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Million Dollar Chiropractic: Interview with Tim Weir
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Interviews
Written by Dr. Tim Weir   
Tuesday, 30 September 2003 00:00

Each article in the MILLION DOLLAR CHIROPRACTIC series (M$C) focuses on the top surveyed issues facing chiropractors today.  Recruiting new patients, retention, profitability, marketing and staffing are each a determining factor in the growth, potential and success of the practice.
The subject of this issue’s profile is Dr. Timothy Weir an extremely successful chiropractor who has practiced in North Carolina, for the past twenty-two years.
Originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Tim Weir began working at a very early age in a freight salvage store owned by his parents.  “That,” he says, “bred into me a good work ethic.”
As a child, he also loved music and started playing the piano at age four.  When he was sixteen-years-old, he traveled the United States and Canada in a gospel singing group, subsequently cutting a solo gospel album in Nashville, Tennessee, and, touring the US giving concerts. 
And this was all BEFORE he got into chiropractic!
Then, newly married at the age of eighteen, Tim and his bride, Rose, were off to Davenport, Iowa, where he proceeded to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic, graduating in 1981.

In an interview with The American Chiropractor, Dr. Tim Weir answers our Million Dollar Chiropractic (M$C) questions about his successful multidisciplinary practice where their motto is, “Get Well, Have Fun.”

M$C:  What influenced you to become a chiropractor?
Weir:
  In 1956, my father was in a wheelchair suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.  The Mayo clinic had given up on him, and sent him home with six months to live.  Instead of taking him home to die, though, my mother took him to the Toftness Chiropractic Clinic in Cumberland, Wisconsin.  Within weeks, he was walking; within six months he was back at work; and he lived another thirty-two years. 
I had two brothers.  My older brother, Mike, who now practices in Monterey, California, was the first of us to become a chiropractor.  Mike has been a great mentor and friend;  but it was my other brother, Kevin, who just passed away after a short battle with liver cancer, and myself who went to Palmer at the same time.

M$C:   What type of practice do you have?
Weir:
  Our practice is a true “multi-disciplinary” practice.  We are basically a medical practice, with chiropractic and physical therapy incorporated into the practice.  I realized that patients needed chiropractic care, but I also realized that they needed some type of medical care at the same time.  I am quick to admit that I am a big baby when it comes to pain, and that, when I had a severe back problem, I took some type of pain relief.  My feeling was, if I need this, the patients in my town deserve to have the same thing:  the marriage of the healing arts…medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy and massage.

M$C:  Give us a physical description of your office facility.
Weir:
  First Choice Family Healthcare is right on one of the busiest streets in North Raleigh.  We have approximately 5,700 sq. ft.  We have a beautiful office and a great therapy suite, and are set up to do urgent care as well as physical medicine.  You have heard that the three success points of any business are location, location, location.  Well, our clinic is on the corner of two busy streets, right between Wendy’s and Burger King (great locators for people.)  It is also possible to be on a street that is too busy…as is the building two doors down from ours.  Our saving grace is a back entrance from a less busy street. 
Raleigh is the capital city of North Carolina, and is a wonderful city to live and practice in.

M$C:  What’s the income service   level that you provide annually?
Weir:
  I guess that I tend to look at our practice “pre-multidisciplinary.”  We actually started the multidisciplinary practice under the direction of a consultant.  But, it seemed like everything that he told us to do required some type of equipment to purchase from him.  We did well, but there were a lot of chiropractic practices in town that were doing just as well. 
Then we found Dr. Daniel Dahan of Practice Perfect.  He was able to help us get rid of some equipment, cut overhead and increase the practice all at the same time.  What I always considered a “pipedream” a couple of years ago—a million-dollar-per-year practice—is now a dream come true.

M$C:  Do you have a margin formula or set profit standard for the business?
Weir:
  I run our practice on goals.  We have an objective, and that is to be better this year than we were last year.  Our goal is to provide quality service to a greater amount of people.  I get our staff involved with this.  Every staff member knows what our goals are, where we stand every day of the week, and how far we have left to go.  Bob Proctor taught me that the important thing was to write my goal down, put it in my pocket and read it as often as I can.  My staff all have these goal cards, and the front desk person will walkie-talkie everyone to read their goal cards several times per day.

