Sponsored by The Joint Chiropractic
While teaching chiropractic students at Life Chiropractic College West, I always started my first class with a question: “As a chiropractor, what problem are we offering a solution for?”
There would often be a dramatic pause, then slowly computer screens would close, cell phones would be put aside, and I would see eyes glued to me, waiting for an answer. The silence would eventually stimulate a class discussion, where we discovered we’re all here to provide a solution to a health care problem and contribute to something greater than ourselves.
I would argue that whether we’re conscious of our motivations, our desire to contribute is a common driving force that some would consider our purpose. According to Lucius Annaeus Seneca, “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” In other words, without a compass, all the passion, education and experience in the world is for naught. As with students navigating a chiropractic curriculum, doctors of chiropractic also face a challenging road determining their personal path for success. A practicing chiropractor can get overly focused on business results, while becoming disconnected from what led them to chiropractic in the first place.
As chiropractors we’re in the unique position of contributing to something greater than ourselves. By providing our communities with an efficient and effective health care solution, we have the power to impact someone’s life exponentially. By helping to improve quality of life for an individual, by extension we assist their family, friends, coworkers and others close to them. It is our responsibility to stay fastened to our purpose, or know “to which port we are sailing.”
At The Joint Chiropractic, our purpose is to provide convenient and affordable chiropractic care focused on the unique needs and goals of the individuals who walk through the doors. This approach eliminates the need for insurance, and our no-appointments, extended hours and convenient locations make care accessible to more people. These guiding principles allow our doctors to be people-centric and focus on providing care, which subsequently supports their purpose. As a result, our system has continued to grow rapidly, and we’ve attracted hundreds of thousands to try chiropractic for the first time.
You have a choice as a practicing chiropractor. You can decide to focus on the business metrics of success, such as per visit average, weekly/monthly visits and personal bank accounts, or you can remain committed to your purpose. You have the potential to alter the life trajectory of the next person who walks through your doors. You can be a positive influence and trusted resource because you know the possibility that lies in your hands. You can create more chiropractic awareness in your local community. If chiropractors can recognize that we are united in our purpose, the number of people served, and the profitability of the profession will have no ceiling.
Back in the classroom, I always concluded that first discussion by asking for a show of hands of those who attributed a change in their life path to chiropractic care. Hands across the room would always go up, and I would then ask the students, “…and how much is that worth to you?” The resounding answer was always, “priceless.” To have an opportunity to contribute to the betterment of society while providing a life-changing experience is ultimately the purpose of the profession, and one cannot put a price tag on the fulfillment of a purpose. Regardless of where we practice, how we practice, and who we are as practitioners, our purpose is the same.
I challenge you to contemplate your purpose. Ask yourself why you embarked on the journey to be a chiropractor in the first place, which no doubt was to help people and advance their quality of life. The willingness of society to pay for this service is proof of the value you provide. Therefore, I believe that when you choose to prioritize your purpose, your business success will take care of itself.
About the author
Derrell Blackburn, MBA, DC, is senior manager of chiropractic relations and training at The Joint Chiropractic. He is a licensed chiropractor and educator, having run a high-volume practice in the Bay Area, and served as a professor at Life Chiropractic College West. He holds an MBA in Health Administration and a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Parker University in Dallas, Texas.