Practice Management

YOUR Credibility under Construction
Practice Management
Written by Marc Swerdlick, D.C.   
Thursday, 05 July 2007 11:21

How important a role does credibility play in the marketing of your chiropractic clinic? Surprisingly, answers will vary depending on whom you talk to in our profession. A doctor who uses gimmicks, freebies, and deeply discounted fees to lure patients to his or her practice may have one perspective, while another doctor who utilizes a marketing strategy that charges reasonable/respectable fees, and reinforces the value of his or her care, may have an entirely different perspective.

In general, the chiropractic profession is continually striving to enhance its credibility and, thus, boost acceptance to achieve greater numbers of new patients. While research, more exposure (experiences with chiropractic), and more education are often thrown out as the solutions to building chiropractic’s numbers, a few points of interest stand out that are worth your consideration.

As has been reported many times over, the percentage of the population that has experienced chiropractic care is far less than is acceptable. Yes, there may be some external factors at play (bad press, less than enthusiastic recommendations from other healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical marketing, etc.), but for the sake of this discussion, let’s just focus on our own backyard and any potential credibility issues in the eyes of the public at large.

Credibility is a byproduct of repetitive action. To suggest that you can make yourself credible (like flipping on a light switch) is amusing, at best. How you position yourself in your community is a starting point, but the real fuel for building your credibility is the community’s perception of you, your staff, and your clinic. Without question, passion is important. But passion dressed up in a cheap suit will only take you so far. Understand that how you present your practice to your community is the tipping point that can translate into expanded credibility. This is crucial for building a practice that doesn’t have to rely on gimmicks and games.

On a larger scale, how you market your practice (and, thus, affect your credibility) is dependent on your choice of marketing and practice management direction. An important factor in basic marketing strategy that is commonly dismissed in chiropractic practice management is assumption. In most areas of life, assumption has a negative connotation; but in marketing, it’s a MUST! You must assume all positive, as well as all potential negative outcomes for every action you take in building your practice.

There’s no question that a new patient chiropractic examination of the human nervous system that is valued at $350.00, but on sale for $17.50 (a 95% discount) "for this week only," will probably attract more than a few takers. What must be assumed (even if it’s hard to go there mentally) is the potential negative perception associated with deep discounting of such an important service. To put it another way, you may want to consider how your fire sale on examinations could hurt your credibility and the value of the care associated with your practice by those who did not take you up on your most generous offer.

Albert Einstein kept a sign in his office that read: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Looking at the first part of that saying, one should consider factors that may not be measurable, but are still significant. And, when considering the second part of that saying, remember that twenty new respondents to your deep-discount promotion might seem like a big win until you consider the potential harm to your credibility.

Unfortunately, the common response to using these kinds of tactics is one of defensiveness. Instead of considering the negative side to using these kinds of gimmicks, the angry reaction typically involves (a) a slap to the hand of the person who dared to even mention the fact that there could be a downside to something like a 95% discount on a new patient chiropractic examination, (b) a round of applause for those respondents who did become patients, and (c) the all-too-familiar, "You’re just a negative person, and what we need now is positive affirmations and positive thoughts."

What’s so funny is that, if you were to sit through a discussion in the conference room of a large marketing/advertising firm (as I have done many hundreds of times since the early 1980’s), one immediate consideration that is brought to the table is, "How can this marketing strategy come back at us?"

There’s no doubt that discounted exams and gimmicks have made many chiropractors very wealthy but, with an average annual salary below $90,000, those strategies haven’t made everyone wealthy. There have always been and will always be takers, regardless of what you do and how you do it. The two questions that should be considered are: (1) Could you have hurt your credibility to the point that it outweighed any short-term gains, and (2) If gimmicks and deep discounts are the key to chiropractic’s proliferation in the marketplace, then why, after all these years, are we still seeing such low numbers?

Finally, I do realize that other healthcare professionals (like some dentists) also use introductory gimmicks to get new patients through the door. The difference is that, right now, today, dental care is not considered an IF by most—but a MUST. Perhaps a different overall approach that boosts our credibility is what’s needed so that chiropractic becomes an automatic MUST, and not an IF.

Dr. Marc Swerdlick is a 1998 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and is the president of S Group Inc. and—Chicago-based companies that offer marketing strategies and systems to health and wellness professionals, as well as to businesses outside the health and wellness arena. Dr. Swerdlick presents his Pre-Sale Strategy, New Patient Acquisition, and Patient Reinforcement Seminars in conjunction with Integrity Strategies LLC. For more information, go to or call 1-608- 865-0466.