M$C:  Is there anyone in particular to whom you attribute your professional success?
Weir:
  I was raised with Judeo-Christian ethics.  I practiced WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) long before bracelets. 
My wife is not only the love of my life and my best friend, but also my business partner.  She has believed in me, and our vision, more than anyone. 
But there are two people who have helped change my life.  First, in my professional career, there is my  consultant, Dr. Daniel Dahan.  I have never met a more caring, loving and ethical u        u man than this guy.  There is never a time that I have called on him that he has not helped me walk through a problem.  There are so many issues involved in a multidisciplinary clinic, and he has been there every step of the way—never a question of whether something should or should not be done but, rather, is it right or wrong—end of discussion.  He is filled with wisdom beyond his earthly years. 
Second of all, Bob Proctor has helped me in my success education.  He has helped me grasp the concepts that I needed to help me become wealthy.  Gaining wealth is easy; believing that you deserve it is the hard part.  He helped me realize that life is too short to waste it doing things I hate to do.  One of my favorite quotes from Bob is, “Most people are tiptoeing through life, hoping they safely make it to death.”  Just make the decision that you are going to have the best practice in your city, goal for that, and go for it.   Don’t just look to chiropractors for mentoring.  Success has nothing to do with how many patients you see, but it has to do with what thoughts go on between your ears!  Most of us need mental enemas!

M$C:  Tell us about your family.
Weir:
  My wife, Rose, and I have been married for twenty-seven years.  We have three beautiful children—Wendi, Nikki and Tyler—and they all work in our office.  Our daughter, Wendi, graduated from Oral Roberts University with a degree in marketing, and now has become a certified coder.  Nikki has taken over our front desk area, and is doing a tremendous job.  Tyler is six, and he has placed himself in as office manager.  We have been blessed with a wonderful family and marriage.
 
M$C:  What marketing strategies do you use to attract new patients and to keep current patients?
Weir:
  Of course, when you first start a practice, you have nothing to do but external marketing.  When we first started our chiropractic practice, I went door-to-door doing surveys, mall screenings and newspaper ads.  Now, most of our marketing is done internally. 
As you know, our office motto is “Get Well, Have Fun.”  When you realize that people give up over an hour, three-to-four times per week, it makes you appreciate them.  So, we try to make their visits enjoyable.  We are always looking at ways to have a party in our office. 
For example, our July program was “It’s Christmas in July at First Choice.”  We had our office decorated with Christmas decorations and we had our “12 Days of Christmas” Contest.  Everyday, for twelve days, we gave away a present.  Patients would get a ticket for keeping appointments, referring patients, etc., then, everyday, we drew a name for a prize.  All month we were aiming for July 31st, our Christmas party. 
We adopted the Wake County Foster Care Program.  We decided these kids needed to have a little Christmas, so our patients helped us collect book bags for these kids to go back to school with.  We collected over 150 book bags u  u filled with supplies.  On the 31st, we had games, prizes, snow cones, moonwalks and lots of food at our Christmas party.  These kids had a blast, and we did, too!  You would be amazed at how many people will help you reach your goal if you but ask.
Another key is to keep your name in front of your patients.  A couple of years ago, a patient came in with this tremendous story of how this surgeon had literally saved his life.  When I asked the surgeon’s name, the patient could not tell me.  That made me realize that, if I don’t keep my name in front of them…they won’t remember my name either. 
Everyday, our patients receive a positive thought e-mail from me and our clinic…it’s called the “Insight of the Day.”  It is done by a service called the 3% Club and, once our patient’s name is given to them, I don’t have to do a thing!  Everyday they get an uplifting positive message in a very short sentence.  Then it gives my name, and the clinic name.  It is an incredible marketing tool that is so inexpensive it is ludicrous! 
The key is good customer service.  We choose where we go to eat by their customer service.  One of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh is Winston’s Grille.  These people treat you like kings.  So, when we shop, or go out to eat, and if the customer service is great, we emulate that. 
We are known around the city as the clinic with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.  We bought   a little convection oven, and we go to Sam’s Club and buy bulk dough.  It takes so little time and effort, but it makes a tremendous impact on patients.  I got this cookie idea from Dr. Bob Lupo in Tampa.  Use other people’s ideas!
We started to study the “Fish Philosphy” based on the books written about Seattle’s Pike Place Fish market. Again, it boils down to giving good customer service. It starts on day one, and ends with their release from care. At their release, it is announced over the walkie-talkies, “There’s a fish swimming away”. At this point, we give them a First Choice tee shirt, and take their picture with the staff. Within a week, they have a copy of this picture with a nice thank you card. If Nordstroms can send you a thank you card for a little $15.00 purchase, we figure that we can too!

