.jpgMy parents had enough of a memory of the Great Depression to raise my brother and me to avoid any kind of waste. While we didn’t reuse aluminum foil, we were constantly urged to turn off lights, eat all the food on our plates and take care of things so they’d last. I’m reminded of this frugal approach as I see a growing number of chiropractors who think they can achieve prosperity by cutting costs. If you feel compelled to cut back, here are some suggestions:

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Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm commenting on a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

15:2 A wise teacher makes learning a joy; a rebellious teacher spouts foolishness.

Do patients find your patient education overtures a pleasure and a delight? Or has it become an unpleasant chore that is inconsistent and involves repetitious explanations in which patients remain passive and are largely feigning their interest?

If so, you've been teaching rather than educating.

True education is Socratic and interactive. It requires you be curious enough in what patients believe, to ask questions. (And listen!) You can only make chiropractic relevant by knowing what's meaningful to patients. Then, you must appeal to their right brain, not just their analytical left-brain. That means telling stories.

"A while back we were seeing a patient that thought…"
"When I first heard about chiropractic I was skeptical…"
"One of our many once-a-monther patients was in the other day and they were telling me…"

Abandon any preconceived notion of what patient education is supposed to look like or sound like. Once you start having fun, patients will too.


Dear Bill Open Office

emotional.jpgQ: "You’ve suggested it’s important for a doctor to be there emotionally for patients and that this can be done in an open adjusting setting. How can I keep a schedule and still be charitable? Can you reveal how you'd appreciate your chiropractor handling your emotional need/vent in this situation? What beliefs would you need to hold to keep your office patient-oriented and still be aware of business issues (time per patient, money per hour, etc.) if you were a chiropractor?"

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Winning the Battle But Losing the War?

How do you motivate patients?“If I knew I'd live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

It’s an observation we could probably all make. Each of us could live more consciously, exercise more consistently, rest more deeply, eat more nutritiously and think more positively. Even with our occasional lapses and shortcomings, it’s still better than what most patients do.

Which creates a little problem.

If patients get even a whiff of a “healthier than thou” attitude from you, you’re toast. That’s because of two powerful emotions that are rarely discussed in the context of doctor/patient relationships.

Continue reading "Winning the Battle But Losing the War?" »


Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

18:15 The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them.

Some of the most successful chiropractors I know are those who avoided the temptation of Not Invented Here, suppressing the urge to reinvent the wheel, modeling the beliefs and behaviors of those already successful.

Ironically, the folks who are struggling are those who dogmatically cling to their own notion of what patients should do. When patients don't, patients become the problem! They persevere anyway, trying to superimpose their notion of reality onto patients until they're sufficiently humbled. Then they're available for a new way of practicing.

Who's doing what you want to be doing? Who has what you want to have? Become a student. Believe what they believe and you will be able to do what they do. Like a necktie that goes out of style and then returns, it's an idea so old it seems new!


Are You Addicted to New Patients?

Need more new patients?Income down? Then you need more new patients. Gapping holes in your schedule? Then you need more new patients. Stressed out about the future? Then you need more new patients. Are patients ignoring your recommendations? Then you need more new patients.

But, more new patients will not solve your problems. Especially if you treat your next crop of new patients as you have the ones before. In fact, focusing on new patients creates an addiction that must be continually fed. Chiropractors with this addiction are constantly foraging for new patients. Most have tried every gimmick, every script and fallen for every shrill appeal in the chiropractic publications they read.

“Become a New Patient Magnet!”
“Pays For Itself With Your First New Patient”
“Get Up to Five New Patients Each Week”
“New Patients From Lawyers and MDs!”

If you find yourself lured by these promises, thinking your problems can be fixed by outside-in solutions, then you may have a bigger problem than you think...

Continue reading "Are You Addicted to New Patients?" »


Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

12:27 A lazy man won't even dress the game he gets while hunting, but the diligent man makes good use of everything he finds.

Are you being a good steward of your inactive patients? Do they know they'd be welcomed back to your practice? Do you still express interest in their life and their health?

It's tempting to write off inactives as having somehow rejected you and chiropractic. This prompts many offices to spend inordinate amounts of energy trying to acquire new patients. But the real opportunity is to cultivate the dormant relationships of those whom had a positive experience, know where your office is located and would prefer to return to familiar place when they experience their relapse, rather than start over with someone new.

