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First steps toward success - Lessons from new practitioners

Discussion in 'Practice Management' started by NewsBot, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.


    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    The latest Chiropratic Economics has this article:
    First steps toward success - Lessons from new practitioners
    Full article and advice
  2. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that NewsBot. These stats are something that was never revealed to us when we were signing the paperwork for enrollment in chiropractic college.

    I have had seen too many colleagues over the years begin practice (typically leasing space from another doctor) only to fold and either move out of state or begin working for someone else. The latter is a cycle of indentured servitude that some never overcome and the cycle perpetuates with frustration and negative feelings about the profession. Neither option was what any of us had in mind while devoting four years and upwards of $100K to complete our education and get out there and hang our shingle.

    I was in a podiatrists office a couple weeks past who is the head of podiatric surgery at the local hospital. Of course I was there seeking to gain his referral for pedorthic services because I know that he does not care for DME and that gauntlet of fiscal misery;) . He turned out to be a very interesting man, rather stately in appearance, obviously highly intelligent and nearing the twilight of his professional years.

    He revealed to me the same reimbursement and professional practice discrimination that we chiropractors have faced at the hands of allopathy. I was fairly surprised to learn how naive I really was that podiatrists were that much better off in practice. I have heard the same general thread from another DPM friend who left Washington state to join a group in Texas.

    The bottom line is that individually it is very difficult to thrive in practice regardless of the type of doctor that you are. Chiropractors will always have a majority in private practice by the nature of what we do. Groups typically do not exist for us as they do in medical practice. I personally have my own office after several years of leasing from other doctors and it was worth it making the decision to venture out on my own. For others that decision will be a financial Sword of Damocles.

    The chiropractic profession has done a very poor job of presenting a scientific and cohesive description of our services to both the public and to the rest of the health care establishment. The onus of educating the public as to our education, efficacy and benefit to health care remains the tedious consultation of each individual patient rather than a generally accepted theory of practice known to the public that we serve. In other words many of my colleagues possess such fantastic ideas and colloquialisms, techniques and criteria for care that there is no wonder that the public and medical faculty is confused as to who we really are and what we do.

    This is the crux of the financial problem that we face. We lack professional "brand equity" in my humble opinion.

    Now what is truly odd is that I spend all of my time not on boards specific to my profession but to podiatry and everything foot and ankle. If you had told me that when I was in college, I would have looked at you askew and in disbelief.

    I also would have had to consider becoming a DPM :bang:!
  3. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    Here's a view that may be too off the wall for some but I'll put it forward anyway.

    To be successful in life and business.

    Request - Everyday ask the universe for what you want, short and long term.

    Gratitude - Everyday thank the universe for what you recieved, no matter if you percieve these things to be good or bad, negative or positive. Everything that becomes your experience will help you grow positively if you respond positively to them ie gratitude.

    Autonomy -

    Take responsibility for yourself and do not blame others for what you percieve as misfortune. Your mind creates your world and you create what happens to you.

    Do not compete negatively with others. Do not concern yourself with what others do, only concern yourself with what you can do. How can you be better tommorow than you were today.

    Do not dwell on the past especially what you percieve as negative times, do not ask - what if, only ask- what can be.

    Acceptance and Generosity -

    Accept all with grace and gratitude and allow other to be part of this experience.
    Give a little more than expected. Be generous in spirit and action.

    Accept that you are the person you want to be, Accept you are or can be rich in whatever way you need to be.

    Fullfilment can only be internal, within your own mind and not in the external world.

    You will now be interested or think I'm crackers :dizzy: Whatever!

    You can substitute the Universe for your God but not for yourself or any other human, since you are human and no greater or lesser than another human, how can one human make a universal law that another could not disagree with on the basis of equality.

    All the best Dave
  4. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Hello David,

    Not really 'off the wall' rather a way of viewing our actions as those of our own making.

    My understanding of what you say is to encourage us to view each experience & learn from it.
    Make every encounter an educational episode to enhance our lives.

    I must admit to feel a little unnerved by the 'Universe or God' part but I do appreciate being grateful to life in general.

    It is what we make it I suppose.

    Thank you again,

    Mandy (I was listening, honestly) :empathy:
  5. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member


    Sage advice and i personally do not find it off the wall. I was merely illustrating that EXPECTATIONS can get in the way of success in all things. You have to have a goal and you have to believe in it and even more so in yourself.

    I think about this one saying quite a lot:

    "Whether you think you can or cannot, you are right"

    I believe this is in line with your principles.

    Keep your chin up and your eye on your patients outcomes, income will follow. Do not be concerned with the 'other guy'.


