“It’d be a great business if it just weren’t for patients.”
Countless chiropractors lament about their frustration with patients who don’t “get” chiropractic or who refuse to follow the most rudimentary directions to enhance their recovery. Missed appointments. Self-sabotaging behaviors. Reliance on how they feel. Acting on the uninformed biases of friends and family. Dropping out of care when their limited coverage ends.
You know the list.
What many chiropractors overlook is that they actually attract the types of patients who show up in their office. It’s not some luck of the draw! You and your staff play an active part. You’re either doing things (procedures, scripts, policies, etc.) or showing up in ways that attract certain types of patients to your office. So, if you aren’t pleased with the types of patients who want to begin care in your office, you may want to make some changes. In you.
In much the same way you married your spouse to complete you, filling avoid that was missing in your life, your patients complete your clinical or professional persona. For the most part, patients who show up do so because you complete them and their vision of what they think they need. If you’d prefer a different type of patient to show up, you may want to show up differently.
The Impatient Patient. Attract this type by allowing them to disrupt an already full schedule of existing patients, adjust them on their first visit and take it personally when they express frustration with their progress.
The Irresponsible Patient. Attract patients who are irresponsible by being responsible for them. Call them to remind them of their appointment. Become sloppy about enforcing your financial policy. Allow them to tell their shaggy dog story while your reception area becomes standing room only.
The Disrespectful Patient. Embrace this breed by biting your tongue when they ask to get their “back cracked.” Be sure to ignore their references to their “real doctor” and look past all their comments that tend to minimize your education and experience.
Once you admit to yourself that your practice is a reflection of who you are being, become courageous enough to make some changes if change is needed.
The old cliché, “Birds of a feather flock together” has some truth. People who are showing up have friends who have a similar worldview. To break the cycle; to interrupt the pattern you’ve set in motion, you must change. Only when you do, they do.