Millennial and Gen X DCs: You Won’t Believe Your Ears!

millennial world view

I’ve been in practice for just a short period of time and I realize once again that I am way over my head.  I am part of the Millennial generation and I’ve been told that I confound authority, teachers and parents, but what I really excel at is confounding myself. I graduated Chiropractic college with honors, earned all kinds of academic honors in Chiropractic and got crushed when I decided to open my own practice. What I learned in school did not prepare me to run a successful practice.

I feel that I am a victim of my parent’s failed parenting strategies. I was told I was special, got A’s because my parents would complain, received lots of participation medals and ribbons and was told I could do or be anything I wanted to. But, as I learned when I went to college, I couldn’t get something just because I thought I was entitled to it. My worldview was shattered over and over in college. I got my ass kicked.

I don’t like being a DC.  Not only is my office financially draining, I’m not making a difference with anyone, including myself. My problems since cutting the umbilical cord of my parents regime has been the inability to form deep meaningful relationships and find satisfaction from being a Chiropractor. I’m 4G on anything virtual, digital, or social media but when I have to show up in person, I shrink, blend in and cave with confrontation. Meeting new people and asking for money and commitment terrifies me.  I see other DC’s all around me doing a whole lot better than me even though I know I’m a good Chiropractor. What really attracted me to TNR was Love Has No Color and learning how to communicate to people by making emotional bonds with people. 

This Millennial sure has their finger on the pulse of the Millennial DC!

Does this sound like your childhood?


  • Your parents constantly told you “You are so special” or “You can do anything you want to.”


  • You were not yet taught the concept of earning something, and rather, you thought you were deserving of it (entitlement.)


  • You were recognized and awarded just for showing up as opposed to achieving or accomplishing something. You received participation medals, also known as medals for not winning.


  • Instead of having you work towards a fundraising goal, your parents were often writing the checks for the cookies, wrapping paper, or magazines.


  • Your parents were the ones arguing with teachers about your grades.


Face it, we are all a product of our upbringing. For good or bad, the internal wiring implemented during your childhood follows you into all arenas of life, including being a DC..  I’m not trying to say what is right or wrong with this or any form of parenting. All parents do the best they can with what they have.

Problem is, when you set out into the unknown, such as starting a Chiropractic office, or entering into a long term relationship – you know, the good things in life – you are going to find it to be tough sledding. You may not notice that you tend to lean towards being narcissistic, entitled and want to do things your way.

Enough with feeling sorry for yourself. Realize it’s not your fault you were dealt cards early in life that do not help you to excel in practice. Although it’s not your fault, it certainly is your responsibility to correct your mindset, communication skills and confidence to allow your serious, sizzling clinical skills to shine through, so you can help lots of people.

Having helped nearly 1,000 DCs over the past 2 decades, I’ve learned a lot about helping Millennial and Gen-X’s get their practices and lives from where they are, to where they would like them to be. I also know all too well the handicaps and limitations of these two groups. Do these sounds familiar to your current life?

This group finds it extremely difficult to create deep and meaningful relationships or find true satisfaction with a vocation (hence the hesitation of being ‘all in’.) These two concepts make Chiropractic an almost impossible task for Millennial and Gen-X DCs.

As a consequence of not finding what they are looking for, many simply coast or meander through life, never giving their all to anything. This goes for practice, parenting, relationships, and more. Many DCs subjugate themselves as associates and accept miniscule levels of compensation as a result. They must assume the responsibility to correct these faults or accept the financial and emotional consequences and abandon the notion of ever living a purposeful life.

A famous way these two groups cope with these deficiencies is through virtual connections. It’s not going away and we must realize it’s an addiction. It’s instant gratification.  Engaging in social media and texting releases dopamine,  the same neurotransmitter released during gambling, drugs, sex, alcohol, lust, adultery, and motivation. There’s nothing wrong with the neurotransmitter, but it’s a lot like water;  you need it to live, but too with much you will drown.  It initiates a reward type of phenomenon in your brain chemistry. You can create this chemistry other ways with high levels of achievement, physical activity, accomplishment, etc…but this takes work and time. With a chemical or device oriented activation, it takes no work or time at all….just a click of your finger and viola! Your brain chemistry is altered.

There’s no long term effect to this addiction, is there? Glad you asked. When something more than just a paycheck is missing in your life things like depression, anxiety, and  lack of overall satisfaction with life begin to creep in. The absence of purpose from your life takes time and work to fix; there are no shortcuts available. There’s no app for that.  That’s the trap that restricts so many great DCs from having great practices. My experience with hundreds of Millennials and Gen-X’s is that they are anything but their stereotypes. If you can communicate with them, make the learning relevant and experiential, they will produce results just as good,  if not better than previous generations. I see that untapped potential in all DCs. I also have the skills and abilities to bring that potential out of the ones who are willing to become a DC of distinction, or what we call a once in a lifetime DC.

Why is the way you were brought up so important? Problem is, even though this happened a long time ago, it’s still adversely affecting the way you practice…and live your life! Your true talents and abilities never get expressed. What takes the place of your greatness is STRUGGLE.

Sometimes this struggle manifests as overwhelm, anger, settling for low levels of compensation, crazy procrastination,  or even depression. It spills over into all areas of your life, especially in relationships. And it isn’t going anywhere.

Younger DCs are so focused on the presence of the problems in their practices and lives, that they can’t focus on finding the answer or solution. Millennials and Gen-X’s will spend countless hours researching the latest billing software programs, but are reluctant to invest time in the procurement and retention of new patients! One grows a practice and the other doesn’t. The darkness of any practice or life challenge disappears in the presence of light. All it takes is having the solution and then the problem quickly starts to recede. Giving up the stubbornness of going it alone and the obsession of what you can’t do, allows you to focus on the solution…to put you in an environment that allows your gifts to be realized.

Many times over the years I’ve been referred to as Miyagi (Karate Kid fame), but now DCs are saying it’s more like Harry Potter.  There’s a magical element, an untapped potential that lies within every DC, no matter how wretched the circumstances they currently find themselves in. Sometimes we have a difficult time seeing our own gifts.  When someone not only sees our inner gifts but has a ‘magical way’ of bringing this gift to our lives, our practices become exciting, profitable and filled with adventure as they should be. Having someone in your corner with the solution to your problems, and to walk you through it step-by-step is the way to produce results, regardless of your upbringing.

Okay, Gen X’s and Millennials, it’s your time to shine in your offices.