Taking first steps in your chiropractic career. I graduated from chiropractic school in 2003, and I saw my first patient in my own clinic in March 2004—three months after graduating. That is how long it took me to get my board scores, pass my jurisprudence exam, and paint the walls.
Student DC I often think, “What if I had to start a practice again today?” After running my own practice for 27 years, coaching hundreds of doctors, and seeing the good, bad and the ugly, how would I begin again, incorporating what I’ve learned about clinical and business success? I offer three critical steps to hit the ground running.
Student DCAs I am writing this, I have a little kink in my neck. The cause? A student adjusted me the other day. I always have some students or interns—or both—hanging around the clinic. I never say no to a student who wants to shadow or intern with me. Does it help my practice? No, it’s more of a distraction than a help, as even unpaid interns end up causing more work than they save. One summer intern took down our internet access for a day.
Student DC One of the first successful actions I took when I got in my first office was to get out of it. I had everything arranged inside—the phone system, the appointment book, and the X-ray equipment. So I waited with anticipation and—crickets. Nobody was calling or stopping in. Looking at my quickly dwindling business checkbook balance, I had to take action to attract patients and do it at low expense.
Student DC The chiropractic profession has grown exponentially. With that growth has come more practitioners and an ever-changing health care marketplace. From a public perspective, locating a doctor of chiropractic isn’t difficult. The problem finding one who is consistent in his or her delivery, shows up and, most importantly, stays in business.