Medical Marketing

TEN Keys To Chiropractic Success

CF 114: TEN Keys To Chiropractic Success

Today we’re going to talk about some of the things I would tell myself about chiropractic success if I were just starting out. How would I mentor myself at this point in my life? How would I counsel and mentor ANY doctor? I believe old dogs certainly can learn new tricks because 22 years into practice and I’m learning new tricks. Better believe it. 

But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music

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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around. 

We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers.

I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 

  • Like our facebook page, 
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  • go review our podcast on iTunes and other podcast platforms. 
  • We also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at
  • While you’re there, join our weekly email newsletter. No spam, just a reminder when the newest episodes go live. Nothing special so don’t worry about signing up. Just one a week friends. Check your JUNK folder!!

Do it do it do it. 

You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #114

Now if you missed last week’s episode, we were joined by Dr. William Lawson of Austin, TX and we talked about a paper he participated in that was concerned with setting treatment guidelines for neck pain. Newer paper and newer information so make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

While we’re on the topic of being smart, did you know that you can use our website as a resource? Quick and easy, you can go to, click on Episodes, and use the search function to find whatever you want quickly and easily. With over 100 episodes in the tank and an average of 2-3 papers covered per episode, we have somewhere between 250 and 300 papers that can be quickly referenced along with their talking points. 

On the personal end of things…..

Alright, nothing blew up this week. We had some snow last week so that was nice. Kids stayed home from school and I stayed home in the morning but made it to work that afternoon. It was a nice change in the schedule.

I’m actually headed to the Florida Keys on Thursday morning. I’ve never been and that’s exciting! My wife has massages and facials booked and when I put an s on the end of those words, I’m serious. Every day starts with either a massage or a facial and that’s the stuff that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Count me in. 

Here at the office, I have 5-6 massage therapists. I pay for my own massages. I don’t take advantage of them. But I try to get at least one per month and more when time allows. I’m a junkie. So it should be a great long weekend there in Florida. Plus it’s not too hot this time of year. I’d probably meltdown there in the Summer.

I got the news last week that the legendary Stu McGill will be joining us on the show in March. That’s some cool news right there. How do you ask someone like Stu questions that he doesn’t normally get that are still thoughtful and insightful?

The short answer is I don’t know but I’m listening to some past interviews and trying to be prepared for the back Jedi. The ninja, if you will.

I’ve been a little lazy about getting guests lately but I really enjoyed having Bill Lawson last week, I’m looking forward to Stu, and I think more guests are in order! I’m sure you get tired of hearing me ramble on so I’m making a resolution here and now more guests! 

This week, I’ll be recording a podcast with Dr. Jerry Kennedy of Rocket Chiro, previously called BlackSheepDC. He has been kind enough to invite me to speak with him on his podcast about marketing and promoting chiropractic through research. Using research to communicate what we do and why and what to expect in the results according to research. I’m looking forward to that so be looking for it. I’ve only been a guest once before on a podcast called Health Nuts but it was fun. This one should be too. Dr. Kennedy and I line up very well in how we see things. 

Before we dive into the reason we’re here, it’s good to support the people that support evidence-informed practitioners. Well, ChiroUp certainly does just that. 

If you don’t take advantage of the deal I’m about to offer you, I think you just might be crazy.

Regular listeners know I’ve used ChiroUp for well over a year now. I’m going to tell you whant it is and then share a way to do a FREE TRIAL and, if you sign up, only pay $99/month for the first six months. So listen up!

ChiroUp is changing the way we practice by simplifying patient education and here’s what I mean: 

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This saves you so much time – no more explaining & re-explaining your patient’s care because they have access to it right there at their fingertips. 

You can be confident that your patients are getting the best possible care because the reports and exercises are populated based on what the literature recommends and isn’t that reassuring? All of that work has been done FOR you by people that are deep into the research. 

There are more than 1000 providers worldwide using ChiroUp to empower their treatments, patients, & practice.

If you don’t know what it’s all about or you’d like to check it out, do yourself a favor and go to today to get started with your FREE TRIAL and, to sweeten the deal, you can use code Williams99 to pay only $99/month for your first 6 months

That’s and super saver code is Williams99.

Ten Keys To Chiropractic Success

For today, I want to cover something outside if our norm here. This is more of a mentor post if I may be so bold. If you’re new to the podcast listenership, we typically cover some personal points over the previous week and then jump right into covering 2-4 research papers having to do with the activities we are involved in every day in our offices. 

I happened to see a post by Dr. Kevin Christie with  The Modern Chiropractic Marketing Facebook group last week. He asked the group, “What is your one piece of advice to the younger Docs that you wish you knew or followed in the earlier years of practice?”

This one post of Kevin’s demanded over 90 comments the last I checked. Some of the recommendations were goofy of course. It’s a fun group. You expect so of that. Some serious, some were fairly irrelevant and off-target. 

It got me to thinking; if I have done this for over 22 years and I been successful at it, are there any words of wisdom I could share that you would find valuable? I hope I’ve not been sampling my own brew too much but, I have to say I think I can pass on some nuggets to you. 

First thing is, you can learn something from ANYONE. Even if it’s learning what NOT to do. Lol. Sometimes you can learn both of those from the same person and I think I certainly fit that bill. I’ve made mistakes, people. Mistakes that are hard to admit. 

Next, I don’t own multiple clinics. I haven’t franchised. Hell, I don’t even have an associate; even though I should have had one year ago. So, let’s keep it in context and let’s be honest about it. I hate people that inflate their numbers. It’s obnoxious and gross. If I’m anything, I’m honest. Sometimes to a fault. My wife calls me a damn boy scout. She means it to tease but I’m kind of OK with that. I am not comfortable with lying and have alway liked ethics and high morals so in that spirit, here we go. 

This is purely meant to demonstrate why I probably have some good stuff to share. Although January and February always bring a bit of a slowdown, on average I see about 18-23 new patients per week. Over the course of 2019, I averaged 73.4 new patients per month and 726 visits per month. My PVA was about 9.8 visits. And then you have to understand that I have massage and acupuncture thrown in on top of that stuff. 

We’re doing alright. It’s a BIG overhead and super busy office. I’m one of those guys. Not necessarily on purpose either. It’s by necessity. I know some docs that can see 6 patients in a day, command and outstanding fee, and do just as well. All I can say to that is…..freaking teach me. Please. Lol. I’m busy as hell at almost all points during the day and it can be exhausting. But that’ll be covered a little more later. 

Now, standing where I now stand, what would I tell new docs? What advice would I pass down to myself if I were just starting out in business? Here we go, let’s work through it:

#1 – Value Yourself & Value What You Do

What is the #1 reason you are a chiropractor? Maybe it’s to help people. A very noble reason and I would guess the reason most of us got into the business. But let’s not make any mistakes, it’s called a business for a reason. You didn’t getting into the business to help people and starve. If you did, you’re a knucklehead. Straight up. 

Now, I have issues with money. I didn’t come from a lot of money so I guess on some level, I’ve always felt guilty about making it or prospering in a big way. I’ve traditionally had a hard time giving recommendations for treatment. Even when I know for a damn fact that they are going to help address long-standing pain. I’m telling you, it’s a mental game. 

Because I struggled with money early in the game, I automatically allow my experiences to paint my handling of others when it comes to money or finances. 

Not as much 22 years into the game but I still struggle to an extent if I’m being honest. But I came to really begin to value my service, my office, my employees, my family, and I began to value my patients. This was a profound turnaround for me that happened when I started really immersing myself in the available research. 

How in the hell can you sell something you’re not sure the value of to start with? Look, it’s different now but, when I came out of Parker in ’98, it was a philosophy mill and I never fit that mold. From day #1. I was not a chiropractic philosophy guy. I didn’t fit anywhere and felt I had probably made a big mistake. 

It wasn’t until I started to seek out and find chiropractors like me and started paying attention to all of the high-level research that I started to see firm value in what I did and how I could help others. THAT’s when things started to click for me. 

OK, I finally see a clear path that makes sense, I start walking that path and I’m rocking and rolling. In fact, I start killing it. Conviction in your words really does matter it turns out. Now, what’s the most important thing?

#2 – Take Care Of Business

Remember I said it’s a business so that means you must take care of business. I saw the value and started killing it but I wasn’t trained in matters of the office. I did a lot of PI in the early days. A LOT of PI. If you’ve done it before then you know that you have to settle with the attorneys all the damn time. Frustrating, yes….indeed. But part of the game. 

Anyway, because of settling all of the time, Accounts Receivable was not necessarily an accurate stat. I kept an insane amount of stats but I was missing ONE KEY stat. It was the one that tells you your profit per appointment. Man oh, man. Missing that one stat taught me a very very expensive lesson several years ago. 

You’ve probably heard me say in previous episodes that I lost almost a million dollars over the course of about 3 years. This happened for several reasons. It makes a guy feel like an idiot to admit it but, it happened. It’s part of my life. I had an employee that I trusted, that I trained, and then trained, and then got trained more, and then provided resources for so she could ask any questions. I even got the training to come here to my office and work with her. 

