Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Clinic

I'm working at the clinic for the next three days. Jethro gave the front desk girl some time off for vacation. Today was interesting. We have a patient who had only visited the doctor we bought the clinic from once before we came.

The poor man drives a lot for work and was in severe pain from only a 3 hour trip. He says he would stagger into his hotel room and just lie on the floor for a few hours before he could even get up.

He started seeing Jethro when the former doc left and has improved quickly - so quickly that he thinks Jethro is something of a miracle worker. He's such a sweet man. He said he'd been praying for someone to help him with his back problems and then he started seeing Jethro and said his prayers were answered. He has referred numerous patients now and he just can't stop marvelling at his progress. His referrals seem to be happy too, so it's all very good.

This whole venture has been remarkably gratifying so far which I am thankful for.

New docs, and it doesn't matter what field they're in, want to bring patients in the door. There are any number of marketing groups you can pay a lot of money to in order to help you achieve this goal. They usually want you to advertise heavily and find a gimmick that brings people in the door.

We've had discussions with several of Jethro's classmates about these companies and it's disheartening to hear their ideas. So much of it revolves around scare tactics and false advertising in order to bring you into a clinic that is more like a factory doing the same therapies on every patient.

Jethro and I had a discussion about it when we were first talking of opening a clinic. As much as I disliked the idea, I wondered whether or not we should go to a marketing company simply because I didn't want all the other doctors snagging all the patients before we got a chance.

Jethro, smart as ever, didn't think it was necessary. And now I see why. He has done so much better just by doing a good job.

As it turns out, you don't really need a marketing company if you are really good at what you do. So far, we have advertised in one little magazine and that was only because the lady who owns it is part of our BNI group. It hasn't brought in any patients. So far, Jethro has quadrupled the patient load from in-house referrals and that's it. No gimmicks, no advertising, nothing but good work and good results.

One other thing he has done in order to get more PI cases (which are really bread and butter for most chiropractors) was send out letters to attorneys along with samples of a PI case he treated. That way the attorneys can see how thorough and detailed he is, and as a result, how much more likely they are to win their cases. So far we've gotten a few attorneys to refer which is just fantastic.

I know it will be a few more years before we are really making any money (we have a lot in school loans) but so far we seem to be on the right track. And I'm really glad we've come here. It's not that Houston was a bad place to be, and it's not that we couldn't have done really well there, but there were too many chiropractors because of the college being so close by, and while Jethro eventually would have risen to the top, it would have taken a lot longer. In New Town, the chiropractors are old and they all do pretty much the same things, so Jeth has been able to capitalize on the fact that he is up-to-date on the very latest techniques and theories.

I don't want to be premature and say this is the best move we ever made, but I'll be guardedly optimistic and say it's looking that way so far.

No comments: