Our profession has a lack mentality. Not everyone of course. We work with many multi-million dollar practices that compensate their staff very well. By very well, we mean associate doctors making above $150,000.
The intent of this article is to serve as a warning to Chiropractic clinic owners. Simply put, you absolutely get what you pay for. If you cannot afford to pay an associate doctor a salary that someone with a doctoral degree deserves, then hold off hiring someone until you can.
And, hiring someone with a low base salary and back loading their pay based primarily on sales metrics so that the clinic is not overly exposed with a high overhead based on a high salary is in our opinion highly unethical.
The doctor that you are hiring as an associate is a person. A colleague. They are your peer. This doctor deserves to be treated as such. This person likely has a family to support. They likely have a huge loan for the investment that they made in themselves for their education. They also have invested time. Eight years of their life for the privilege to practice as a Chiropractor. It is imperative that we bring our associate doctors into fair exchange for the survival of our profession.
Hiring an associate doctor helps everyone in our profession, especially the clinic owner. Perhaps you need help serving, perhaps you need to buy back some of your time freedom, or perhaps you need the right person to operate your clinic. Simply remember that you are hiring a specialist. You are hiring a doctor of chiropractic.
This should not be confused with hiring a unicorn that can do all things in your office. That expectation is unrealistic. The fact is the vast majority of Chiropractors are not natural marketers. They are specialists, they are clinicians trained to be doctors of Chiropractic. No one expects a plumber to go out and market and build the plumbing company.
The electrician in your community is a specialist expected to do one thing, be a great electrician. Just because you as an owner have the very unique ability to wear multiple hats in practice such as a sales man, clinician, HR expert, team builder, etc., do not expect most people to do the same. That is unrealistic, and the source of most of this animosity and frustration in our profession between clinic owners and associate doctors.
Please keep in mind that this associate doctor’s livelihood is now dependent on your success as an owner. This person became a Chiropractor with a dream in mind of serving others in their communities as a teacher and healer. If you hire them. You are responsible to help them achieve their dreams.
I write this so that you feel some weight on your shoulders. It is your responsibility first and foremost to do right by this person that you will hire as an associate doctor. The future of our profession depends on us getting these owner/associate relationships right from now on.
If you hire this person to market and build up your patient base, then please measure and ensure that is what the associate doctor you are hiring enjoys doing, and has a natural skill set and strengths to succeed as a marketer. Those docs exist, but they are a rare breed predisposed to opening their own clinic and working for themselves.
Our company, Chiro Matchmakers, exists because a solution was needed to help associate doctors combat the horror stories that I hear each day. Most everyone in our profession it seems has some sort of bad, if not appalling, associate doctor story. Somehow it has become a perverse rite of passage for our profession to learn the ropes by being overworked and taken advantage of.
That has to stop.
That stops here with Chiro Matchmakers.
– Allen Miner DC