M$C:  Obviously, every doctor, at some time or other in his practice, experiences problems with patient retention.  How do you handle such problems? 
Weir:
  Our patient retention is a staff endeavor!  From Day One, when they walk in the door, we are letting them know the importance of keeping up with their care.  I learned from Dr. Peter Fernandez several years ago to keep missed appointments under 10%.  We are very strict with our appointments.  Our patients know that it is a major infraction to miss an appointment in our office; it jeopardizes their care.
We instituted something from the game of baseball, “Three strikes and you’re OUT.”  On the first missed appointment, they get a big red sticker on their chart:  “Missed Appointment.”  Every person that they see that day, comments on the missed appointment.  Honestly, if a person misses their appointment, and no one notices it or says anything, they don’t believe that you think that it is all that important for them to keep either.  But, if everyone hits them with some type of remark, you can bet they are going to think twice about another miss.  The second miss is not as graciously acknowledged, and number u      u three is downright stern.  After that, they have become more of a liability than an asset. 
You must genuinely care.  People can tell.  If you have a fun, positive place to come to for care, it’s not hard to get people to come.  Again, question yourself!  Would you come to your office three times per week for twelve weeks?   Make the climate in your office fun and enjoyable, and they will come.
 
M$C:  We all know that an efficient staff is a crucial com-ponent of a successful practice.  Tell us about your staff  (how  you find them, train them, what qualities you look for).
Weir:
  In a multidisciplinary team, the key has to be this:  Nobody is the big cheese!  We are all important to the patient’s getting well.  I look for people who are friendly, people loving people.  I also understand that, although I am an extrovert, not everyone is, and there are a lot of things that I don’t like to do; and so, to get those things done, I best not hire an extrovert like me!  I try to surround myself with people who will balance me out. 
I was once taught that I need to find my weaknesses and get stronger in those areas.  What a mistake.  The key is to find your strengths, get stronger in those areas, and hire other people to do your “weak areas”.  Regardless of whether you are an introvert, or an extrovert, you still need to love and care for people.
We have a great team, and when I hire new people, I let them know that my main goal is to protect my team and that the rest of the team has to approve.

M$C:  Do you enjoy your work?  How do you feel about going to work in the morning?  
Weir:
  I am not a morning person!  I have had to learn to be a morning person.  Chiropractors are special birds!  They really are.  It takes someone special to do what we do.  We are healers, business people, entrepreneurs and in sales, all in one package.  It is really amazing how much more you love going to work when you are earning a great income, seeing great patients and have a loving staff.  All of those things are things you have control over!  If you don’t love going to work, you need to take inventory of your life, find out what is out of sync and fix it.  As Bob Proctor says, I think that the only people who are working are those people who are doing what they don’t love to do!  If you go to a place and do what you love to do, that is not work!  It is fulfilling your destiny and purpose.  What you do should give you life…not sap life from you!

M$C: With your practice being multidisciplinary, can you give our readers your advice about setting up and maintaining such a practice in today’s healthcare system? 
Weir:
  If you decide that you want to build a multidisciplinary practice, you must realize that you cannot do it alone.  This is not the kind of practice that your great-grandfather had!  You must partner with a management consultant who knows the multidisciplinary practice from A to Z.  You must also have a good healthcare attorney and a good accountant.  I am amazed by people who will go to stockbrokers who drive thirty-year-old cars and live in apartments over hardware stores!  I also do not understand how doctors can go to other doctors who are failures in practice and ask for their advice.  If you want advice on how to put in a Jacuzzi, don’t ask your mailman! 
Solomon once said that there is wisdom in the council of many.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your vision.  Immerse yourself in the knowledge you need to succeed.
 
M$C:  Other than traditional chiropractic care, do you include any other type of services or products in your clinic which further help your patients as well as bring in additional revenue to your practice? 
Weir:
  We provide urgent care in our practice.  Our MD is in the office from the early morning huddle until the door is locked at night.  She loves to do sutures and injections.  We are getting ready to expand into trigger point injections and possibly prolotherapy. 
I wrote a book a couple of years ago on fibromyalgia, You’re Not Crazy, an Overcomers Guide to Fibromyalgia.  We do a couple of things for fibromyalgia.  One is nutritional counseling.   We also use the Synaptic Electronic Nerve Block.  Ninety-five percent of the time, if a patient comes in with a migraine, they leave without it.  If you are going to treat fibromyalgia, get a “toolkit” for these patients to use.  One product that you want to make sure that you include is stopain® Professional Strenght Cryotherapy  Spray.  This is a pain relieving spray that contains MSM.  It is a part of the puzzle.  We also use it for any type of muscle pain.

M$C:  Any final words for our readers? 
Weir:
  Yes.  Never, never, never give up.  It seems like there are so many people who are on the brink of success, and they give in to temporary defeat.  Success is not based on how many times you fall, but on how many times you get up!  You are a part of a great profession.  People who believe that there is a power that animates the living world, and you help people come in contact with that power every day!  Forget about going to an office to practice chiropractic!  Turn your office into a healing center, a filling station for the power of life!  Have the mind that you are going to have a blast doing the very thing that you love to do:  getting sick people well—spirit, soul and body.
You may contact Dr. Weir at 919-954-0050 or visit him at
www.DrTimWeir.com.

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Weir and his staff at First Choice Family Healthcare, P.C., of North Raleigh, North Carolina.

Editor’s Note:  Do you have a million dollar practice that you’d like TAC to highlight in our Million Dollar Chiropractic column?  Contact TAC’s editor Jaclyn Busch Touzard by phone/fax: 1-305-716-9212 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  We want your inspiring story!  Contact us today!

 
Million Dollar Chiropractic Interview with Dr. Steve Querio
Interviews
Written by Dr. Steve Querio   
Wednesday, 30 July 2003 00:00

Dr. Steve Querio's M$C Profile

PERSONAL:
Married to wife, Lisa for 5 years and has 3 children; Nikki, age 10; Luke, age 3; and Emily, age 1 1/2.
Recreation and Leisure:  I enjoy spending time with my kids.  I also enjoy traveling and watching Green Bay Packer football. 
Professional Affiliations: Wisconsin Chiropractic Assn., American Chiropractic Assn., Green Bay Chamber of Commerce
Seminar Attendance:  Wisconsin Chiropractic Assn. license renewal seminars; Breakthrough Coaching seminars & various other seminars
Vacations:  I have been trying to take more time off in the form of extended weekends and love to travel to warmer climates in the winter.

PRACTICE PARTICULARS
Clinic:
  We are located across the street from a hospital.  We utilize 9000 sq. ft., which is an entire floor of a 5-story medical office building.  We are quickly running out of room.
Office Hours:   Our chiropractic division is open  8 A.M. to 6 P.M., Monday, Wednesday &  Friday; Tuesday and Thursday, 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.  Our medical division is open 7 A.M. to 7 P.M., Monday through Friday and 8 A.M. to 1 P.M., Sat. & Sun.
Techniques:  Gonstead & Diversified
Staff:  Dr. Querio’s office employs approximately 30 employees.  The professional staff includes 2 D.C.’s, 2 M.D.’s & 1 P.A. in the urgent care, 1 occupational M.D., 1 P.T., 1 P.T.A., 1 massage therapist, a nursing staff, and a lab and X-ray staff.  The office also has administrative staff in management, reception and billing.

