Don't Be an Entrepreneur, Be a Chiropractor
I have been in practice for 42 years and have never achieved "the dream," but it would seem that everyone else has reached those heights.
My problem was simple. I took practice-building courses over and over until I realized that only rarely do the ideas promulgated by the instructors work out. I also realized the practice mentality that works in the United States does not necessarily work here in Canada.
Quite frankly, I declared bankruptcy on three occasions but refused to quit. My practice is now comfortable, but not making millions every year. I have seen DCs brag about their huge practices and then see them go under. My awakening came when I asked my wife to run the business end of the practice. In short, I finally put the absurd idea aside that it was a man's job. From the moment she took over, the practice improved because she knew what to do with money. (I still don't - she gives me weekly spending money and now I have more than ever.)
If I were asked for advice on how to build a successful practice, I would tell young chiropractors that at least 95 percent of all the bragging by doctors with big practices is a lot of BS. Don't be an entrepreneur, be a chiropractor. Listen to advice from someone who is able to handle money. At the end of each day, offer up thanks for the blessing of being able to help sick people. Stop using gadgets and gizmos to stimulate your practices. Visualize and feel your successful day - 10 patients a day might be great for you and more satisfying than 100. And stop comparing yourself with anyone else - maybe the price the "successful" chiropractor pays is ill health or marital problems. Never wish you were someone else.
C. Clement, DC
Jaw-Dropping Articles by Drs. Seaman and Perry
After reading the Jan. 15, 2008 issue of DC, I am still reeling from two articles that left my jaw squarely on the floor beside my feet. First, I noticed Dr. Seaman's article on wellness care causing radiculopathy.1 What is the basis for that statement? Why doesn't he just state that adjustments performed without evidence of the subluxation complex lead to radiculopathy? Ah, that's because our dear friend does not recognize the science behind somatovisceral dysfunction of the spine - the VSC. Notice I said "recognize," not "believe." That would imply a leap of faith, which is exactly what is needed to follow Dr. Seaman's line of thinking.
The next jaw-dropping article was written by Dr. LeRoy Perry Jr.2 To suggest every chiropractic school should offer a PT/DPT program alongside the DC program is preposterous! If one practices primarily by rehabilitating injured soft tissue, maybe that person would be best served by having a degree in physiotherapy, not chiropractic. Merging the two schools of thought would create an even greater sense of ambiguity as to what we do. I understand the frustration of not being reimbursed for equal services, but if chiropractors were appropriately reimbursed for the miraculous services we do, and do very well, would we care about the 97110 code that was reimbursed less? I think not. Every chiropractor must come to a decision as to what they really want to practice. If you want to realign muscle fibers all day and perform trigger-point therapy, great! But please, don't go to chiropractic school. You'd be wasting your time and sending our profession further and further into obscurity.
- Seaman D. "When Chiropractic Wellness Care Causes Cervical Radiculopathy." Dynamic Chiropractic, Jan. 15, 2008. www.chiroweb.com/archives/26/02/24.html.
- Perry L. "Looking Forward to Chiropractic's Future." Dynamic Chiropractic, Jan. 15, 2008. www.chiroweb.com/archives/26/02/18.html.
Scott Brunengraber, DC