Many inactives are merely waiting for a reminder or an invitation. They think you're angry with them because they let you down by dropping out. Remember, it can take a series of relapses that span several years before a patient "gets" chiropractic. Be diligent and make use of all your resources.


What I'm Reading

survival.jpgI was intrigued by the title, Survival of The Sickest, A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease. But as I got into it, I couldn’t detect much evidence that Dr. Sharon Moalem was much of a “maverick." Coming from a deeply mechanistic viewpoint, and a solid belief in the religion of evolution, I was largely disappointed. Sure, there were a couple of bright spots, especially in her exploration of the role of iron and our immune system, not to mention the idea that the body is inclined to produce adaptations based on survival rather than longevity. Yes, thanks to our sturdy ancestors, you and I are survivors of the Black Plague and other pandemics. But no need to test your patience by reading about it.


Dear Bill Patient Questionnaire

Do patient questionaires work?Dear Bill

I've been listening to your new CD set, "The Seminar.” I look forward to getting in my car now because that is where I listen to it. So far, I've been glued to the seminar.

I have a question. I'm very much the type of person who is attached to what people think of me. I get a ton of new patients but hardly any of them stay. My average is about 8 - 10 new patients a week. My average patient visits each week are about 80. I take that a little personally and I want to know why they haven't come back, or they quit their care early. Anyhow, my question is, is there anything wrong with sending out a patient questionnaire, to all the patients to get some feedback? If so, do you have any samples, or ideas of what to ask?

Dr. Attached to What People Think

Continue reading "Dear Bill Patient Questionnaire" »


Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

15:22 Plans go wrong with too few counselors; many counselors bring success.

Who are your counselors?

My experience has been that in many offices, the support team is one of the most overlooked, undervalued and virtually ignored source of advice. Many chiropractors shut off the wisdom from this source by ignoring their suggestions, making the staff afraid to offer a competing viewpoint or simply never asking for their perspective.

Same with patients. Many chiropractors pay lip service to the importance of patient feedback, even offering up lengthy surveys, but ignore the findings. More effective would be quarterly focus groups run by a staff member or even an interested patient. Focus groups give you body language and verbal cues absent in written surveys.

Seeking the advice of wise counselors doesn't eliminate your responsibility, it merely broadens your range of options and reduces the chance of oversights or mistakes when considering new policies or procedures.

The Conversation

The Chiropractic Conversation

This past weekend we completed The Conversation in Denver. What a privilege to spend the weekend with a small group of chiropractors willing to look at what they’ve been avoiding (even their weight) and explore how they’re showing up in their practices.

So this appears in my in box just 24 hours after we said goodbye:

Dear Bill,
At the risk of repeating myself. . . . i can't tell you how much this weekend has helped me. first thing this AM i was asking patients questions with ease and comfort. . . i didn't really plan on doing anything different but it just happened in a natural way. this weekend is the first time i have been able to identify the problem but, more importantly, figure out the solution, through a series of questions you and the others ask me. It was such a concrete way for me to learn how my patients can learn from me becoming truly an educator. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!

I know. You get these sorts of love notes from appreciative patients all the time. But me? I provide patient education materials! To be part of this kind of healing that could influence hundreds, maybe thousands of others, is way cool.

The Conversation isn’t a seminar, it isn’t therapy and it isn’t an encounter. It’s peaceful, introspective, light and apparently, life changing. The next Conversation closes August 10th.


Moore Evidence to Convert to Cash

Pro chiropractic? You be the judge.I just watched Sicko, the new film by Michael Moore. I’ve never been a fan of Michael Moore or his politics, but I have to admit I was taken by his documentary about “health” insurance in the United States. I already knew staggering medical bills were involved in most US bankruptcies—even people with insurance. While Mr. Moore’s conclusion seems to suggest that we socialize our health care system and model it after the Canadian, UK, French or even Cuban system, what we really have is a crisis in personal responsibility. However, he may be right about one thing. In France, and elsewhere, the government is afraid of the people. In the US, the people are afraid of the government. Which may be why nationalizing 1/7th of our GNP may not be such a good idea after all...

About June 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in June 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

May 2007 is the previous archive.

July 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.