The Doctor, The Leader


I’m a really good clinician. I associated for almost 3 years before going out on my own. I’ve got a good location, a nice pair of CA’s, and I graduated in the top 10% of my class…but practice growth has been real slow.

People say they love my adjustments; I spend lots of time with them and talk about anything they want to. They will only come in if their insurance covers it.   I look up medication side effects for them and I love being their friend. What else can I do to help grow my practice?


As counterintuitive as this sounds, the patient is not in charge of their care. Now they get to choose to initiate and continue care, but the recommendations and course of care is up to a doctor who has invested years in gaining the ability to help people. Leaving recommendations up to a patient is irresponsible and reckless.


Wait, so how does this work?

 You are allowing your patients to walk all over you when you don’t stand behind your recommendations. As a DC, you know health is a whole lot more than how one feels.


The general public only thinks in terms of pain. If you don’t have anything to expand their beliefs beyond symptoms and toward health, your retention and referral will reflect this in a negative way.


You are the doctor, the leader and are supposed to be in charge. You are their friend of course, but not in the typical sense of the word. Friends can’t hold friends accountable. Doctors are leaders and they can. Think of when friends or relatives visit you professionally how awkward things get. It gets very strange very fast.


If a personal trainer had an overweight client that wanted to lose 75 pounds, they can choose to participate or not, but they don’t tell the personal trainer what exercises and the frequency of workouts.


Everyone knows the weight is not coming off in a few visits, likewise, the DC knows that while many times the symptoms are reduced, the patient is not yet healthy.


Sometimes in an effort to be liked or accepted, we put up with everything a patient does like laughing at our recommendations, telling us medical remedies, skipping appointments, agreeing with every excuse like why a patient can’t continue care, etc. In other words, we get too soft, too friendly.


With your very next new patient, don’t get too chummy, chummy. Instead, be their leader and watch what happens in your office.

Being a leader sure feels better than being taken advantage of!