"For a PMA client to claim that he could have done what he did in practice without PMA's help is ludicrous. For someone to want to stop paying PMA is to forget his ethics. PMA helps a doctor the most when a doctor can least afford it.The agreement is that when things are going much easier and the doctor can manage on his own (which many times is before the first two years in practice are up) that is when PMA reaps its benefit. Sure PMA is paid handsomely, but you don't get a Mercedes at Chevrolet prices."
David Hoewisch, D.C.
Santa Clara, California
"As a member of Practice Management Associates (PMA), I feel that your tabloid-style of journalism is subtly trying to discredit the outstanding organization of PMA. Could it be the competition of advertising dollars in PMA's recent Achievers and The Student Chiropractor magazines versus your own publication? It is human nature to want to find fault in people who are more successful to bring them down to a lower level.
I wanted the biggest and the best, so I went with PMA. My experience with PMA has been incredible. My staff and I spend three days each month in seminars learning how to provide better services to our patients, as well as manage a business from A to Z. I joke that sometimes I forget to blink during the seminars because all of the information will be so useful in my practice.
PMA is only expensive if one chooses to see it that way. I figured if I only become ten percent better as a doctor and businessman, PMA instruction would pay for itself. I bet "Dr. Gross" improved at least ten percent. Most PMA members say it made them 500% better..."
J. J. Heaivilin, D.C.
Of all the seminars I have been to over the years, the one group I find the most outstanding which benefits our profession as a whole, is Dr. Peter Fernandez and PMA. I know PMA and Dr. Peter on both a personal and professional level. I am a very happy PMA client, only after experiencing half a dozen other such management groups.
Every month I look forward to Chiropractic Achievers magazine. Now there is a positive, uplifting and inspiring publication about our great profession..."
Jayson Czaplicki, D.C.
Huntington Beach, California
As a satisfied client of PMA for two years I'm writing in support of Dr. Fernandez. More than once I've spoke to doctors who expressed dissatisfaction with paying for service. I've always replied that "they signed a contract, learned how, are a success and ethically have to pay the piper." It's easy to say after the fact that you could have done it on your own."
Warren R. Barclay, D.C.
Hudson, New Hampshire
Recently I received a letter from the PMA organization of which I have been a member since 1987. The letter asked me to write to you and tell you what a great organization PMA is and that everyone should pay PMA for its service as per their contract. The reason for this letter was because your company was intending to write a derogatory article about PMA. It seems to me that every article I have ever read in your magazine has been well researched before printing. I am sure that after you have researched this article you will see that PMA is a good, ethical company that is doing a great job for our profession.
There are a few people who are constantly wanting something out of life for free. We have all experienced this type of person in our private practices. I send them to my lawyer for collection and I am glad PMA handles the problem in the same manner."
T. E. Hackney, D.C.
"Dr. Fernandez and Practice Management Associates have received a certain amount of negative press lately because they make it a policy to collect what is owed them for services rendered. How could they be so un-American as to think that, just because they have helped hundreds of doctors to relieve the pain and suffering of hundreds of thousands of patients, they should be paid! For years, we have managed to convince the world that teachers should be paid as little as possible; after all they teach because they are dedicated to education, to serving our youth, and to molding the future leaders of America; not for financial reward. Surely we can expect Dr. Pete and others like him to follow this fine tradition! Bulls--t!
My lawyer, accountant, plumber, and mechanic all expect to be paid on time, as agreed. Why are doctors and practice consultants supposed to be different?"
David R. Odiorne, D.C.
"First of all, I would like to tell you that I sure appreciate your newspaper. I read it regularly, twice per month. I find that it's the best of its kind for keeping our chiropractic profession informed and generally, you seem to do a very good job of showing both sides of the story.
I'm not saying that I think Dr. Fernandez should be up for sainthood, but after six years of being associated with his organization, I have never seen him do anything, except what he thought was the best for each individual doctor and the chiropractic profession as a whole.
If you joined PMA and didn't pay, you should be sued and embarrassed. I would recommend that if you are one of the 180 chiropractors that PMA has had to file suit against, that you get ahold of Dr. Fernandez and get the situation straightened out..."
Jon K. Chicoine, D.C.
"...I believe these doctors who are involved in this law suit with PMA are spoiled, and don't know how lucky or how good they have had it. And who are now, so-to-speak, crying in their soup..."
Roger P. Setera, D.C.
"I am writing to let you know that I appreciate your publication as a very much needed and beneficial sounding board for the chiropractic profession. I appreciate especially the fact that you allow for the various viewpoints to be shared side by side on the numerous issues that affect our profession.
Secondly, I am writing to let you know that I can, without reservation recommend PMA as a very ethical and beneficial practice management consultant company. I have attended PMA programs numerous times and have never been witness to the proposition by PMA consultants that their clients (doctors) act in ways other than those which are proprietary and professional, when caring for the public."
Donald K. Wilson, D.C.