I want to be clear, nobody was stealing. She just wasn’t disputing denials, re-billing, some of the billing just wasn’t done at all but she never said a word, even though I’d made it clear to tell me if she needed help or had questions, etc. Well…..she didn’t so I was dumb enough to think it was all taking care of itself. Once the timely filing deadlines have passed, that’s it. Done deal. That money is bye by. 

Hell, my stats showed me that I was seeing a ton of folks and getting a ton of folks better. I was killing it! So I thought. You could fall prey to the same mistake. That’s why I’m sharing my sheer stupidity with you. I’m not a proud man. 

I knew things weren’t jiving so I brought in an internal auditor to sort the mess and oh hell what a mess it was. I had no idea. One month, for example, I lost $40.00 per visit and another month I lost $21.00 per visit. LOST. 

So, my fault was in buying into my employees and rooting too hard for them. Getting personally invested in their success and fighting for them. That’s just who I am and that’s how it came about. I’m still that person today. I’m just a hell of a lot smarter about what I will and will not tolerate. That’s the difference now. 

I’m not a smart man but I know when my bank account is getting closer and closer to zero. Lol. 

At the end of the day, when I say take care of business, I mean that your business ultimately depends on the billing and collections. If you’re not billing or collecting, you’re not in business. Period. Either make damn sure your billing/collections person is a rockstar or outsource it to a professional and experienced company. 

Without question. Just do it and don’t second guess it. And never pay an outsourced business a flat fee. They should be on a percentage of collections. That way they have the motivation to get your AR to zero. 

You can use the profit per visit stat to help you determine where you are as far as collections. It’s the one stat out of all of them that could have saved me at least half a million dollars. That’s important enough to cover it real quick. 

You find your Profit Per Visit (PPV) by subtracting your Cost Per Visit (CosPV) from your Collected Per Visit (ColPV. 


I’m going to tell you how to find those right quick so get out your pens and pencils ladies and gentlemen. 

Let’s start with the Collected Per Visit number. Find that by dividing your Total Collection Amount (TCA) by your Total Number of Visits (TNV). 


So let’s say we’re doing last January for example. I want my collected per visit number so I’m going to look and divide my total collections in January by the number of visits I saw in January. Bam, there you go. One number down. 

Now we need to find our Cost Per Visit number. For that one, we just divide our Overhead (OH) in January by our Total Number of Visits. You should see how it all revolves around your Total Number of Visits right? Because it does. 

OH / TNV = CosPV

Anyway, it’s simple, you just have to be told how to do it. Now, subtract Cost Per Visit from Collected Per Visit and you will have your Profit Per Visit number. That number tells you whether you’re knocking it out of the park or sucking the dirt of all of those others that really are knocking it out of the park. 

I’d say if you’re Profit Per Visit is around $40-$60, you’re where you want to be. Some are more and some are less but that will all come down to where you are as far as your overhead. KEEP AN EYE ON IT. 

These equations are illustrated a little clearer for you in the show notes at so go there and check it out. 

#3 – Chiropractic Statistics

The easiest way you can say it is like this; how can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been? Honestly, it wasn’t until I joined a practice consulting group that I learned the value of keeping stats. Unfortunately, that group didn’t keep the profit per visit stat. Ugh. Anyway, moving on…..

It’s vital to be able to compare your current situation from past performance. Have you ever had a month where you were in the dumps because you thought your practice was slower than normal? And maybe you were ready to just go ahead and jump off the cliff or drive your car into a tree? Or something equally self-harming?

Well, I have too. But, because I keep stats so thoroughly, I’m able to pull them up and compare now to last year at this time. Not only that but I can compare to the 10 years prior to that and see the growth and then I don’t panic and I don’t feel like all hope is gone. It’s really nice to know where I’ve been. Plus, it can help you plan where you want to go and set realistic, reachable goals. 

Outside of valuing my services, keeping stats has probably been the most important change I’ve made over the years. It’s that big of a deal. 

#4 – Chiropractic Marketing

If you’ve listened to my podcast any time at all, then you know what I think of marketing. And it can be summed up in these words, “You must be a marketer of what you do. Not just a do-er of what you do. 

The names you most associate with a particular industry aren’t usually the best. They were just better at telling people how good they are. Put it this way, do you really think McDonald’s makes the best hamburger? Hell no they don’t. Yet, there they are. Around the world, absolutely killing the burger industry. 

Also, a Dan Kennedy classic you’ve heard from me before. It’s YCDBSOYA which stands for You can’t do business sitting on your ass. You better be someone that becomes a mover and a shaker because the success will not belong fo the meek and the mild in this story. It will belong to the ones that aren’t afraid to tell people what they do in an honest and ethical way. 

