April 2010

Chiropractors who Struggle with Marketing and Management

Doctors, in general are struggling, but not all of them. I know many who are prospering.

I just finished presenting my signature program called Reclaim the Joy of Practice, at a fantastic practice management seminar in Minneapolis put on by the company PM&A (Petty Michel & Associates). Ed Petty and Dave Michel started the chiropractic consulting firm about 25 years ago, and I’m grateful for their help with my practice over the years.

The seminar was top notch, and I would expect nothing less from PM&A. Their integrity and reputation for “all steak but little sizzle” are some of the reasons I was their client for 24 years, and am now working with them. By “little sizzle” I mean there’s no hype and no hidden agendas.

Ed and Dave and now their newest associate consultant Phyllis Fraize, are not chiropractors, but they have as much if not more passion and commitment for the profession than many chiropractors. We are blessed to have them on our side. Thanks gang, I love you for that! Thanks especially for putting up with us bunch of misfits and knuckleheads, some of whom whine way too much.

The whining is at an all time high for some docs, but as I wrote earlier, not for all – and that’s what’s most interesting. Why the contrast? How come some docs are thriving yet some are struggling and even closing up shop? Well, I have some answers.

One of the answers involves identity. The doctors who are thriving, almost universally have a strong chiropractic identity. By identity I mean that they have a concrete solid understanding of what they stand for and what they do. Don’t ever take that for granted. Some of you would benefit from some Chiropractic coaching and counseling on this matter.

And if you try to question them on it like “But what if…?” or “What about ….?” Or “Yeah but have you considered that….?” You’ll find that they’re not offended or annoyed by your skepticism, but they are unshakable. In other words, their faith confidence and belief in what they are doing runs deep. That is definitely a quality to take note of and emulate.

But like most good things, getting and having a strong identity, especially if it runs counter to the norm, or the “worldly way” of doing things, does not come easy or fast. It must be worked at and then maintained. And the chiropractic principle of health, that health is already within, but that it gets hampered by interference in the nervous system by spinal misalignment (subluxation), is definitely a misunderstood concept that runs counter to the “worldly way” of health care.

You can learn more about this health care conflict, and the “worldly way” versus the right, better way to health, in my chiropractic book Whole Health Healing – The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages. Getting a thorough understanding of that difference or conflict, and how a doctor must be clear about their role, is a good place to start for doctors who want more  joy and success. Some authorities claim that having and keeping that clear identity, is the key or at least the foundation to it all. In my observations from working in the field of doctoring for 25 years, I agree.

So doctor, if you are wondering why you’re struggling, why it seems that the chiropractic marketing you do and the procedures you follow do not produce the results you want, don’t blame your struggle on the external things around you like the economy or the health care reform changes. No, look inward, deep to your core beliefs, and get that all important identity figured out and secured to a point whereby it’s unshakable. This concept is no different than building a house that can better withstand hurricanes and earthquakes – it needs a great foundation. You do too!

I’ve worked hard on my own identity and benefited significantly as a result. Now I’m reaching out on a grander scale with my newly expanded identity -the “down to earth” doctor. You can take a look at the fun I’m having with that at my other blog site – http://www.thedowntoearthdoctor.com.

This missing link for doctors, strong unshakable identity, is one of several “fixes” I teach in my class. In fact I wrote the book on the subject and it’s called Reclaim the Joy of PracticeAn Advanced Guide For Advancing Doctors. The book contains about 75 “fixes” in addition to that identity issue.

Hey doc, why do you think you’re struggling?

Practice on,

Dr Tom Potisk

PS When you order my book Reclaim the Joy of Practice off of this website , I include some great bonuses! Just click ORDER CHIROPRACTIC BOOK NOW.

Categories: chiropractic marketing, doctor personal growth, identity, marketing/advertising

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Doctor’s Burnout

Doctors get professional burnout frequently. They are under more stress and carry more responsibility than ever before. Left uncontrolled, the consequences build logarithmically, causing health problems and then even death, perhaps through suicide,  in some instances.

Watch kids to learn about joy

Being a health care provider can and should be very rewarding. But the rewards are deceiving. If one’s focus is on money and other materialism, long term joy will always be lacking. This concept can be applied to almost anything in life, whether you’re talking about marriage, career, business, and even raising children. It comes down to how you define success.

In regards to raising children, read this article I wrote called Stress Management: How do you define success?

But the focus of this article is on doctors, a vital component of society’s well being. We need you docs!

Here is a list of potential signs of burnout:

Can’t wait to get done seeing patients/ watching the clock.
Difficulty sleeping.
Difficulty fully listening to patients, interrupting them.
Contemplating switching careers.
Viewing patients as problems instead of people with problems.
No sense of humor.
Lack of exercise, tired frequently, low energy
Poor eating habits, craving carbohydrates
Difficulty concentrating

This is a partial list of general early indicators. Certainly there can be numerous reasons for any of these problems. But I urge doctors to take action because burnout is dangerous. And besides, a doctor can’t provide optimum care to patients with any of those symptoms. Taking time off is part of the solution, but it’s difficult for doctors because of the demands of patients. (If you have not already done so, register on the sidebar of this website and receive my free report: How to take and enjoy more vacations from practice) .