Who Are You And, Who Should You Be?
Practice Management
Written by John Hayes Jr., D.C.   
Thursday, 05 July 2007 11:17

Irecently had a very interesting new patient—very apprehensive, but enthusiastic, young, highly educated and a prior patient of chiropractic care. When I asked her what she thought about our office, a story unfolded.

First, she got our name from a local listing online. Afterwards, she "Googled" me. Consumers are "Googling" (using the search engine, "Google" or some other search engine) increasingly to find out more about many of their professional contacts. This is especially true with the more upscale clientele.

After Googling me, she went to my website, followed by visiting my chiropractic college website.

At our initial meeting, we chatted about her job—a drug researcher, of all things. (That really fascinated me because she did not want to take any medications.) We also spoke about the fact she just came back from ten days on a beach in South America and then we just chatted for two to three minutes about her past doctor experiences.

That, of course, is why she was checking us out, before deciding if she had a fit. We finally were laughing together and she completely relaxed; her entire physiology changed. I commended her for going through her investigation, and promised I would do all I could to help her, starting TODAY!

This scenario (potential patients investigating their professional prospects on line) is being played out more and more, but many docs are oblivious to it. We all need to realize that things have changed and patients have gotten much more savvy.


There are several lessons here.

1. Make sure you HAVE a website, and ensure it is up-to-date. If the patient in this article looked for your website and found you had none, you would be out at that point. These ever-increasing savvy prospects want to check out your web site. So, not only better you have a site, but it better be modern and totally professional in appearance. It is relatively inexpensive to acquire a good-looking site today. There is no excuse for not having one.

2. Put your complete bio and list of accomplishments on-line. Don’t make your potential patients hunt for your credentials. Make it easy for them.

3. Google yourself! See what comes up and correct any inaccuracies at the source. If you have an up-to-date web site, that should be the first, or at least one of the first sites that pops up when you are Googled. And, if your site puts your best foot forward, then the good impressions will start immediately, which is invaluable.

4. Make sure your SYSTEMS are modern, too, starting with your front desk and intake procedures. There is nothing worse than a potential client coming away with the impression that your "office is really old school; very old fashioned." Unless you are winding down your practice, you do NOT want to give the impression of a stodgy practice with old tables coming apart at the seams. Practices giving this appearance will find it more and more difficult to thrive.

5. Make the best use of technology in your office. That is what many patients now expect, especially in areas with big cities or medical centers. Do you need to spend $100,000 on a space-age-looking decompression table? No. But you do need to give the appearance of a high technology outfit. It does make a difference.

6. Be human, not a stuffed shirt, in the first patient meeting. It might not be fair, but everything that happens on the very first encounter—indeed, within the first four minutes—will determine whether the patient accepts your message or not. If your receptionist doesn’t greet the potential patient with a smile and a friendly demeanor, that starts things off in a 180-degree opposite direction than the initial process should. Do not forget that your staff can make or break you.

What patients are really looking for are "well rounded human beings."

The key to a fun practice…

Creative Energy equals a good time for all! It NEVER visits you while fully engaged in the routines of practice. I find it only visits after complete relaxation and, then, either by divine inspiration or introspection.

For me, it comes while on the water, motorcycling or carving down a mountain on skis. What is it for you? Whatever does it for you, make sure to engage in it regularly!

The lesson here…

My best advice is always to be 100% transparent with your patients. Your true intentions will be felt by everyone around you. Find your purpose and latch on to it. Patients do not want stuffed shirts for their doctors anymore! And you will spend much more time enjoying, not only a rich personal life, but your practice as well. Be who you are. And your staff and patients will appreciate and pick up on your true intentions and message.

Dr. John Hayes Jr. has twenty-fi ve years experience of Private Practice with successful multidisciplinary healthcare. With a focus on integrated case management, Dr. Hayes has an extensive clinically balanced background, and still works actively with many MD’s, DMD’s, DPM’s, PT’s, DC’s, PA’s, RN’s and others. You can reach him at 1-781-659-7989, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit


How to Start a New Practice
Practice Management
Written by Peter Fernandez, D.C.   
Monday, 04 June 2007 14:25

In previous issues of this series on "How to Start a Practice," I explained the importance of picking a "hot state". A "hot state" enables a DC to earn four times the income as a DC practicing in a "cold state." Next, I explained the importance of picking a "hot town" in which to practice. A "hot town" also enables a DC to earn four times the income of another DC doing the same amount of work in a "cold town."