M$C: What influenced you to become a chiropractor?
Querio:  As with a lot of chiropractors, I have a story to tell.  I was about thirteen years old and I injured my low back.  I had always been interested in the sciences as long as I could remember.  So, I knew that I would eventually be in some type of health care field.  Following my injury, I visited a local chiropractor, Dr. Gerry Abbeglen, who did a fantastic job and later got me interested in chiropractic.  The rest is history!

M$C: What type of practice do you have?
Querio:  My practice life has been an interesting and exciting experience.  I began my chiropractic career without the incorporation of any physical therapy procedures.  Over time, as I slowly used some various rehab, I experienced the great benefit that the combination of adjusting and rehabilitation has had with my patients.  So, I continued to advance my practice. 
I started by adding massage and physical therapy.  After some time, I decided to bring a medical physician into the practice.  Two friends, Dean Lois, M.D., and Dave Andrews, P.A.-C, and I recently had an opportunity to create a new company by taking over a medical facility and adding chiropractic and physical therapy to it.  This combined facility began March 1, 2003, and we are having a great time.  My partners direct the medical division and I direct the chiropractic and physical therapy divisions.  I can’t say that every step in this conversion has been an easy task.  We’ve had to handle a number of difficult starting issues such as the overall merger of our staffs, combining two different software systems, and changing a large number of procedures.  We use a professional coach who has helped us a great deal in making this a smooth process. 
It was an eye opening experience for me with the different types of issues that a medical facility faces as compared to a chiropractic office.  In one aspect, our facilities are quite different in that medical clinics treat a variety of conditions that don’t typically walk into a chiropractic clinic.  But, on the other hand, we’re similar in that we all try to provide great care and all have the same business concerns.
As far as our practice mix, we are presently trying to develop our chiropractic, occupational and physical medicine, and physical therapy areas.  I partnered with a company that specializes in u u working with multidisciplinary practices to bolster our occupational medicine area.  We also have a mix of reimbursements that range from general insurance, managed care, company contracts, and cash.

M$C: Please describe the size, lo-cation and physical appearance of your practice facility. 
Querio:  Our clinic is located on a fairly busy street in Green Bay.  We are in a medical office building, across the street from a local hospital, and are in a small medical area in the city.  We presently utilize 9000 sq. ft., but would really like to grow into approximately 12-15,000 sq. ft. by next year.  Green Bay is a city of approximately 100,000 people.  Brown County has a population of about 250,000.

M$C: What’s the income service   level that you provide annually?
Querio:  When we took over the medical facility and added the chiropractic and physical therapy, we had to rethink the numbers because we made so many changes.  We cut over $700,000/year in expenses!  We’ve been running the new facility for approximately four months now, and we have been fairly consistent with what we thought we would produce in service.  We certainly have qualified for this article series and hope to have tremendous growth in the future.
M$C: Do you have a margin formula or set profit standard for the business?
Querio:
  I think one of the most important things you can do in a practice is to track the office statistics.  We try to monitor various stats so we always know what direction the practice is going.  Some of these statistics include number of new patients, patient visits, performance of staff, financial stats, etc. 
Some of the standard formulas that we set as goals include collections, where we feel that our practice should be at approximately 80% of services; our Accounts Receivable should not be greater than 2.5 times our monthly services; and we want to keep our cancellation/reschedules below approximately 13%.  Due to the fact that we now have urgent medical care in our clinic where patients may come in for one visit, this significantly alters our previous patient visit average for the overall clinic, so we are coming up with some new numbers.

M$C: Do you have someone to whom you attribute your success?
Querio:  Without question, I attribute my work ethic and determination to my parents.  I grew up in a middle class family and they always taught me the value of hard work.  They always encouraged me to never give up.  Over time, now, I’ve learned that working smart is just as important as working hard. 
I learned a great part of my technique from Larry Troxell, DC.  I certainly consider my present mentor to be Mark Sanna, DC.  He has incredible vision and is taking Breakthrough Coaching to the forefront of the chiropractic profession.  I must also acknowledge my coach, Charlie Schuster, DC, who has helped me through this massive transition of practice.  I am surprised he has an ear left after all of the phone calls I’ve made!

