Q: You have often said that the chiropractic practice of 15 or even 10 years ago no longer can exist. Why do you feel this way?
A: The rules of the game have changed. It’s as though, for over 100 years, we’ve been playing according to the rules of basketball and that, within the last five yhears, they have changed the rules to the rules of football. Think about the equipment that a basketball player uses. Chiropractors are out there on the playing field dressed in a pair of silk shorts and the team facing them is suited up in football gear. They’re wearing helmets, shoulder pads and mouth guards and chiropractors are wearing silk shorts!
The rules of the game have, indeed, changed. The business we are in is no longer the sweet, soft, gentle business that it was in the ’80s and ’90s. It’s a tough world out there. Those of us who have been in practice for more than a decade will certainly agree with this sentiment. Those chiropractors who are just entering the profession will soon be confronted by this reality on a daily basis. In order to survive and achieve the practice success that they deserve, chiropractors must fundamentally change the rules of the game with which they run their practices. It will not be enough for them to drill, rehearse, and become expert in the skills of basketball anymore. They’re goingo to have to change their gear, leave their silk shorts in the locker room and suit up with shoulder pads.
Q: What can the average chiropractor do to bring about the necessary changes in his/her practice and still survive?
A: In the past decade, the chiropractor was a jack-of-all-trades and, unfortunately, many times a master of none. The practice of the future will require the chiropractor to take on a greater entrepreneurial and administrative role than ever before. While the chiropractor of the past decade focused primarily upon patient care, the chiropractor of the future will focus primarily upon the effective orchestration and delivery of multiple types of service, at one location, in a cost-effective manner. This mean sthat the chiropractor must surround him- or herself with highly effective coaches and consultants to support this endeavor. In the past, this meant possibly utilizing the services of an attorney and an accountant. In the future, it means outsourcing all of those functions that are not directly in line with the chiropractor’s role of healer, administrator and entrepreneur. Employing professional coaches and consultants, such as a practice management consultant, a financial planner, a diagnostic testing firm, a billing specialist and a marketing specialist, allows the chiropractor to most effectively assume his or her new role.