Many of your thoughts and behaviors are the result of past experience. For a chiropractor, especially a new one, this can be trouble. You may need to learn new habits and ways of doing things, because a lot of your past baggage may be rooted in fear and anxiety.
Little wonder negative thoughts bring about a negative future: They create a self-fulfilling prophesy. It’s the “law of attraction” in action. Your past is where you get your likes and dislikes, judgments, and interpretations. Learn to stop tripping over your past.
In or out of fashion?
For many people, their formative years are defined by what they wore. Did a dependable pair of jeans and a few shirts get you through high school and college? That may have been all you could afford at the time.
But, when doctors begin practicing, their patients expect to see a professional at work. They don’t want to see someone dressed in jeans and a T-shirt.Â The military understands this perfectly. Uniforms are identifiable from a distance, and suggest who and what the wearer is.
Keeping up appearances?
If you’re not sure how your personal appearance is perceived by your patients, consider how your appearance conveys a message. In the same way, how you appear to your patients determines their willingness to listen and adhere to your instructions, and pay for your services. Patients will discount healthcare advice provided by someone unshaven, obese, in poor physical shape, or dressed poorly. Wouldn’t you?
Generous to a fault?
When some DCs think of practicing, they think of bringing chiropractic to the blighted regions of our country that are racked with poverty. While noble, this is an impractical and non- sustainable goal.
There is no place in the country where chiropractic won’t make a positive difference. Chiropractors have to earn a living and most patients are in a position to pay for their healthcare.
For those DCs who want to help patients who are truly unable to pay for treatment, there are programs like “Doctors with a Heart” and missionary trips. These programs allow you to have a healthy, financially rewarding practice and still take several weeks a year to help those less fortunate.
A discounted fee schedule guarantees you’ll be poor. If you discount your fees, you cannot increase the number of patients you see and make a successful living. The numbers just don’t work.
Make sure your fee-for-services schedule reflects the current state of what DCs in your practice area are charging. Avoid setting discounted fees.
Favors for friends?
Many DCs treat friends and family members for free or as a professional courtesy. You can’t make a living this way. The more such cases you treat, the more people you’ll attract who expect to be treated for free. It’s the law of attraction again.
For a new DC trying to establish a practice, treating people for free can lead to bankruptcy. If you’re thinking of giving your services away, don’t. Consider your skills and abilities as valuable tools and price them accordingly.