M$C: Tell us about your family.
Querio:
  I have been married to my wife, Lisa, for five years.  I have three great kids; Nikki, Luke and Emily.  Nikki is the social butterfly and I’m sure she’ll be on Star Search someday.  Luke is my “shadow” and goes wherever I go.  He’s very strong willed.  Emily is my little princess. 

M$C: What marketing strategies do you use to attract new patients and to keep current patients?
Querio:
  I have always felt that a combination of internal and external marketing was necessary.  However, I feel that you must always start with internal marketing and plan your external marketing off that.  With that said, our clinic has mainly used patient and professional referrals as a source of our new patients.  We have added a fulltime director of sales and marketing, which has helped greatly.  She mainly works with the occupational area, but we have been having very good success with this.  Marketing is really a relationship game.
As far as keeping the patients we have…I think that if you give patients service that exceeds their expectations, they’ll be patients for life.

M$C: Obviously, every doctor, at some time or other in his practice, experiences problems with patient retention.  How do you handle such problems? 
Querio:
  I think that patient retention starts on Day One.  The patient has to feel comfortable with you and your staff.  I also feel a good report of findings is essential.  I tell it like it is, good or bad.  I’ve never been the type to pressure the patient into care.  I’ve just given good reports of findings and the patients usually understand the need for the care.  When the patient makes the decision to complete a plan of treatment, they will usually follow through.  If they start to fall from care, it’s important that you talk to them about it immediately.
 
M$C: We all know that an efficient staff is a crucial com-ponent of a successful practice.  Tell us about your staff  (How  u you find them, train them, what qualities you look for).
Querio:  As everyone reading this knows, a staff can make or break a practice.  I’ve found that I would much rather hire someone who has a positive personality and passion over knowledge.  I can teach anyone anything; but I can’t teach someone how to have passion or how to be friendly to people.  You either have it or you don’t. 
Unfortunately, in this practice transition, my partners and I have had to make some tough decisions and release a lot of employees.  It never is a fun thing to do, but, if you want a successful practice, you must have the right team in place.  I’ve also learned that keeping a staff member on the payroll when you know they should be released is a huge mistake.  Poor staff members are a slow cancer in a practice.  Get rid of them.  Take it from me, I’ve made (and learned from) every mistake in the book.
I feel that the staff we have now is the “right team”.  We are all working well together and we can see the positive effects of it.  They are working really hard and no practice runs well without a good staff.

M$C: Do you en-joy your work?  How do you feel about going to work in the morning?  
Querio:  I am very fortunate to have two great partners.  We all have our different strengths and work great together.  They were chiropractic patients prior to our partnership, too.  It’s been very exciting to start this new venture and, although it has been challenging at times, I go to work every day with a big smile on my face.  The challenges drive me.  I would be bored without them.  I think, if you start going to work with a frown on your face, it’s time to take a hard look at yourself.

M$C: With your practice being multidisciplinary, can you give our readers your advice about setting up and maintaining such a practice in today’s healthcare system? 
Querio:
  The business of healthcare today is becoming more and more complex.  Certainly, with multidisciplinary practices, there are a great deal of legal requirements.  My advice for anyone who wants to move into this type of practice is to get sound legal, accounting and management advice.  Don’t try to do this on your own!  You should find an ethical and knowledgeable management group.  Research this, as I did, and you’ll be happy you did. 
Also, find an accountant and attorney who are well versed in health care issues.  Don’t just go out and hire your attorney friend who practices PI and divorce law to try to set up your multidisciplinary healthcare practice. 

M$C: Other than traditional chiropractic care, do you include any other type of services or products in your clinic which further help your patients as well as bring in additional revenue to your practice? 
Querio:  This is another area that our clinic is expanding.  We have used orthotics from Footlevelers and have had good success.  Due to the fact that we treat a variety of conditions in our medical and chiropractic departments, we use a multitude of orthopedic devices from Hessco.  These include everything from pillows and knee supports to casts.  We also utilize some nutritional products from Phytopharmica, which is based out of Green Bay.