If you’d like some great thoughts and ideas on marketing an evidence-based practice, check out the two-part series we did on it. They were episodes 98 and 99 and are linked in the show notes. They were called Big Ideas On Marketing Evidence-Based Practices and published on October 31st of 2019 and part two was published on November 8 of 2019 so go find them and get to work. 

Part I

Part II

#5 – Control Chiropractic Overhead

Here’s the honest truth, I suck at this one. I like toys and I like having extra hands to help. Here’s the deal, when you have an office of employees, none of them…..NONE OF THEM cares about your business as much as you do. Even my most valued employee doesn’t value it as I do and she’s amazing. 

They find reasons to be gone. They wake up with a cough, their belly hurts, blah blah blah. I’ve heard them all. And on a side note, I do it as schools do it. If you have a fever, keep your butt at home. If you do not have a fever, get your butt in gear. If you miss work, you better have a doctor’s note. Plain and simple. Remember it’s a business and you have to take care of business. 

Anyway, I am usually one person over-staffed because I got tired of being short-handed all the damn time. I saw someone on Dr. Christie’s post say that people need to remember that overhead walks on two legs. Meaning, employees are the biggest aspect of your overhead. And it can get out of hand fast. I used to think a $42,000 per month overhead was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard of. A colleague of mine told me that was his overhead and I was about half of that at the time. Now, I’m around $5k-$10,000 beyond that on average every month. 

It sneaks up on you so keep an eye on it. Protect it. When a salesperson calls me, I tell them straight up, “I’m not just out looking for more reasons to raise my overhead so if it doesn’t blow my shorts off, it’s a no from me.” Pretty simple. 

#6 – Background Checks

Speaking of employees, I about pulled a dummy a year or two ago. I hired a girl with front office healthcare experience. Hell, she worked at a cardiologist’s office for quite a while! I was so excited. I hired her and she was just killing it at the front desk. I mean killing it when we’d been through several that were just awful. i was so excited. Then, one of my other employees told me she’s pretty sure this new girl has a mugshot out there somewhere so she went looking. 

Dammit if she didn’t find a damn mugshot. So, I called up one of my besties who happens to be a copper copper crime stopper and guess what? This girl working my front desk for the last two or three weeks….turns out she was just in jail for stealing from a cardiologist’s office. At about the same time, a friend of mine that works at that cardiologist’s office called me to see if I’d hired their ex-employee….Lol. I felt like an idiot but, we caught it in time and we went ahead and let her go before she could do any damage. 

But the lesson was learned. Do background checks. They may be so good and capable and smart so that they can figure out how to manipulate your system to steal from you. Just a thought. 

#7 Never Stop Learning

We never know it all, folks. If we ever get to a point that we can stop learning, then we should be traveling the world lecturing and teaching other doctors to be clinical ninjas. 

I’m not there and I’m betting only about .05% of chiropractors are there. Always learn. I just finished the ortho diplomate and now I’m on to Stu McGill, Donald Murphy, and the latest research that is continually coming out. 

I can’t remember where I heard this quote but, “be a learn it all, not a know it all.” This also means to always be taking advice. Be quick to take advice! Seek it out. I remember when I was growing up and my Dad saying, “Son, just remember, no matter how big and bad and strong you get, there’s always someone out there that can beat your ass to a pulp.” This is true. Lol. 

But what else is true is that no matter how smart any of us think we are, there is always someone smarter and more capable. The best part about that is that we can learn from them! Without them beating our asses to a pulp, by the way. Lol

Dr. Greg Kawchuk says we should consume at least one science per day. Meaning, find the papers and consume them. If you have the time to go beyond the abstract, please do. But consume at least one science per day. It’s good for your brain, your soul, your profession, and your patients. 

I just told my wife the other night….I’m going through Stu McGill’s ‘Back Mechanic’ book right now. I told her it’s amazing that I’ve been through Murphy’s CRISP protocol book and I’ve been the through the ortho diplomate program and it’s amazing and so cool that even in the first 30 pages of Dr. McGill’s book, I’m learning even more stuff to stick in the toolbox. 

It’s exhilarating. Keep the foot on the gas pedal folks. Never stop soaking up material at the quickest pace possible. 

#8 – Chiropractic Mentorship

I waited for 11 years or so. I tried to do it on my own. Hell, I didn’t have the money to get a mentor in the first place anyway. But, if I were advising my new doc self, I’d say get a mentor… in yesterday. 

I can tell you that I don’t see the value in long-term contracts with them though. There is really only so much you can learn from a mentor so why would we pay thousands more when we exhaust the learning potential. Our chiropractic success is not typically going to lie in the hands of one person and, even if it does, you’ll learn what you need from them in a year or two. Anything beyond that is probably a waste.

At some point, you cease being the student and the group starts learning from you. This is the point that you should graduate into being a member at no charge because you are contributing as much or more than you are extracting. If that makes sense. 

I have had about 2 and a half mentors. One was outstanding and I damn sure paid a high price financially for it. The other was very philosophy minded and we just didn’t jive. I didn’t know how philosophy minded in the beginning but I got out once I figured it out. 

That doesn’t mean I didn’t learn from him though. I got a great hiring process out of that group. I got some great marketing techniques that I could tailor to my own evidence-based means. 

I always treated mentors or practice management groups like buffets. I took what looked good to me and worked for me and I left what I didn’t like and what didn’t fit me. 

I think buying into one person or one system and diving in 100% usually isn’t the best way to do things. Hell, I’m a Christian and I think that way about preachers too. People rallying around one personality and devoting everything and all energy to it……yeah….not my style. 

Just treat them like a buffet and you’ll be fine. I like the idea of a mentor or practice management group that lines up with your way of practicing and I like them mostly because they can keep you focused and keep you accountable for your stats and your practice goals. 

I’m in a great spot in practice and I’ve still considered jumping into a new one just to see if I can get some new, fresh ideas. You should too. Just don’t make an egomaniac more and more rick while they are actively in the process of propagating garbage and ruining our chances of getting this profession where it belongs. Please. 

Good ways to get started for an evidence-based chiropractor would be joining the Chiropractic Success Academy, joining the Chiropractic Forward Facebook group, joining the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance Facebook page, and joining the Evidence-Based Chiropractor Facebook page. 

Look, I get that this next one isn’t a popular topic but hear me out before you tune me out.

#9 – Join Your Associations

What you get out of your involvement is directly equal to what you put into it. By sitting on the Board of Directors for the Texas Chiropractic Association, I made more connections and friends than I could ever count for you or explain to you. It was a dramatic turning point for me personally and professionally. 

These doctors I was on the Board with became life-long friends to me. They’ve helped me solve countless problems over the years when I needed them the most. When I had the billing debacle I mentioned earlier, guess who gave me the way out? A Board member that I called asking for suggestions on billing/collections companies. 

If I’m thinking about ideas for my business, for expanding, for integrating or making any sort of changes, who do you think I ask?I have a network of about 15-20 high level, successful doctors here in Texas and we help each other. We pass advice and information back and forth. 

It was never that way before I became a TCA member and got active. I was by myself making it up by myself with poor information to go on. 

My involvement in the TCA got me into getting a Diplomate. Connections through the TCA is what setting me up for the next 5 years. 

Yes, your association needs you and your talents but more importantly, YOU need your state association. In ways you don’t realize or ever thought of. I thought it would be a time suck and a money suck. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

Something on this point that I can promise is that if you just join and continue to sit in your office and do nothing, you’ll be helping your association but you’ll get little out of it. At least in regard to what I just described. 

BUT, if you hop in and volunteer, you’ll be exposed to a whole slew of other chiros that will eventually become your comrades in the battle. Your connections will be deep. It’ll happen. Trust me. And you’ll appreciate it. 

Besides all of the things I just mentioned, our state and national associations NEED to have more and more evidence-based practitioners helping steer and advise this profession as we proceed into the next 10, 20, 30 years and beyond. 

Just do it. It’s worth it. 

#10 Don’t Forget About YOU

It’s easy to get caught up in practice. It’s easy to feel like your practice owns you rather than you owning your practice. Hell, I feel that way right now. It happens to everyone. But what I’m trying to do these days is to learn to set aside more time for me and my family. 

Burnout is very real and it doesn’t do you, your family, your employees, or your patients any favors at all. I’ve been burned out at various times so many times. It’s miserable. And it can get to the point that even a long weekend doesn’t make any damn difference. Because all the stuff piles up and you have to wade through it when you get back. It sucks. 

To battle back, I try to have a trip planned at least once per quarter. That way, there is always something to look forward to and plan for. Something on the horizon. 

Now, there is a big difference between taking some time for yourself and being a lazy ass bum. Nobody likes a lazy ass. Everyone respects a worker and a giver so don’t take this one to the extreme. It just means to fit yourself in some time too. That’s all. 

Remember that nobody will be on the death bed and will be thinking, “You know, I really wish I had spent more time at work.” It’s the truth. 

Some trips are big and you can write off as your yearly shareholder’s meeting. Some are just 5-6 hour drives to Dallas or up into Colorado Springs or the New Mexico mountains. The point is, get out of your office. See no patients. 

See your family. That’s the point. 

Certainly, there are more things an old wolf like me can share. There are a lot of things I have yet to learn but I’m seeking. I’m searching it out and soaking it all up. Every single damn day. 

If you have anything to add to the conversation, hop into the private group called the Chiropractic Forward Facebook group and share with the group. We’d love to hear from you. What would you tell a new doc going into practice?

I asked this question in the Chiropractic Forward group and asked the docs to share some of their recommendations:

Dr. Kenneth Chillson over in Cologne Germany says, “The number one cause of failure is the fear of failure. So, stop focusing on fear and start focusing on what you think needs to be done right now. Believe in yourself, because you are the only one that will. 

Dr. Craig Benton in Lampasas, TX says, “Have no fear we can help a ton of people that don’t even know it yet. Get your message out there.” I would add….but be responsible about what you’re putting out there as you message. Remember to be the doctor that you are and what you say and do reflects on the rest of us. Don’t make me or any of the rest of us look bad. We don’t deserve it. Be cool. 

Dr. Don White down in Ft. Worth says, “Never be afraid to say no to a “Good deal” for a contract as an associate if it isn’t a good deal. Better yet ask for more when you get the first offer. Have other people that know more than you do look at any and all contracts before you agree and sign anything. (Contracts for employment, a buildout, a lease, management group, etc)” He also said having a business plan is key for him. 

That’s it. That’s my top 10. I hope you enjoyed the show this week as much as I enjoyed the brain dump you go through when you start pulling out all of the old files in your noggin and searching through them. 

I hope you found value in it and found some things you can use to help you better, make your family better, make your practice better, and make your patients better. 

The best news is that there’s never been a better time to be a chiropractor in the last 30 years. You’re where you are for a reason and chiropractic success is more a certainty than it was 5-10 years ago. Just go out, grab it, knock it out, and take it back home! Lol.  

Key Takeaways


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The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots.

When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few.

It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. 

And, if the patient treats preventatively after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health!

Key Point:

At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints….

That’s Chiropractic!


Send us an email at dr dot williams at and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes. 

Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms. 

We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference. 


We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 


Social Media Links

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP




Player FM Link



About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

CF 060: Medical Marketing & Integration Care Expectations

CF 060: Medical Marketing & Integration Care Expectations

Today we’re going to talk about medical marketing scoundrels and about what the multidisciplinary world expects of us chiropractors. 

But first, here’s that ‘goes down so smooth’ bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

And we’re back. .Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  We are honored you’re spending some time with us and we hope we give some entertainment and some value in return. 


You have disco’ed your way into Episode #60 just like John Travolta in Saturday Night Live. Kids, go Google that. It was cool back then. You could walk down the street in a Staying Alive strut man. Travolta was the bee’s knees back then wasn’t he? From Mr. Kotter, to Grease, to Staying Alive. Then turned kookoo wacko on everyone. He got so open-minded that his brain fell out and went splat. 

Let’s talk a bit about the diplomate of the Academy of chiropractic orthopedists quickly. That’s also known as the DACO program that I’m currently going through. I’ve officially hit the halfway point for the online hours and only have one class left for the live hours which I’ll get in less than a month down in Austin. Basically, out of 300 hours, I have about 125 left and have just been serious about this thing since October. Recent classes have been A Neurological Approach to Scoliosis, and the Neck and a Sense of Well-Being. 

I feel like it’s scooting fairly quickly at this point. It’s funny to watch my staff when I’m performing an exam these days. They’re familiar with the way I do exams and have done them for years. Just about every week, including this week, I’m adding or taking away from what I normally do. They don’t really know how to handle it. Lol. These classes really do change what you do almost immediately. 

If I can help you get started and rocking and rolling on your DACO, shoot me an email at and I’ll be glad to point you in the right direction. 

New Year

How’s your new year starting? By the time this episode goes live, we’ll have been in it for a little over a month. I have to say that I’m confused this year. This is typically our slowest time of year. But, it’s going a little crazy this year for whatever reason. I have literally had 35 new patients in the last two weeks. It’s all I can do to get this podcast written each week, to be honest, but I’m committed. 

I actually had to come in on a Saturday to record the last episode because I just didn’t have the time available during the week to get it done. I’m not trying to brag. I think if you have a good staff, which I do, and you have them spaced appropriately, which I do, you can make your way through them while giving them the best care possible. Especially when you’re using post-graduate educations like the DACO to guide your exam and diagnosis. 

Crazy Busy

And, 35 new patients for my practice looks different than it may in a lot of clinics. I don’t see how many times we can run them through the doors. I don’t convince them their lives are at stake if they don’t see me 50 times this year. 

I used ChiroUp for all of my patients which I highly recommend. An additional $150/month seems like a lot. I know. But this programs is worth even more than that and they’re not paying me anything at all to say that. One of the things it does is track your patients through follow up emails. 

That’s how I know my case average, which is the number of times I typically see a person, stands at around 8 times while their national average stands at about 7 times. 

I know that my average improvement rating is 79.43% for ALL cases and that included everything from cervical radiculopathy and lumbar stenosis to cervicogenic headache and greater trochanteric bursitis. Their national average for improvement is 71.8% so I’m doing good there. If I’m getting 80% of my patients well, I’m happy. 

They have also tracked me at having a 98.6% likely to refer from my patients. Meaning, our patients are 98% happy to refer us to their family and friends and that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I’d still like to know what I can do to make that other 1.4% happy but I think some people cannot be made happy at all. 

Even if you get them well and gave them free ice cream. They’d still gripe because the ice cream didn’t have chocolate syrup on it. You know those people. You know who I’m talking about, don’t you?

Anyway, the point was….I hope your 2019 has started off like my 2019. If it sustains, I’m going to have to get me some help in here! Including a nurse practitioner. Ahhhhh, the day I finally make that leap I may have a few hundred beers. Lol. 

Paper #1

The first item of research I want to get to is on medical marketing. Why do we care what the medical field is doing for marketing? Well, because they’re the main stakeholders in healthcare and it’s important to know what they’re doing. Either we can copy it or we can go 180 degrees from it depending on what we’re talking about. 

This paper we’ll talk about was in the Journal of the American Medical Association also known as JAMA on January 1, 2019, so it’s hot off of the press. It is called “Medical Marketing in the United States, 1997-2016” and was written by Lisa Schwartz, MD and Steven Woloshin, MD[1].  Please remember, if you’d like to see the paper, the methods, and that good hulabaloo….I always cite the papers at the end of the show notes over at This show is episode 60 just so’s you’s knows. 

Why They Did It

They wanted to answer the question, “How has the marketing of prescription drugs, disease awareness, health services, and laboratory tests in the United States changed from 1997 through 2016?” I think that’s a great question. 

Let’s find out, shall we? I say hell yes we shall!

As far as medical marketing goes, they say, “From 1997 through 2016, medical marketing expanded substantially, and spending increased from $17.7 to $29.9 billion, with direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs and health services accounting for the most rapid growth, and pharmaceutical marketing to health professionals accounting for most promotional spending.”

Let’s dial down into that just a bit. 

As you are probably already guessing because you see this trash on TV every time you turn it on but the most rapid, crazy increase in medical marketing advertising was in the direct-to-consumer advertising. It went from $2.1 billion in 1997, which was 11.9% of the total marketing….it went from $2.1 billion all the way up to $9.6 billion and now, marketing meds directly to the consumer now make up 32% of the total spending. I say NOW….that was 2016’s numbers. Probably worse now.

They broke it down even further and highlighted the prescriptions that are marketed directly. The drugs you need a prescription for ….ads for them went from $1.3 billion in ’97 which was 79,000 ads, all the way up to $6 billion dollars and 663,000 ads in 2016. 

All I have to say here is, “Dayum.”

Then, I’m not done yet….hold my beer and watch this….Lol. That’s what I feel like here. Then, they say that medical marketing straight to healthcare providers like the MDs, DOs, etc….that marketing went up from $15.6 billion to 20.3 billion in 2016 but here’s what’s crazy when you think about it, folks, $13.5 billion of that was for free samples….OK, whatever. Then $979 million went to payments to physicians for speaking fees, meals, and things like that that were related to specific products. So they paid almost a billion damn dollars to MDs to go around medical marketing & touting their drugs.  

It’s insane. You cannot tell me no way no how that with that much money in the hopper, that we don’t have some nefarious skunky smelly dirty crap snaking around and messing with people for the worse. You can’t convince me of it and I’m not a conspiracy guy either. 

Like, when they say we didn’t land on the moon, it was shot in a studio in Hollywood? Yeah, they need a kick in the nuggets. Really? The Earth is flat? Are you sure? I’ve seen a lot of pics from outers space and round is what I’m getting people!! 

You see what I mean here but I also know people and I know what greed does to people. It’s insane, honestly. 

Pharmaceutical Commercials

Let’s talk about those medical marketing commercials for a minute. Let’s make up a name that sounds a little like a prescription. How about Killyametrix? Yeah, sounds good. OK, here’s how it usually goes, “Have you been having a hard time getting into your life? Are you just tired? No energy, no drive, no ambition anymore? Wouldn’t you like to have more energy? You’re too young for this. Killyametrix has been shown to increase energy and get patients back to enjoying their lives quicker and faster than any medication in the history of man that was ever made. There are some side effects. You’ll want to talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: gout, liver failure, tumors coming out of your eyeballs, if your foot falls right off in mid-stride, high blood pressure, going cross-eyed, bleeding from the ears and fingernails, if your hair curls, if all of your hair falls out, or if your knee cap pops right off as you sit down and shoots straight across the room knocking someone out. Other than those issues, it’s a great drug. Try Killyametrix. Ask your doctor about Killyametrix and if it might be right for you.”

Here’s the deal, when I was growing up, did you realize whiskey, bourbon, scotch, …..the hard stuff… was never advertised on TV because they knew it was damaging to the population so why promote it nationally. I believe it was actually illegal to advertise the hard stuff but I’m not 100% on that. 

But, now, or at least in 2016, it’s OK to advertise prescription drugs straight to the consumer to the tune of 663,000 ads at a cost of $6 billion dollars. It’s lunacy. 

How about you go to your doctor with no preconceived idea of what’s wrong with you and he or she plays doctor, figures out what’s going on with you, and the DOCTOR, the actual doctor, decides what medication you need if any at all. 

Why don’t we try that crap out in America for a change? 

If I were an MD or DO, I’d be livid every time I saw one of those stupid commercials on TV. Hell, I’m a DC and I’m livid when I see them. 

Make me a crazy person. Makes me want to go live in a rubber room for a couple of weeks to decompress.

Paper #2

Let’s get to the last thing here. This one is called “Stakeholder expectations from the integration of chiropractic care into a rehabilitation setting: a qualitative study” by Zacariah Shannon, et. al[2]. published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in December 2018. 

Why They Did It

They say that few studies exist on what the expectations of chiropractic care really are within a multidisciplinary setting so they wanted to add to the literature on this topic. 

What They Found

They found that expectations for the chiropractic program in this study were mostly positive. Good news. The idea of the patients making progress was the overriding theme for the group. They expected the addition of chiropractic to help patients progress by improving pain management and physical functioning. 

In addition, they also expected indirect effects of chiropractic on healthcare integration. Things like increasing the patient participation in other providers’ treatments which would lead to improved care for the patient across the board. 

I wonder if those other providers were or will be helping increase the chiropractor’s load as well? That’s a good question to ask. 

Wrap It Up

They summed it up by saying, “Stakeholders expected the addition of chiropractic care to a rehabilitation specialty hospital to benefit patients through pain management and functional improvements leading to whole person healing. They also expected chiropractic to benefit the healthcare team by facilitating other therapies in pursuit of the hospital mission, that is, moving patients towards discharge.”

Not bad, not bad. It’s a helluva lot better than we had going on for us before the opioid crisis. I’ll give them that. I think the only part of this I really don’t like is their expectation of the chiropractor helping feed the rest of them while, in my biased opinion, they should be feeding the chiropractor first in an effort to keep people off of meds. 

Their stated goals are pain management and physical function. Well…that’s sort of right in our wheelhouse so why wouldn’t we be getting those first? I think the stakeholders have been fed quite enough. They’re fat as hell and slobbering. 

Bring the evidence-informed chiropractors in and watch your patients shine with happiness, leave amazing reviews, and go out and tell your city about all of the good things your clinic is doing. 

If they get the right evidence-based chiropractor in there, that’s the way I see it playing out because the research we covered several weeks ago shows us that chiropractors have the highest patient outcome satisfaction when compared to MD and DO’s, in fact, we wipe the floor with those people in regard to musculoskeletal issues. Not only that but we beat out the PTs as well on outcome measures. 

But we should feed them, right? They should be thankful to have us. 

Integrating Chiropractors The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment instead of chemical treatments like pills and shots.

When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show that many patients get good or excellent results through chiropractic for headaches, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, to name just a few.

Chiropractic care is safe and cost-effective. It can decrease instances of surgery & disability. Chiropractors normally do this through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal time requirements or hassle to the patient.

And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, chiropractors can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health of the patient!

Key Point:

Patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment offering the least harm.

That’s Chiropractic!


Send us an email at dr dot williams at and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Help us get to the top of podcasts in our industry. That’s how we get the message out.


We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.


Social Media Links

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP




Player FM Link



About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger



1. Schwartz L, W.S., Medical Marketing in the United States, 1997-2016. JAMA, 2019. 321(1): p. 80-96.

2. Shannon Z, S.S., , Gosselin D, Vining R,, Stakeholder expectations from the integration of chiropractic care into a rehabilitation setting: a qualitative study. BMC Comp Altern Med, 2018. 18(316).


CF 027: WANTED – Safe, Nonpharmacological Means Of Treating Spinal Pain