Makin’ The Rounds. Over the past thirty years, clinicians would often ask to “shadow me” and apprentice or have practicum in my clinic for a couple of weeks to learn what I do in my natural health practice. This I did. They would come listen to interviews (differential evaluations), go over lab reports, participate in evaluative techniques, examine my product inventory, ask a thousand questions, and soak up all they could. Just made sense and I understood that osmosis does work. I particularly respected my colleagues’ desire to learn the techniques and insights that elevate their practices to greater effectiveness.
When a chiropractor from California offered to pay $24,000 (for two weeks), it got my attention and I spent months developing an all-inclusive program and wrote a manual called “Healing Quotients” that covered all the choices
and process that hone a practice to greater ease, effectiveness and profitability. It helped clarify and define choices such as the practitioner’s mission, create their work environment (e.g a sterile “medical-looking clinic” or a more wabi-sabi “alternative” feel). It helped clinicians determine policies and procedures for staff, subordinate practitioners, and patients. It solved architectural wall-and-hall arrangements based on feng-shui, work-flow, and privacy. People who shadowed always reported the time as very helpful, eye-opening, and even life changing. But …
My qualification for being in the position of “clinic expert” was basically predicated on my reputation as an effective practitioner and maybe something about having a large, successful practice. That, and one time, I had a clinic with other practitioners and a large staff, (but it turned out to be a miserable time of petty administrative demands – one practitioner did not approve of a floral wreath that another practitioner put on a wall, and wanted me to write and implement policies and procedures about how we’d all vote about wall décor; and another practitioner wanted a policy about the front office staff shaving their armpits and legs.)
I quickly realized that I was ill equipped to handle office decorum and practitioner relations – it interfered with my ability to perform the Great Commission of Natural Health—which is to help people experience more of their innate vibrancy and a balanced, healthy life. So I shut it all down, lost some dear friends (perhaps, just maybe, the stress brought out some latent ‘jerk’ personality qualities), and started a new clinic that worked really well for me and my clinical results skyrocket. Just saying that from the roiling crucible of mistakes, misery and travails came the valuable, hard-knocks, real life experiences that fostered much soul searching and smelted the purity and clarity for even more clinical success.
I felt a sense of mission (and still do) in helping other practitioners: 1) avoid the pitfalls that I endured, 2) establish environments to help more people, and 3) have grace and ease in practice management.
In the shadowing curriculum, we delved deeply into topics such as:
• Patient-supportive VS practitioner-supportive staff;
• Importance of office/waiting room ambiance;
• The power of inventory;
• How to set fees commensurate with the clinician’s time and expertise;
• How to establish residual streams of income to “free practitioners’ minds” from being preoccupied with
money (a sure-fire method to block the flow of Spirit and obscure the Eye of Perception upon which
creative healing strategies are dependent);
• How to develop patient trust and compliance through genuine caring,
• The value of giving a little more to patients via publications and follow up calls;
• How clinical results are the most powerful (and least expensive) tool to fill the appointment book to
• How to implement an effective referral system;
• Nutritional jurisprudence; but …
I discovered a gnawing misgiving that something was missing from the big picture.
With the 15:15 hindsight, I did really did not see that the shadows improved.
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