Episode #9: Starting Integration: What Will My Patients Think

Published: January 21, 2020


Show Notes:

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Welcome back innovators to episode number nine of the simplified integration podcast, starting integration. What would my patients think?

Speaker 2: (00:11)
Leonardo da Vinci once said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and I agree. You see the problem with the way that most consulting groups approach medical integration is anything but simple. In fact, it's the exact opposite. It's expensive, it's complicated and quite frankly it's exhausting. Enough is enough. There are far too many amazing integrated clinics that are struggling. Well, I'm on a mission to change that. What I've come to find from over five years working with integrative practices is that simplicity really is the secret. The old saying of less is more is true. Through a streamlined approach, I was able to create multiple successful seven figure integrated clinics and now I'm going to show you how you can do the same. Join me as I share with you the secrets to successful medical integration and practice growth. Join me on a journey to greater sophistication through innovation. I'm Dr. Andrew Wells and welcome to the simplified integration podcast.

Speaker 1: (01:09)
I wanted to make this episode because I remember when I first integrated, I had a lot of like fear and worry about what my patients would think. It's funny when I introduced the title of this podcast, um, I almost said, what would my parents think instead of what my patients think. And by nature I am a people pleaser. That's just part of my, like if you've taken the disc profile, I've taken a couple of like personality profiles. I'm very, very much a people pleaser. I want to make people happy. I don't want to, I don't like to rock the boat too much with others. And so when we, uh, when w when we first made the transition into integration and we started doing regenerative medicine, I had a lot of like fear and doubts about how my patients and really how my community would perceive that.

Speaker 1: (01:48)
And here's why. When we first started out in practice, I would describe myself as a very like right-wing chiropractic fanatic. I'm maybe a little bit too far to the right. And what I mean by that is that I came out of school, like super amped up about chiropractic, like a lot of new graduates and I was going to save the world and S, you know, save everyone's life with chiropractic care. And I was like really gung ho about it. And uh, and that really, um, it really helped me, especially in the beginning of practice. But I, what I realized is that, um, you know, I didn't have to be that far right. And I say that far right because the left to me was like medicine and uh, I don't, I'm not trying to make this political or anything, but um, for me like medicine was bad and there, I know there like a certain time and a place for medicine, like if you get shot or stabbed or you're in an emergency, like, you know, thank God for medicine.

Speaker 1: (02:35)
But, um, I wouldn't say I was anti-medicine but I was very like opposed to Western medicine and those are like the, the two ideals I had and it was like very black and white and there was not a whole lot of middle ground for me. And as I started to mature in practice and in my profession and taking care of patients, I realized, okay, medicine isn't all that bad. There's some bad stuff to medicine. Just like there's bad stuff to chiropractic. But I started to, um, to soften a little bit on my, on my hard line approach to chiropractic and I'm like, okay, there are other things out there that could potentially benefit a patient. So for example, if you have an overweight patient, would it not benefit them to lose weight? Absolutely. Um, if you have, you know, a patient on 20 medications and they're diabetic, could they benefit from a nutrition plan or exercise?

Speaker 1: (03:16)
Of course. So I started to realize, especially in in medicine, there are some really key like key technologies and advancements in medicine that really don't, um, that help the patient but don't have a lot of side effects. And so as I started to realize that there were some potential benefits of, of medically integrating the office, um, the first, like my first, uh, hang up on that was Oh crap. Like what am I patient's gonna think? Cause I had the, like these super loyal patients who are used to me and my philosophy, like I didn't hold anything back and they knew me as like a pretty straight chiropractic guy. And, uh, and so we would, you know, we, we had a pretty loyal following. We had, I had a really high retention rate for wellness patients and we did monthly workshops on everything from exercise, nutrition to healthy living, to detoxifying your home and your body.

Speaker 1: (04:04)
So like, my, my following, my chiropractic group was used to that. And so, uh, when I started thinking about like, how am I going to introduce medical components to the practice, what of my patient's going to think? And are they going to see me as a fraud? Are they gonna see me as selling out or they're going to see me as like turning my back on all the things that I already taught them. And these are the things that kept me up at night. These are the things I stressed out about. And there was a day on our calendar that I was going to start talking to patients and I dreaded this day cause I'm like, Oh shoot, I don't know how my patients are gonna react. And so when we first launched this, uh, I had a list of like six patients that day I was gonna talk to.

Speaker 1: (04:41)
And this was before we integrated. So this was like before we actually were still doing just chiropractic, but I wanted to like start informing our patients on the change in the office. And I didn't do that through an email. I didn't do it through flyers. I wanted to have a one on one conversation. And I remember my first patient, I said, Hey, Mrs. Jones, I just want to let you know we're making some really exciting changes in the office. Uh, we've decided to, uh, medically integrate. So we offering some, uh, some new services in our office that we didn't have access to before and we think that we can use these services to help our patients get better faster. And, and I remember the patients saying like, Oh, what kind of stuff were you doing? And I explained to her what integration was and she's like, wow, this is fantastic.

