Financial Success for the New Private Practice Chiropractor

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Herman, David Matthew
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Lethbridge Undergraduate Research Journal
Although clinical research is prevalent in chiropractic medicine, very little research exists on the business related aspects of chiropractic medicine and practice. Consequently, because business courses are limited in chiropractic education, a new chiropractor must establish and operate a private practice with limited business knowledge, often resulting in poor financial decisions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to provide the new private practice chiropractor with optimal decisions that he or she can make enabling and guiding their financial success. Forty private practice chiropractors were contacted by telephone in Kentucky and Ohio with populations of 17,000 or less. A total research sample of ten chiropractors completed a structured survey of twenty-one questions using SelectSurveyASP Advanced software. Beginning in the 1970s, there has been a continuous rise in the debt acquired from chiropractic school, from an average of $25,000 to an average of $143,750 in the 2000s. The average amount of money that the sample needed to begin their private practice was $135,000. To cover their monthly expenses, the sample needed to earn an average of $4,200. The sample overwhelmingly agreed that the three most important attributes to a private practice chiropractor's success were receptionists/office managers, billing and collection specialists, and massage therapists. The sample also felt that for a new chiropractor to succeed, he or she must purchase a chiropractic table, diagnostic instruments, an x-ray system, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit, ultrasound unit, and a heat/cold therapy unit. The most successful advertisement mediums for recruiting new patients were patients' referrals and general word-of-mouth information. The overwhelming majority of the sample accepted some form of managed healthcare plan. On average, the sample was able to establish a self-sustaining private practice in three years. These findings will enable a new private practice chiropractor to make sound financial decisions.
Chiropractic -- Evaluation , Chiropractic -- United States