I wrote an excellent protocol for relaxation, both mentally and physically, that will also help you. You can find it in my book Whole Health Healing.

Here is an excerpt from an article in American Association of Family Physicians, June 1999

Putting ‘Life’ Back Into Your Professional Life

“From the first day of medical school onward, you’ve most likely felt behind. Practicing medicine can be like racing through life on a treadmill that’s always picking up speed. Exhausted, many physicians begin to question whether they can keep up the pace. But most feel forced to continue on the treadmill, regardless of the personal toll, because of commitments they’ve made. First they work to pay off medical school loans. Then they work so they can afford the expensive lifestyle they’ve created — sometimes to appease family members for their constant absences. If they don’t want their children to start professional life with the burden of debt, they may keep up a fast pace to help pay for college or professional school.”

A tremendous number of physicians have compassion fatigue; that is, they give to patients to the point where it hurts too much to give any more. Some have alienated their families.”

So that’s the prime reason I wrote the book Reclaim the Joy of Practice – An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors. Joy is the opposite of burnout. The book contains 130 pages of things a doctor needs to do for long term joy as a doctor.

I was blessed with tremendous success in my practice for over 25 years. And joy was a big part of that. We owe it to our patients to pursue joy.

Doctor, how do you define success and do you have joy?

I did it. You’re next!

By the way, have you seen my other popular blog sites? For the general public: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com and http://www.thedowntoearthdoctor.com

Categories: burnout, burnout/stress

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Doctor’s Joy: the missing link of practice success

Doctor‘s joy can mean many things, but without joy a doctor’s practice struggles almost mysteriously.

All doctors need joy


A doctor called me just recently with a common request – help! His was the story I’m all too familiar with; one that is repeated frequently throughout the doctoring world.

“I’ve attended most of the popular practice management seminars, read the books, feel confident in my technical skills, and work hard, but why am I not prospering?” he asked with a downward stare.

“How do you define ‘prosper’?“  I replied, going straight for the heart.


“I’ve been practicing for 16 years and still have nothing to show for it. I’m mired in debt, the patients don’t follow my instructions, I have trouble holding staff, and I don’t understand why all the practice production seems like a burden.” His eyes held tears.


“So your definition of success or prospering involves money and control?” I asked, setting my trap.


“Doesn’t everyone’s?


My job in helping was already in play. You see, the person with the problem has to question their former approach, realizing there is another path, and they have to be led to the realization.


“Listen doc, there’s a whole lot more to having success and prosperity than those things you’ve been pursuing. Why did you become a doctor?” I asked, leading him a bit deeper.


“Well, I always felt a calling to help people. And I like science, so I considered several fields and found I wanted to be a doctor” he recalled.


“And how did you feel when you made the decision?”


“Relieved and excited. It seemed like a huge challenge with the cost and time and all and ….”


“But why did you then proceed? You were aware of the challenge in time and money, yet you went forward, why?”


Hesitating nervously, he scratched his head and then said the magic words “I had a passion for it.”


Bingo-bango, he was now all mine. Bringing a doctor back to the original passion is the foundation of the ultimate fix for doctors who are struggling, frustrated, unfulfilled, and questioning their choice of career. For almost every doctor, the beginning had passion to some degree. They had to have it to overcome all the challenge looming ahead like mountains of student loans, years of studies, lost sleep, boring professors, and caffeine withdrawals.


This particular doctor was one of the easier repairs. Most docs show up asking for help with the thick skull that comes with the doctor diploma. The tougher ones get stuck on the myths like believing joy comes from a more expensive car, bigger house, thinner blonder wife, more marble lining their offices, or a staggering bank account. Even Jesus, the greatest healer ever known said that it’s harder for a rich man to get into heaven than for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle.


Being blessed with material possessions is not a crime nor a sin if acquired ethically, and I don’t recommend giving up your monetary prosperity, but realize that neither it nor more of it will bring you joy.


So with this doc, we spent some time working on recalling and building upon that original passion he had for being a doctor. We then worked on injecting that passion into his day to day practice. That’s my specialty in helping doctors; I developed the process and wrote the book on it – Reclaim the Joy of Practice – An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors.


Funny thing happens when I help a doctor that way, finding and working with them on that missing link called joy, they prosper more than ever. All the challenges, frustrations, disappointments, and energy draining junk that comes with a practice seem to fade.  They also find connected passions and gain more identity for themselves. They seem to look and act younger. It happened to me, that’s why I’m now known as “The down-to-earth” doctor. Take the time to watch small children and you’ll see what I mean about the joy we should aim for.


Recently, I interviewed a friend who has been consulting with doctors for nearly 30 years, helping them with the nuts and bolts of their practices. I asked him “What is the one thing doctors need to do to have more joy in their practices?”. Listen to what Ed Petty, from PM&A Practice Management had to say in this 2 minute interview below.


Hey doc, I did it – you’re next !

Click here for Ed’s video interview –  Doctor\’s success

And by the way, have you seen my other popular blog sites? For the general public: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com and http://www.thedowntoearthdoctor.com.

Categories: doctor personal growth, practicegrowth

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