"In a recent issue of "DC," you published my article on ethical practice promotion; now, as a non-doctor, observer of the profession, I'd like to try shedding a little light on the PMA debate. To begin, an illustrative story:
I was visiting a doctor's office, the day following one of my evening seminars in that city, and the doctor was moaning and groaning about giving tons of money to PMA (and before PMA, two other management firms) and not getting anything for his money. I overheard his receptionist handling a phone call sparked by their Yellow Pages ad, and she was handling it very poorly; the prospective patient was asking piece-meal fee questions ie., "How much is an X-ray?" and she was mired in that discussion. I commented on it to the doctor and he asked me to sit down in his office and write out a phone script. In his office, in a corner, on the floor, I spotted his stack of PMA materials, from which I quickly copied, word for word, the appropriate phone script. The doctor was amazed. 'Hey, this is great, exactly what we've needed; how did you do this so quickly?' When I revealed my secret, he sheepishly admitted he had never gone all the way through the materials.
I believe a truly objective investigation of the entire practice management field, or, for that matter, the consulting profession in general, will reveal: (a) that PMA's percentage of unhappy clients and percentage of suits they must file for collection are about the same as, or less than the average's; (b) that the results achieved by happy PMA clients match or exceed those of others' clients. Although I mostly confine myself to speaking and seminar work, including working for PMA and a number of other management firms, I occasionally take on a private consulting client; last year, the one new-in-practice doctor I worked with, closely, intensely, "hands-on," I helped hit $178,000 for the first year. PMA's Practice Starters average is over $200,000 per client, so they out-did me!"
Dan S. Kennedy
"I have paid PMA thousands of dollars and I always considered it a joy to send them my check. I can not pay PMA enough to compensate them for the training and self-confidence they have given me. I might add that in my twenty-five years as a chiropractor, I have never met a more ethical man than Peter Fernandez. He has done more to raise the image of chiropractic than anyone else that I know."
Herman W. Reed, D.C.
"Does PMA deliver what it promises? Absolutely yes!! Are all doctors who join PMA successful? Unfortunately no. Out of the 50 plus students and doctors that I have referred to PMA, there have been six who have failed to honor their agreements with PMA. We attended the same seminars, were exposed to the same information and opened our offices at or about the same time. Why don't they pay for all the services PMA has provided them? Are these doctors crooks? Probably not. For reasons unknown to me, they simply were not successful and rather than look in the mirror for the answer to their failings, they point their finger at PMA. We all know people like this. It's always easier to blame someone else and then find a reason to abandon obligations."
Ignatius A. Piazza, D.C.
"...Maybe these people feel their phone bill is too high! I'd like to see them not pay it! They called for a phone, accepted the fact that a bill would come and now they need to ante up. It's the same analogy with PMA. They had the chance to attend a free weekend seminar, no strings attached, and then decide if they wanted Dr. Pete's services. I hope you people grow up because believe me, there are more bills to come in life. Sorry if I burst anybody's bubble by telling you that."
Robert G. Wagner, D.C.
"My staff and I work long and hard using PMA procedures, computer software, forms, and recommended equipment. I have not reinvented the wheel, I have placed it in high gear. My reputation in my town of 20,000 is sterling, and my referrals are 52% of all new patients. Thank you PMA for your wise and timely advice."
R. Jay Wipf, R.N., B.S., D.C.
"It has come to my attention that the Dynamic Chiropractic tabloid may be writing a derogatory article about Practice Management Associates, Inc., a chiropractic consultant organization founded by Dr. Pete Fernandez.
I joined PMA as a student one year before I opened my practice. During that time, PMA was nice enough to let me learn as much as I could possibly learn about the business of being a chiropractor for $25 a month. I realized when I signed my contract with PMA, that if I became successful from a financial standpoint that PMA would be getting a percentage of that success.
I opened my practice in November of 1986. Everyday, from that day forward, I have thanked PMA as I walk into my office. Their guidance has helped me to build a rather large practice that not only is financially stable, but it also has allowed me to help thousands of people."
John S. Morgan, D.C.
"In opening my office I was able to break the PMA Practice Starter record in services for the first 30 days in practice at over $79,000.
I know that without the coaching and direction of Practice Management Associates I would not have been able to realize a fraction of what I have accomplished. I know, because I attempted to start my practice before I joined PMA. I completely flopped. I sat there and nothing happened. The way I look at it, I pay PMA with money I would have never had anyway."
Don Bolt, Jr., D.C.
Port Hueneme, California
"I think it's absurd to say that PMA is a lawsuit-happy organization out to sue chiropractors to make money. Anyone who doesn't pay a legitimate bill deserves to be sued."
R. J. Breitweiser, D.C.
"... PMA gave me insights and skills to becoming a better doctor and provider for my community. For reasons having nothing to do with PMA, I fell behind in my monthly payments to PMA. PMA's representatives contacted me and were concerned about how they might help. Together we worked out a payment plan to take care of the balance I owed PMA. I have always paid my bills, and with rare exceptions, on time."
John F. Hopkins, D.C.
Franklin, North Carolina
"I have seen two types of people who are not happy with PMA. One type is the doctor who joined without any knowledge of how to run a successful chiropractic center, got the knowledge, became successful, and then when it comes time to pay PMA what they deserve for helping them become successful, they don't want to pay. This is the same as a patient coming into an office in a lot of pain. While you are getting them out of pain, you are the greatest doctor in the world. After they have been pain-free for some time and get a bill, you all of a sudden become the worst doctor in town. You overutilize procedures and charge too much. The second type client who isn't happy with PMA are the clients who think by simply joining PMA they will become successful. They don't do what they are taught and blame PMA for them not growing, when they really have no one to blame except themselves."
Thomas J. Smarsh, D.C.
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania