I meant to do a follow-up last year on the previous posts that discuss what we learned during our first year of practice, but as I recall, we were knee-deep in staffing issues and upcoming travel plans, and unfortunately, this blog took a back seat. Before I realized it, Years 2 and 3 have slipped by, so I think I’ll take this opportunity to play catch-up, because we learned a few more things that might help someone else, and if they have that potential, they’re worth sharing.
Wow, that last post started getting long – it didn’t feel like we’d learned that much in one year alone, but apparently we did–and more! The rest follows below…
Learn to say no–fast. This applies to salespeople requesting meetings, verifying those bogus “Yellow Pages” directory listings, and local vendors selling fruit out of the back of the pickup truck in your parking lot.
This also goes for patients who continually fail to show up, people who are repeatedly late, people who “forgot their wallet/credit card/checkbook”, or people who will “square up later” once their insurance is verified (many docs will tell a first-day patient not to worry about that day’s initial exam fees for now, we’ll just apply it to insurance – I say do not take this route!).
When I first started this blog I promised that it would speak to multiple audiences (including current and prospective chiropractic students, new and seasoned practicing docs, other healthcare practitioners, and the general public), and discuss multiple topics. While I’ve covered some quite well (and much, much more to come, since this is my safe little anonymous sounding board and semi-soap box), I’ve neglected to pay attention to the other part (not quite half) of this blog’s intended purpose: to document our successes and lessons learned and our progress as we make it. So here goes.
Some of you already know where I’m going with this. Half are starting to clap, while the other half is drawing up “Wanted: Dead or Alive” posters.
Others of you don’t yet know who I’m talking about. That’s okay. I’ll explain.
I had a blast in clinic. Make no mistake, it was not all rosy and smooth all the time. In fact, like many of my classmates, I got kind of a rocky start. At first, it seemed dismal and I was concerned that I’d never make it on time.
Indeed, a year seems like plenty of time. But let’s face it, you also have a lot to do. In my day, this consisted of: 200 adjustments, 24 exams, 35 physical rehab therapy treatments, 10 new patient recruits (not readily-available information; they wait to disclose this until you’ve already enrolled), 30-35 x-ray reports (during a 2-week rotation), and a gazillion QAs. Indeed, you’re up against the clock and if you want to graduate on time, you better haul some butt.
Although each person’s experience is different, one thing is for sure: you probably won’t come out the same person you were when you started. In 3 short years, we saw divorces, budding romances, marriages, new babies, emotional ups and downs, physical metamorphoses and makeovers, and complete evolutionary transformations. So, if you’re a student or a prospective student, be prepared for anything.
As you enter and progress through school, realize a few things…
Since there’s so much about the NBCE, the CCE (until it started to wake up and join at least the 20th century very recently), and chiropractic education that many of my colleagues and I would love to see changed, let’s address that topic next.
The first item I’d like to bring to the table is the education. The admissions standards and school curricula need a complete and massive overhaul. It starts with admission.
[Comes to, stands up, looks around…]
OK. I think I like it here. Time will tell. And I’m at least superficially anonymous (you’ll have to dig a little to find out who I really am), so I think I can talk freely. After all, I’m a safe distance (in terms of both time and geography) away from my alma mater and my degree and licensing eligibility no longer hang in the imbalance.
I’m a DC. That stands for Doctor of Chiropractic, which DOES mean that yes, I’m a real doctor. More often, though our headspace often gets caught somewhere between kneejerk business owner and used car salesman.