M$C: Any final words for our readers? 
Querio:  I truly believe that this is a new era for our profession.  I’ve found that every health discipline has its own problems but, if we can put our differences aside and try to become a collective chiropractic voice, there are significant opportunities out there.  Patients are looking for what we have to offer.  If you can keep the positive picture in front of you, you will go far.  Don’t listen to the negative people around you.  Remember, no one ever built a statue for a critic.
You may contact Dr. Querio at 920-497-5711 or
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Querio and his Staff at Fox River Healthcare, S.C., of Green Bay, Winsconsin. TAC

Editor’s Note:  Do you have a million dollar practice that you’d like TAC to highlight in our Million Dollar Chiropractic column?  Contact TAC’s editor Jaclyn Busch Touzard by phone/fax: 1-305-716-9212 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  We want your inspiring story!  Contact us today!

 
Million Dollar Chiropractor Interview with Dr. Deane Mink
Interviews
Written by Dr. Deane Mink   
Friday, 30 May 2003 00:00

 

Dr. Deane Mink's M$C Profile

PERSONAL
Married to wife, Sue, for 15 years; 7 children:  Mark, 43; Debbie, 41; Mike, 39; Matt, 36; Mitch, 29; Cheri, 32; and Christie, 25; 10 grandchildren.
Recreation and Leisure:  Fishing and/or netting shrimp almost every week; boating; weekends at Florida waterfront properties; season ticket holder for Univ. of Florida football team. "GO GATORS!"
Professional Affiliations: Georgia Chiropractic Assn., Florida Chiropractic Assn., International Chiropractic Assn., Palmer College Alumni Assn., Valdosta Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau.
Seminar Attendance:  Georgia Chiropractic Assn. license renewal seminars; various other technique and nutritional seminars.
Vacations:  Many extended weekends, mostly to Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast of Florida; weeklong family vacation the week of July 4th (25+ folks).

PRACTICE PARTICULARS
Clinic:
  9000 sq. ft., freestanding building, includes 13 treatment Rooms, 2 massage Rooms, Rehab Room and Vitamin Shop.
Office Hours:   7 A.M. to 6 P.M., Monday through Friday; Saturday, 8 A.M. to noon.
Techniques:  Palmer, Full Spine, Diversified, Activator, Flexion Distraction.
Staff:  Dr. Mink’s office employs 2 DC’s, 1 Rehab Director, 6 Licensed Massage Therapists, 2 receptionists, 4 chiropractic assistants, an office manager (wife, Sue Mink), and 4 staff in business office.


M$C:   Dr. Mink, what influenced you to become a chiropractor?
Mink:  I was a minor league baseball player, from 1952-1958, with the Dodger organization.  My first chiropractic experience was for treatment of an injured shoulder that threatened my baseball career.  As a result of that experience, I made the decision, with the encouragement of my chiropractor, to pursue chiropractic.

M$C:   What type of practice  do you have?
Mink:  Mink Chiropractic Center is a subluxation-based practice.  We currently have over 4300 active patient records.  The breakdown is as follows:  54% health insurance, 25% cash, 12% Medicare, 8% personal injury, 1% workers comp.  We have all our new patients attend a health care class offered each Tuesday night, and have them bring their immediate family members to get the whole family educated about a drug-free lifestyle.  We treat patients for pain management, but strive to build a wellness-oriented practice.

M$C:  How many hours a week do you work?
Mink:
  Our office is open from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M., Monday through Friday, and on Saturday, 8 A.M. to noon.  I presently treat patients on a three-day work week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), working about thirty-two hours per week doing patient treatments and the related patient paperwork and records.  My associate, Dr. Ken Register, works about thirty-eight hours per week, Tuesday through Saturday.

M$C:  What’s the income service level that you provide annually?
Mink:  I treat an average of 230 patients per week and my associate, Dr. Ken Register, treats an average of 280 patients per week.  The practice averages one hundred new patients per month.  In 2002, the gross collections for the clinic were 1.6 million.

M$C: Is there someone in particular to whom you attribute your success?  Any mentors, perhaps? 
Mink:  In the early 1960’s, I approached Dr. William Harris for guidance in growing my practice.  Dr. Harris is a retired Georgia chiropractor that still contributes his time and his wealth to the advancement of chiropractic on a state and national level. 
My patients are responsible for my success, as I am now treating the 3rd, 4th  and even 5th generations.  My success is due not only to my own efforts but, also, to the hard working and dedicated staff in our clinic that believes in what we do and in the health of our community.

