Integrity can be so annoying
Let’s talk about an issue that causes many doctors considerable stress and discomfort.
No, it isn’t the lack of new patients, although that also produces discomfort.
This issue causes diminished (or non-existent) referrals, which is definitely not good! And the discomfort we experience is often because we’ve violated our own selves.
The issue we need to discuss is that of INTEGRITY.
All too often I see doctors whose practice is not exactly what they had envisioned. Their dream fails to unfold as they once thought it should. There are few new patients, regular patient volume is low, the percentage of children is pitiful (a sign of trust that we talked about many times before) and patient visit average is on its knees.
But, you say, you have financial obligations -- home expenses, family support pressures (your spouse married you on the dream of a wonderful life), and office overhead. Besides, you’d like to have the money and means to buy some of the toys many of your patients have! I mean, why couldn’t you have that Porsche you see so-and-so driving every time he comes to see you? It’s just not fair. You’ve been in practice for a number of years and feel you should have “made it” by now.
Well, you’re right!
Your positive thinking, wishing, praying, and hoping has just not produced the results you’d like so you’ve slowly slipped into survival mode. Now you’d do anything to get those few new patients just to pay your bills!
Have I missed anything?
At this point, like many doctors you hook up with some practice consultant guru at some seminar. You’re taught glib and glitzy sales pitches, “successful closing” techniques, expensive marketing ploys, and provided with other questionable tools -- all so that you can now more effectively capture, “close,” and “convert” that elusive new patient.
Some of these tools and techniques may involve fear and scare tactics, others even religious hype and pressure. In the most severe cases, patients are to be literally “brow-beaten” until they sign up for care -- with you as their savior.
And it’s effective.
All of a sudden, there are more new patients in your office and patient volume slowly starts to increase.
You’re elated! Things are beginning to turn around! Wow! That stuff you’ve been taught really works! Now -- finally -- you can really get ahead of those bills!
You ignore that nagging voice in the background of your mind that simply won’t go away, and of course, when you come home from the office you avoid looking in the mirror at the person who stares back at you.
Conscience can be so annoying!
Naturally, your new success also produces a number of unpleasant side-effects: patients dropping out of care in large numbers, patients being upset with your level of care, patient complaints to your state board, insurance complaints, staff difficulties (staff not resonating with your new procedures), your reputation in your town beginning to erode, legal entanglements, etc.
No need to elaborate. You know all of this too well.
While it may not seem to matter much (especially now that you can afford some of the things you couldn’t earlier) as you climb the mountains to your dream, you should always look back at your footsteps to see if you’ve left any part of yourself behind!
You can’t replace it. Using questionable tools and procedures tends to erode your very essence.
If you come home at the end of your day, sick of the rat race, tired of trying to sell chiropractic to people who don’t seem to want it, and frustrated at the whole sales game and all its trappings... you’re most likely using tools and doing things that don’t resonate with you and your sense of integrity and honesty.
Please have the courage to admit to yourself there must be a better way to practice chiropractic -- with honor, clinical excellence, high integrity, honesty, fun, and laughter -- and no salesmanship at all!
I really want you to see there’s a much better way of developing your dream of becoming the doctor you’ve always wanted to be and having the practice you’ve always dreamed about. It doesn’t have to be a struggle. People need what chiropractic offers. They just don’t have a clue as to what you do. It’s your responsibility to make them understand.
So, please learn what it takes to have people really want your care, and then you won’t need to sell them on the idea of seeing you!
(Dr. Ogi Ressel, author, researcher, and an x-ray and pediatric specialist, teaches The Practice Evolution Program, the “fastest-growing coaching program on the planet.” Visit online at www.practiceevolution.com and take the Practice Health Mini-Checkup. Dr. Ressel may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-353-3082. Interested in receiving his weekly THOTS “on seeing tons of children and families in your practice?” Send him an e-mail and asked to be added to the list.)
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