Speaker 1: (05:23)
Uh, this is gonna really help your patients and practice is really exciting. And each patient I, uh, described this to, they all had really positive feedback. And I remember one couple, these are like my dye, one of my diehard couple patients. And they're like, I remember I told them this and they, they came back the next day and the next week and they brought me like, Hey, can we talk to you? And they brought me into the exam room. Like, what's going on with this change? Like, why are you, why are you doing all these things different? Like if something wrong is something happened and they were all concerned about me in the practice and it was coming out of a praise, a place of love. And they really just wanted to know like bottom line, like what was this all about? And um, so that was the only, if you can call it a negative feedback I got from my patients.

Speaker 1: (06:02)
So I had all this doubt and all this worry and it was just, it was all in my head. And the reality was even though I had these gungho patients, they were actually really excited about what they saw as forward progression for the practice. And they saw this being things that could not only help our patients and me, but also our, our practice and that and themselves. And I remember, um, specifically one thing that they were really excited about was regenerative medicine when we first introduced that into our practice. I remember, um, so we, we were used to doing workshops and lectures. We did monthly workshops in our office. So we'd invite our patients and we usually get 1520, 25 maybe 30 patients if it was a really exciting topic. And I remember when we did regenerative medicine, this was like double the amount of attendance and signups of any other workshop we'd ever done.

Speaker 1: (06:47)
I think we had like 55 or 60 people register for this event. And so that we were holding this in our office and we can only hold like 30 people max in our office. So we have these two, we split the seminar up into two groups and we had like two groups of 30 people and the office was like jam packed. So our patients came and they are also, we're bringing like their neighbors or coworkers, people from church, all these people they thought could benefit from regenerative medicine. And it was a huge success when we first launched that. I mean, we, we had tons of patients that signed up for regenerative medicine. So it was a really cool way to, to, um, to launch that, that certain therapy in our office. And, um, but I talk about this because a lot of doctors when you talk about integration, that that is a fear and it's a few, it's not talked about very often and sometimes it's a fear that, that chiropractors don't want to admit to because deep down sometimes when we make changes it's like, Oh my gosh, when patients are gonna think I'm just doing this just for financial purposes or just for my own benefit.

Speaker 1: (07:39)
When the reality is you're doing it for a couple of reasons, you're doing it. Yes. For the, for the financial benefit of you and your practice. But also it should be, if it's coming from a place of, of love and care for your patients, it should be coming from a place of serving your patients. Do these therapies make sense to you? Does it make sense to your patients to offer these types of services? And for me it was kind of a no brainer, but I always had the hang up. And I remember particularly one, one client I used to work with, um, when he first integrated, he was terrified of telling his patients about this for the same reasons I had those fears and I, Ruby we had talked about it before. This is a like a super smart, really nice doctor and he didn't have these conversations with his patients until the day he actually integrated.

Speaker 1: (08:20)
So no one knew what to expect. So when his patients are walking in they're like, what the heck? Like what are you, what is, what's going on? Is this the same, same office and this poor doc was hiding in the back like in his closet like in this then like the uh, the janitor's closet cause he was afraid of going out and talking to his patients and he just, he, he didn't do a good job of managing those expectations cause he was afraid of like same for the same reasons. I was afraid of like what the patients are going to think and I'm, I can tell you that uh, the patient's concerns are a lot different than your concerns, right? They all you want to do is they want to make sure they're getting, they're getting out of pain, they're getting healthy. That's why they came to your office.

Speaker 1: (08:59)
They don't care about all the other stuff that happens. They just want to know that they're being taken care of. And so when you position, here's the cool thing about regenerative medicine is you're positioning yourself as a very cutting edge forward thinking chiropractor. And I'm not saying that if you don't do regenerative medicine that you're like outdated or old school, there's nothing wrong with that. But when you're doing things like regenerative medicine patients, like wow, like my chiropractor does regenerative medicine, like it's a, for what it's worth, at least at the surface level, it sounds advanced and it is. It's a great service. We have fantastic results, but I'm from a patient's perspective, it's a fantastic marketing tool and it positions you differently than other chiropractors in your community. Even if you're not like a super gung ho regenerative medicine clinic and you're just like, like knocking it out of the park.

Speaker 1: (09:44)
If you even offer that service, that's, that's pretty impressive as well. So I just want to talk about this because it is a real fear. It's a real thing. It's a real hang up that chiropractors have, you know, all the fear and the doubt. How will they be perceived? Do they do, are you gonna feel like you're selling out and you're selling out to medicine or selling out chiropractic? So it's want to talk to you about my experience and some other doctor's experiences and going through this back and tell you if you have that fear, uh, it's all in your head. So I hope this, hope this helps you hope this makes sense. Thanks for joining today doc. Hope you have a great day and we'll talk to you soon. Bye. Bye.

Speaker 2: (10:18)
Hey innovators. Thanks for listening to the simplified integration podcast. Fact that you're listening tells me that you're like me, someone who loves simplicity and the truth is those who embrace Implicity are some of the greatest innovators. So hope you got a ton of value from what we covered on today's episode. Be sure to subscribe and share with other docs that you feel could benefit from greater sophistication through simplification and innovation. If you've got specific questions that you'd like answered on this podcast or you've got specific topics that you'd like me to discuss, just shoot me an email at info@simplifiedintegration.com

Speaker 1: (10:53)
it's info@simplifiedintegration.com.

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