    Life certainly is what we make of it. This was an epiphany that has taken me far too long to grasp.

  6. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    David W

    You wrote
    This is very interesting,I would like to know How what why and where.

    How did you arrive at this epiphany, what changed in your life, why did you change, where did it take you??

    Cheers Dave
  7. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member


    Like many others upon graduation I was concerned about income, success, making my nut. It wasn’t until later on that I realized that I was focused on my own needs and letting go of that to a reasonable point allowable me to focus on the moment and on my patients and their needs. The people that seek us out are in the moment. They have little care about our needs other than that they wish us to succeed and be in business to help them. Over time this can change but it has little to do with practice.

    I read a book a long time ago called Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams. In it he illustrates how important being in the moment is. He also talks about the concept of ‘emptying your cup’, meaning that when you have expectations they are often not met because you cup is 'full' of expectations. How can you receive or achieve anything when you have no more room to grow?

    Goals are more important than expectations and more attainable. A good illustration is the divorce rate in the U.S. I firmly believe that many people ‘expect’ certain things from their loved ones and spouses and that when these expectations are not met, resentment, frustration and anger ensue. What is true of success in business is true of success in life and a well rounded person seeks to achieve each.

    Certainly I have experienced this in practice, as have many others when starting out.

    If you ‘expect’ things from others (or practice) you dilute the present and cloud the future. Expectations are like a full cup Hyams go on to explain. If your cup is full you cannot receive anything new. If you ‘empty your cup’ you open yourself to new things and live in the moment. Abandoning old and antiquated theories and methods is a form of this process. Having a failure and expecting different results with the same products, theories and methods is a full cup. Having goals and pursuing them is living in the moment, as long as you don’t expect anything other than your hard work and attention to the process to get you to where you want to go.

    I know this is a bit existential and probably off-topic but some of your bullet points are in line with what I am saying. Autonomy is a huge one. I could have stayed a Foot Levelers paradigm of practitioner and it would have been easier. I felt that my education in orthoses was extremely lacking so I have pursued pedorthics as a means to further what I can aid my patients with. I have definitely taken the road less traveled and diverged from the ingrained school of thought so prevalent among my colleagues (with regard to orthoses) by not expecting mediocre technology to succeed for my patients (Foot Levelers). Being able to learn here on this site and from the DPM’s and allied health professionals that I have met through practice and these boards has afforded me a learning experience that I would never have imagined 10 years ago. That is the grateful part.

    I am also a believer in visualization of your goals. They use techniques in professional sports and that help you visualize your success and achieve your goals. You can do this in practice as well. Aside from being a competent professional you have to have a plan for your business and operate them together or you will fail. I was very close to this before I woke up and reassessed everything.

    Another book that I read that had an impact on me was Who Moved My Cheese? My cheese supply was certainly evaporating so instead of waiting for cheese to appear on my doorstep I went and found another store with cheese so to speak (pedorthics).

    This was my epiphany David. I did not have to practice like the mainstream DC to achieve the type of success and practice that I wanted. I divide my time now between being a DC and providing orthoses of all types for local DPM’s and MD orthpedists and I am closer to my goals every day. I never would have though this was the course that I would take in practice.

    I would add individuality to your list. There certainly are a lot of rugged individualists here on this board who buck convention and never stop questioning. That is what makes reading the posts here interesting and furthers science. I value that individuality above all else.

    Now if anyone thinks David is crackers God only knows what you’ll think of me after posting this.
  8. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    wow! ...that triggered a memory! ~15 years ago Marc Lindy (aka Gangstapod) suggested I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ... it offers some philosophical insights.

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values is a book by Robert M. Pirsig first published in 1974. It is a work of fictionalized autobiography and the first of Pirsig's texts in which he explores his concept of Quality.[2]

    The title is an apparent play on the title of the 1948 book Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel. In its introduction, Pirsig explains that, despite its title, "it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

    Pirsig received 121 rejections before an editor finally accepted the book for publication—and he did so thinking it would never generate a profit. It was subsequently featured on best-seller lists for decades, with initial sales of at least 5 million copies worldwide.[3]

  9. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    David W

    Yes this is close to my experience. What I found so strange is that some people know this instictively. My daughter is one person in point. However many need to learn this. I started practicing the system of universal abundance several years ago. Like you I read books and internet publication. At first this was head knowledge an intellectual understanding. However without going into detail I believe that I now have a spiritual knowledge an understanding that transends intelllect. It very difficult to describe but, like love, when you know it you know it.
    Intangibale, immeasurable, ephemorable but real as a punch on the nose, hopefully, --- definentely, not as transient.

