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Success On Your Terms

ford.jpgI was speaking to chiropractors in the England the Scotland last month, plus did a Conversation debrief and visited a couple of practices. It occurred to me during that whirlwind tour that one of the things that hampers many chiropractors from enjoying success (however they define it), is they impose a certain set of immutable conditions on their practice. And what makes it difficult to prescribe a specific set of action steps for each practitioner so they can enjoy the abundance they seek, is the incredible diversity of the conditions they insist the marketplace accommodate!

Like a modern day Henry Ford who insisted that Model T automobile buyers could have any color car they wanted, as long as it was black, all too many chiropractors impose a set of conditions on their practice and the patients they wish to manifest.

Here are five of the most fascinating conditions I’ve seen chiropractors impose on themselves and their practice members:

The 20-minute (or longer!) visit. A habit often acquired in chiropractic college, this mindset insists that quality chiropractic care can’t be delivered in less than 20 minutes. Or less than 15 minutes. Or less than 30 minutes. Justified as being thorough, long visits are a huge imposition on patients. It’s often a sign of uncertainty or an attempt to justify the fee paid by a third party. All the while, a chiropractor down the road is producing profound results in less than 2 minutes and only adjusting one bone!

Don’t talk about symptoms. Some of the least confident chiropractors insist that patients not talk about their symptoms. “You can’t judge your health by your symptoms!” True enough. But the problem isn’t talking about symptoms, it’s the meaning patients attach to their symptoms. Something difficult to uncover if you’ve placed an arbitrary lid on the topics suitable for patient/doctor conversations.

Insist on a year’s worth of care. Imposing your lifestyle notion of chiropractic onto patients can reward your “do-gooder” gene, but most patients enter a chiropractic practice after a lifetime of indoctrination by an allopathic mindset. Your financial policy simply makes you appear weird, alternative, risky and idiosyncratic. It confirms every fear and warning they heard from trusted friends and relatives when they mentioned they were going to try chiropractic.

Spouse at the front desk. After a bout with high turnover and an embezzlement or two, it starts to make sense to have someone you can trust at the front desk. Never mind your spouse is an unhealthy 60 pounds overweight or of an analytical mindset, more interested in the computer than the patients who parade by! Can it work? Sure. Just be sure you don’t over compensate or overlook the patient’s point of view.

No credit cards. Egads! The bank takes 4%. Can’t have that! This is so stupid I don’t know where to begin. This from a practitioner with receivables in the five figure (or higher) range. Accept credit cards. Banking 96% now rather than 0% later (when it’s too late) is a simple business decision. Make it.

Please don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Please stop watching the television, listening to the radio and reading the newspaper. Your community needs you more than ever. Try to avoid putting up needless obstacles for those who want what you have. Remember, success isn’t an acquiring process—it’s a shedding process. What can you get rid of, recycle, abandon or discard? Perhaps you can start with self-imposed limitations and preconceived notions that stand in the way of being a servant.

Comments (4)

Pack Miracle, D.C.:

"Remember, success ... it's a shedding process." What a beautiful way to phrase that idea. Bill,thanks for the reminder.

Mithra Green:

"This is so stupid I don't know where to begin." Now THAT'S funny (and tragic). I look foward to your posts every week Bill, keep 'em coming.

Todd Hackney:

Is it even LEGAL to have "pre-payment" plans or "contracts" for care?!?!? I guess if you DON'T accept insurance. But if patients are PAYING for insurance, and they're accustomed to the "allopathic model" of co-payments, HOW reasonable is it to tell the patients to send in their own bills?! The Chiropractor STILL has to produce paperwork to facilitate the patient being paid back....I'm also amazed to hear stories from patients who've been "sold" on a care "plan" that incorporates 3 visits a week, for MONTHS or YEARS! I've had numerous patients come from "wellness" clinics who went from 3 times a week to NO care for months before coming to my office. AMAZINGLY, these patients DIDN'T die during their "sabatical" from care, and in a few short WEEKS, NOT MONTHS, they're better than they were when having 3 visits a week for 6 to 12 months. I'm not the second coming of BJ, but then again, I WANT my patients to improve and I challenge myself to that end. I wonder if those DC's would want their loved ones treated ENDLESSLY in the same manner?

Anyway, Bill, as per your usual, your topics are very succinct and HONEST, which unfortunately, a LOT of Chiropractors are NOT!

Bob Wagner:


I was in Canada last week and forgot we are still at it back here in the USA! Timeless tips for the old and new right here! This is the time to take control. I ran in to the local care plan practitioners wife a few weeks ago and asked her how the care plans were working. She stated that at 6000.00, it was a bargain for anyone willing to sign up. My point is that the negative never stops in this profession so build your own boat and let people come and go as they feel the need. People will always be scared of us, skeptical, and cautious because of the "guy down the street syndrome." Get over it and plant your flag and you just might make a living at this!

Bob Wagner

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From August 9, 2008 6:32 PM

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