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Dear Bill

Q: I have tried all different variations on the theme of new patient orientation classes. The running problem I can’t seem to get a handle on is compliance. Currently we have been doing lunches at my office. We had even thought about doing a room at a restaurant on a weekend. We are just not sure if there is a better night, day, venue, etc.

Do you know what has been working well for others?

A: I don’t know of any magical day or time.

I’m assuming you’re communicating the patient benefits of attending? The three patient benefits that I’m aware of are:

1. Save money
2. Get well faster
3. Avoid a relapse
I’m assuming you call or refer to this class as something other than a “class” or a “workshop!” And by the way, to patients “orientation” sounds like a sales session. (They don’t have to go to an orientation to see their MD, so they imagine that you have some other agenda, probably self-serving, in mind.)

Naturally, one way to solve the compliance issue, depending upon how important it is to you, is to dismiss patients who don’t attend within say, the first two weeks of care. (Not recommended.) That said, it sounds as if attendance is more important to you than them. As a presenter myself, I have a personal understanding of having to be “up” for a small turnout! The fact is, some people would just rather you “work on them,” like having their hair cut or car’s oil changed, without knowing any more detail. You can do little about that other than adjust your reaction to their lack of interest or attract a different caliber of patient who is interested.

Sometimes the inability to attend is merely a time constraint and is not a reflection of you or your promise of a spellbinding presentation. (Remember, coming to your office just for their regular visits is an imposition for those with busy lives!) If I were in practice, I’d create an audio CD of my presentation so patients who don’t/can’t attend after several invitations can listen to it in the car instead.

Finally, remember that giving your talks is as much (or more) for you than it is for them! (By the way, if you're not doing some type of group presentation, you should. Consider our Astonishing Dr. You lecture that's based on our Astonishing Dr. You booklet.)

Comments (3)


"You never know how far reaching something you think, say or do today, will affect the lives of millions tomorrow."

Even the greats have done talks to one person. We just need to keep going.


I have made serious changes to my past mandatory style weekly "classes." I was extremely anxious about this event, because I knew I was imposing my belief that this was a make or break event. However, my health mentally was effecting all those around me (mostly my wife) and this was one-two days even before I did them.

When I created 8 topics on paper with several "bullets" around different common health interests and asked new and current patients to pick their top two and we would contact them in the near-future, for an invitation all my anxiety left immediately.

Now I have a prescreened audience and I still get 15-20 in attendance, because I have time to build up to the event (a time to invite guests, put up flyers, etc.)

It may not be traditional as I was taught and this has taken a lot to overcome, because I did feel guilty not doing a workshop every week, but I am much more effective with this approach.

Rick Humiston, DC

I have presented Chiropractic information off and on for 30 years. I was introduced to Chiropractic this way when I was 14 years old by Dr Reggie Gold.
I have relocated and started with presentations again and last night I had my first person by herself last night. I told her she would be the only one this evening and let's get started. She is the current president of the local toastmasters club and mentioned numerous places I should be giving this presentation. She thought this was a fabulous idea to share with the public. She made an appointment too and for all the right reasons.
Dr. Gates

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From November 6, 2008 6:16 AM

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