The New DC's Guide To Setting Up Your Practice
The wide range of possibilities in chiropractic practice allow for career development and specialization. While most chiropractors choose to offer care to patients of all ages in a family practice, there are specialty practices within chiropractic such as sports, pediatric, nutrition, animal chiropractic, chiropractic research, etc.
Whether one favors the country, the city, or someplace in between, there is an increasing need for chiropractic care in all communities and ample opportunities for further career development.
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The first few months of a practice are critical; there are lots of expenses and little income unless you can get people to pay cash, or you can get Medicare and insurance companies to pay you. It’s not unusual to wait up to six months to get the insurers to pay you.
When starting a practice you need to ask yourself questions llike:
Can I direct my own work?
Am I comfortable marketing myself?
Do I have a strong referral network?
Can I handle working alone?
Do I have savings?
Can I handle financial uncertainty?
Am I good at running a business?
Chiropractic is, quite literally, a hands-on practice. It’s actually built right into the word chiropractic, which D.D. Palmer coined out of the Greek words "cheir" (hand) and "praktos" (done). In essence, the word chiropractic means "done by hand."
Even if you use an adjusting instrument on your patients, you still have a deep, one-on-one connection with each of your patients. Of course, you want to nurture and grow these types of meaningful connections and explore unique ways in which you can grow your practice.
You know the benefits of chiropractic. Sharing your knowledge with your community not only helps grow your practice, but can help your personal growth by reminding you of why you committed yourself to chiropractic in the first place -- your desire to heal people.
Personal development could mean taking continuing education courses or attending health and wellness fairs, community classes, writing for local publications, or volunteering at charity sports events.
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The professionals you hire can help you limit or avoid costly mistakes. You are entering the profession at the best of times and the worst of times. The best because people need and desire your care, and the worst because of new health care rules and regulations.
But as long as you can help sick patients get well, people will beat a path to your door. If you lack clinical certainty, take more courses and seminars until you do. Never be afraid to say you do not know something; and never be afraid to seek help.
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