One of the biggest trends that we see in the integrative health industry is that practitioners genuinely care about the health of their patients. This integrity has formed the backbone of trust that has put our industry in a great position, as we have developed credibility and support in our local communities.
However, this passion can sometimes lead to less favorable outcomes. One trend that we see is practitioners always looking for the ‘next big thing’ or ‘magic bullet’ that will help the patients they have struggled to help with or even be a driving force for their practice growth. e.g. HCG for weight loss. From our experience, this is very rarely successful. In fact, just believing in the idea of amagic bullet does harm to your patients because it keeps them believing the same untruth, that the answer to their health concerns lies outside of themselves.
More often than not, the most successful practitioners are not successful because they have gone from seminar to seminar picking up a little extra knowledge along the way, but because they have the courage to challenge and engage their patients empathetically. If four of the five most expensive and ubiquitous diseases in our modern society are ‘modifiable’ like the NIH says, the key to recovery is modification of lifestyle, not a blue, red or purple pill.
So here are our tips to develop a strong core business
1. Get clarity over your practice vision and core business. Take into account your own clinical strengths and weaknesses in this consideration. A business plan in the perfect start to organize your thinking into a usable framework. Also, this will help you be consistent in your branding and marketing.
2. Work with product companies and clinical tools that honor that core business. You cannot be everything to everybody. If you are not getting the success with a patient you would like, perhaps a referral to another practitioner might be a great way of developing mutually beneficial referral relationships. Above all, put the patient’s health first.
3. Continue to develop yourself and your clinical skills in line with your core business. Jumping on the latest fad might seem like a good idea, but typically is distracting and disruptive in the long term. If your patients are constantly hearing that the next thing is going to be the greatest, they will lose patience.
4. Develop your own voice and technique. Learning from ‘Gurus’ can be a great starting point, but those doctors and practitioners doing the most exciting work are growing beyond any techniques they have been taught to bring new understanding to our field.