What Does Your Office Say About You?
by Dr. Mark Studin DC, FASBE, DAAPM, DAAMLP
Image is everything. That is why Fortune 500 companies spend millions of dollars every year to create, perfect and perpetuate their images. Lexus cars have built an image around the "Pursuit of Perfection." Coca Cola has built an image around their slogan, "Coke Adds Life," with fun commercials, and presidential candidates build images by "looking presidential" in their dress.
Go to a hospital and the doctors build an image with a long lab coat and a stethoscope around their neck. Like it or not, it is a very powerful image in the healthcare world. We live in the "medical" world and are judged by the same standards by the public, yet many chiropractors bristle at that thought without realizing the power it brings them.
The public sees us as part of the medical world, as it equates to the healthcare community and, like it or not, we are all part of it. If 95 percent of the population sees a medical doctor and 5 percent sees a chiropractor, I would rather function in the 95 percent and then create a paradigm shift of the consciousness of that 95 percent to seek a drugless alternative first. Just like my daughters used to say to me when they were younger,
"Duhhhhh!!! How could you be so dumb?"
Once you are part of the medical community, you get to stop looking from the outside in and start functioning from the inside as part of the team. This will give you the edge over those striving only to see 5 percent of the population and it starts with your image.
What you say to your community will affect your success at many levels. How you say it, therefore, becomes critical for your success and there are many forms of expressing your image.
Advertising is critical in expressing your image. One doctor in Southern California has an office near the beach, so his ad was centered on a "surfer dude" picture and all. Another doctor in Virginia felt he needed to advertise a $50 examination with a banner across the top of his office for everyone in a park across the street to see.
If you have cancer or serious heart disease, are you seeking a doctor who wants you to see him in his swimming trunks hanging out at the beach? Do you want a doctor who prides himself in being the cheapest on the block? Of course not! Why do chiropractors think that a patient’s spinal health is less important than any other care? It isn’t…at least, not to the patient.
You must create your image. Success in healthcare is about being the "best of the best" at what you do. If you have a healthcare issue, you are going to seek out the "BEST" and get help. A patient refers someone to you because they have touted you as the "BEST" doctor. Don’t believe me; ask your current patients who have referred anyone to you. They are not concerned about your swimming trunks.
What are your credentials? Are you a doctor? Have you completed a rigorous doctoral program? Have you taken additional post-doctoral training programs? Do you have evidence that you are the best through clinical excellence? The answer to all of the above is a resounding YES!
An informal poll of hundreds of referred patients revealed that the majority of patients came for care because of the clinical excellence of the doctor and his/her credentials. A very wise consultant years ago once said, "If you do not toot your own horn…who will?" How do you let patients know about you and your credentials, in a very humble, yet professional and powerful way? The answer is simple…your office.
What does your office say about you? Do you have a myriad of magazines that are outdated, pictures on your walls that are cute, stylish or outdated? Do you have signs up that offer office policy and nothing else? If so, then you are like the overwhelming majority of the profession.
Your office walls should tell your story and reflect your credentials. Put your diplomas on the walls in your reception area, frame awards and certificates of courses taken, as they tell the story of who you are professionally. If patients like you, they will brag about you more than your mother will. They will quote your credentials to their friends and this will become a very big source of referrals. Not because you are a "Surfer Dude," but because of your clinical excellence as evidenced on the walls of your office.
Many referred patients show up in offices solely as a result of current patients’ reading your diplomas on the walls of your office and telling their friends. People are impressed with their doctor and look for a reason to share you with their friends and family. Give them one.
Should you feel that you do not have the proper credentials, think again; you are a doctor and were conferred a degree. Display it. If you feel that your credentials aren’t where you would like them to be, stop taking CE courses because they are the cheapest and quickest. Engage in meaningful post-doctoral education and get the knowledge level and credentials to help your patients at a higher level. At the same time, you are creating more significant credentials to tell the world about your clinical excellence.
Referring MD’s and lawyers also look at those credentials as reasons to refer, but that is for a different time.
Mark Studin D.C., F.A.S.B.E. (C), D.A.A.P.M., is the President of the "Lawyer’s Marketing Program" and can be found at www.cmcsmanagement.com. He also is the creator of the PI Bootcamp, a 9-CE credit course on building huge PI practices through "Clinical Excellence." He can be reached at