M$C:   What marketing strategies do you use to attract new patients and to keep current patients?  
Mink:  I have mailed an in-house newsletter quarterly consistently for over forty years.  My patient mail list is updated and maintained in my office.  This listing is of great value.  Patients may drop out of care, but they will come back; and not only the patient that previously received care, but the family, friends and acquaintances of that patient. 
I am, also, involved in the community and contribute to the success of our community.  The local Chamber of Commerce named our office the “Small Business of the Year” for 1999.  The local paper sponsors the “Best of South Georgia”, where the readers’ vote on various categories.  Our office has won the “Best Chiropractor in South Georgia” for the three years since this feature began.  Being a very active positive aspect of our community draws patients to our office. 
Dr. Register has a booth at many of our community shows and health fairs and offers in-business lectures and training. 
We offer lots of TLC to our patients.  We have a state-of-the-art new office, and equipment that projects to the patients that we are here to serve their health care needs for now and the future.  We encourage a family-type everybody-needs-adjustments attitude.

M$C:  Do you enjoy your work?  How do you feel about going to work in the morning?
Mink:
  I LOVE IT.  I am committed to the healing power of chiropractic, and serving my patients is so much a part of my life that I cannot imagine full retirement.  I work because I love it.  We have such a wonderful fully equipped, well-maintained, and professionally staffed office that going to work everyday is like going to Disney World.  My wife and I work together, and when we work—we work hard.  But when we’re off –we play hard.   This makes life well balanced and very satisfying and rewarding.

M$C:  Having such a successful practice which has served the same community for your long professional career, what is your advice about setting up and maintaining such a practice in today’s healthcare system? 
Mink:
  Determine your demographics and make a plan that works in your area.  Start and maintain a mailing list of your patients.  Newsletters are a wonderful way to communicate to large numbers of previous and potential patients and to keep your services in their minds on a regular basis.  Potential patients must feel confident and comfortable with your office, and your staff, as well as yourself.  Your office must be patient friendly. 
Be sure everything you do is ultra ethical—your reputation and your future depend on it.  You must genuinely care about chiropractic and the lifestyle it offers; and you must care about your patients and their families’ health.

M$C:   Other than traditional chiropractic care, do you include any other type of services or products in your clinic which further help your patients, as well as bring in additional revenue to your practice?
Mink:   We have a nutritional shop in our office with everything that works; and we keep it well stocked.  We have a free nutritional class each month for our patients, staff and any family members or guests they wish to bring.  We have all necessary support belts, collars, traction devices and pillows.  We offer custom fitted orthotics.  Our facility has a completely equipped rehab room and we do computerized range of motion and muscle testing. 
We also have two massage rooms available each day for full body massage therapy.  Every day we have licensed massage therapists as part of our staff to do eight minutes of specific trigger point therapy as part of the patient’s chiropractic visit.

M$C:  Any final words for our readers?
Mink:  Chiropractic practices are the reflections of the concept the chiropractor has about his profession.  There are lots of one-man-show type practices around.  This is the concept of the chiropractor and, is perfectly all right.  I know many of these chiropractors, and they are happy in what they do.
My concept has always been “bigger can be better” and we’ve “biggie sized” chiropractic in South Georgia by building the new building and offering so many health related services and products.  We keep it simple for our patients.  Almost 100% of our patients—whether active or occasional—have a good taste in their mouths about chiropractic and are happy to send their family and friends to us.
After forty-two years in my profession, all this sounds like so much hard work for me; but I’ll be the first to admit that having a wife “who runs the whole place,” a young associate who is a wellness disciple and very dedicated, and lots of great employees (total of eighteen) makes my job much easier.
You may contact Dr. Deane Mink by telephone at 229-242-3042, or by e-mail at 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Visit his web site at www.minkchiro.com.

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Mink and his Staff at Mink Chiropractic Center, LLC, of Valdosta, Georgia. TAC

 
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