Is new patients the key to success?

What if more new patients isn't the answer_

We just got back from teaching a great group of DCs about a rather controversial topic; you don’t need to be chained to huge numbers of low quality new patients each week. Some of the attendees were outraged and pissed off. We had a real sweet gentleman who had been in practice for 4 decades say, “I need new patients each day I practice so I can replace all the departing ones,”. A young DC who had just received her freshly minted diploma said “I need new patients because all of my current patients only stay a few visits and want to be friends outside of the office,”. A sports injury DC said his patients only stay until the injury is gone and he needs 8-10 patients each week just to stay above water.

In a word…retention. Even though it feels like there is, there actually isn’t a new patient problem in chiropractic. It’s really about attracting and keeping your patients. Retention is a function of educating your patients about wellness and ongoing care. You are the only one responsible to do this. The MD down the street won’t do it, area DCs won’t do it, the local pediatrician won’t do it. It’s time to get used to the idea that you can’t be a great clinician only. That is, if you want to be successful.

Let’s face it; the old, outdated, pain model doesn’t serve the highest needs of the patient or if we’re honest, the doctor. Who goes to school only because they are dumb? Who works out only when they are obese? We can laugh at these examples, but when it comes to health, CONDITION BASED OR ACUTE CARE GETS ALL THE HEADLINES AND GLAMOUR.

In many DCs offices across the US and Canada, a new patient is worth a mere few hundred dollars, tops. With the patient visit average of 6 or less visits, it’s no wonder so many DCs don’t have practices that reflect their true talent and abilities! Here’s the thing; patients who understand Chiropractic stay for a lot longer than 6 visits. They could be worth $3500 or $5000 or more to your office. On top of that, they also refer, pay inside or outside of insurance, and are a blast to work with. Want some of that?


These “sweet spot” people do exist in your community. Simply put, you haven’t yet developed the skills necessary to differentiate yourself from area DCs so you’re lumped in the category of common and regular DCs. When you develop your abilities to attract and care for these higher quality new patients, practice becomes fun again and what’s more, extremely profitable. You will never, ever be held hostage to buy BSO’s (bright shiny objects…aka the next greatest new patient generator from laser to non-surgical face lifts). You will be able to work with people who are appreciative of you, pay inside or outside of insurance and a little known secret they get SUPERIOR CLINICAL RESULTS.

That’s because you don’t have a complete system of patient education in place. It’s like fishing with a lure that’s designed for one type of fish and then complaining when that fish keeps finding its way into your boat! You asked for it. It’s a sure fire recipe for disaster, frustration, and an economic beat down for the DC. Always remember, all your practice frustrations stem from your patient’s lack of understanding of Chiropractic.