    Faith and science are they amicable partners in life? a new thread perhaps.

    all the best Dave
  10. blinda

    blinda MVP

    This is quite a profound thread. Thoughts that I can actually relate to also. In particular with regard to setting and achieving goals, you DO have to plan and, more importantly, take time to smell the roses..;

    Appreciation of what we have achieved, or been given, is the only way that we become successful in BOTH life and business. Blame is destructive and robs us of the chance to improve ourselves

    It comes down to HOW you use the acquired head knowledge. Do you apply the learnt principles to your life? Or merely use these to judge others? It sometimes takes humility to pay attention to life’s potential learning experiences.

    Like minded people, or as Del would say `groupings of people`.

    Perhaps dermatology is my `cheese`.

  11. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member


    Everyone who seeks for quality in all things should perhaps read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance one time. To sum up I recall Persig describe people of either romantic or classic bent. People such as you who research biomechanics, orthoses, and conservative devices would be the classic person type, similar to the readers of his book who would actually learn to fix their Harley Davidson and focus on function, get their hands dirty so to speak. I imagine that many of the contributors here fit into that category.

    This is in opposition to the romantic mindset which focuses on beauty, such as the weekend Harley enthusiast who doesn’t own a wrench. It could also be the practitioner who adheres to one design or school of thought in prescribing orthoses adamantly. Maybe that practice with the fancy laser casting system and profligate fees would be a romantic? They look nice so who cares how well or why they work.

    The theme was something similar to that. Honestly I read that book twice many years ago I could be dead wrong


    I would believe that your martial arts experience has made you a more intuitive person or that you are innately intuitive. Perhaps that is why your daughter exhibits these traits. I read an interesting book (Yep I read profusely) titled Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman. I highly recommend this book to any parent and especially to anyone such as you with an understanding that certain traits that are highly desirable and very difficult to define yet can predict our true success in life.

    This is the abundance that I believe you are speaking of. Perhaps someday we will have a chance to discuss it. I have been known to mill about the podiatric conferences.


    I agree wholeheartedly and closed the office and went to the beach today :D. Smelling the roses is important, you're dead on right about that. I may never be wealthy financially but I do enjoy practice much more now and I am grateful for that. I have seen too many colleagues get caught in the trap of blaming others for their failures and shortcomings, low income and low professional satisfaction. I think we all find a niche and pursue it eventually and if we apply this to life reward can be found.

    I bet you are already pursuing your new ‘cheese’ and wish you much success in your quest.


    David W
  12. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    David W

    you wrote
    Yes spot on, but what is our niche? I believe ultimately it is one's contentment with your place in the world and the filling of a spiritual void. The genisis of this is in the mind the endeavour and formation is in the external world and the evident manifestation is within the spirit or soul. Everyman, I believe thinks about his reason for being and searches thru the world for the answer, which inevitably is within himself and most people need that journey to find enlightenment. Some, like me perhaps (I still have questions) are lucky enough to find this. Others seek success in the external world but how is success measured? Is it by the accumillation of things? Money power, wealth, intellectual knowledge. Success might be called a scalar an indication of magnitude, but contentment could be described as a vector, success (magnitude) with direction. With the reference of direction we know where we were, where we are going and most importantly where we are now!.
    Therefore the ultimate niche is contentment with where we are now but also the ability to see where we can go and so become richer internally and externally if that is what we need.

    All the best Dave
  13. Heather J Bassett

    Heather J Bassett Well-Known Member

    Hi all am enjoying this conversation,. My 15 year old son bought this book home from a school trip to Japan, really made a mark on him. He has insisted that grandparents, parents and anyone else he comes across MUST read this.

  14. markleigh

    markleigh Active Member

    This is obviously an old post but I've only just come across it. Some books were touched on in previous posts under this thread that have perhaps helped make people better practitioners; even better people. Are there other books that have impacted you that have improved your skills as a practitioner & you as a person? And I guess I'm not meaning so much clinical related books on how to prescribe a better orthosis or how to perform better surgery.
  15. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member


    you wrote
    Law of Attraction, Cucan Pemo

    Bring back the love of your life, a 4 part strategy, Cucam Pemo

    Science of Getting Rich, WD Wattle 1910

    Message of a Master 1929 Tenzin publications

    Logic of Scientific Discovery. K Popper 1958

    Law of universal abundance.

  16. markleigh

    markleigh Active Member

    Thanks David. They are pretty broad areas.
  17. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member


    On a lighter note: A book that had a profound effect on me - when I was twelve me and me mates used to slip into WH Smiths to have a sneaky peak at H&E magazine. How suprised was I to later discover that girls actually have N-ippl-s and F-nn-s.

    Oh how we laughed, Hilarious! different times eh!

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