You may have noted that the picking of a "hot state" entailed very little demographics, in comparison to the picking of a "hot town." In this issue of "How to Start a Practice," I offer you guidance on how to pick a "hot" office location. The picking of a "hot location" involves an extensive amount of vital demographic and psychographic studies. Without these studies, odds are you will pick a poor location that can end in practice failure for you. So, the importance of demographics and psychographics studies will become quite evident.

Demographics and Psychographics

Ask any successful businessman and they’ll tell you that the three major factors in any business’ success are "location, location, location." The same is true for a chiropractic practice. But, how do you find that great "location"? The answer is a great demographic and psychographic analysis of your chosen town. These analyses allow you to pinpoint that area of a town with the highest concentration of potential patients—people who will support your practice specialization. While demographic and psychographic analysis may not always find the perfect location, these studies can act as a "safety net," steering the start-up doctor away from a poor choice that could spell disaster.

The Difference between Demographics and Psychographics Analysis

A demographic analysis is the study of numbers, ratios, percentages, etc. A psychographic analysis is the study of the patterns or trends that underlie a complex set of data. For example: the people who are receiving chiropractic care, or the people who don’t and won’t go to a chiropractor. An excellent example of psychographics is the infamous defeat of the world’s best chess player—by an IBM computer! The computer didn’t use demographics. It used psychographics. It analyzed the moves the human player would make and won.

The hotter the practice location, the better the DC will do in practice. The factors that differentiate between a "freezing cold," "cold," "lukewarm," "hot," and "extremely hot" location are found in proper demographic and psychographic studies.

How Does Big Businesses Find

Successful Locations?

Major businesses, retailers, food chains like McDonalds, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Blockbuster, etc., are extremely successful because their demographic and psychographic studies enable them to find profitable locations. These successful businesses never establish their locations on a hunch or strictly personal preference. Neither should a doctor starting a practice. McDonalds knows their site selection can spell the difference between success and failure. Is a doctor’s future any less important than a hamburger stand?

Bankers use demographics to determine locations for their satellite branches. Dozens of bank officials who have dealt with my start-up clients have personally visited my office. The thing that impressed these bankers the most was the thoroughness and uniqueness of my demographic and psychographic studies. These bankers knew the right versus wrong location could mean the difference between a thriving new practice, and one that will have to struggle to survive or fail. Once these bankers witnessed my methods of analysis, they knew my clients had a distinct advantage over their competitors.

How Does the Average Chiropractor Pick an Office Location?

Often a DC simply drives down a street, sees an office for lease and, if the price is low enough, leases it. Other DC’s make their selections solely on the basis of where the office site is. They pick an office site that’s convenient to where they want to live and in an area that they personally like the "feel of." Unfortunately, demographic or psychographic studies are not considered. These DC’s are flying in the face of failure. And statistics tell us a significant percentage of them simply won’t survive.

Choosing a "hot location" can mean up to 150 additional new patients per year, every year of the doctor’s professional life in that location (150 x $1000 per patient = $150,000 a year). This is often the difference between practice success and failure. An expertly picked location should bring in enough patients to at least pay for the doctor’s office lease and utilities payment.

Not initiating demographic and psychographic research to determine "hot towns" and "hot locations," is one of the major reasons that an estimated 40 to 50 percent of doctors starting a practice fail. The amount of time and effort a doctor puts into finding a "hot practice location" will pay the largest dividends of any other investment—in his or her life. The demographic and psychographic process of finding the right location is so very crucial, that no matter how long it takes, it is worth it. A poor location is the worst mistake a new practitioner can make. It may doom even the best practitioner to failure. Business experts Dunn and Bradstreet report that the number one reason a new business fails is lack of a "market." Demographics and psychographics will tell you whether or not you have a viable market.

As a practice consultant who specializes in starting practices, I assure you that most of the decisions that dictate the success or failure of a new practice are made prior to opening the practice.

What Should You Do?

How do most doctors perform demographics and psychographics research? Frankly, unless they have a consultant, they don’t. These studies are way beyond a doctor’s area of expertise. A DC’s training is in chiropractic, not demographic and psychographic analysis and site selection.

The most important advice I can give the reader concerning demographics and psychographics is to get help, either from a consultant who specializes in practice start-ups or from other professionals in this field. I’m not suggesting you can’t learn the ins and outs of demographics and psychographics. Sure you can. But why afford the time and money to do so, when experts with valuable "hands on" experience are available for hire? A good office location is one of the biggest patient attractors there is. Do it right; hire it done!

I know a doctor who picked a location directly across from the state fairgrounds. Except for two weeks a year, when the state had a fair, there was almost nobody around. When the state did have a fair, his patients couldn’t or wouldn’t go through the congested traffic to get to his office. His practice folded.

Another doctor attracted by low rent payments located his office on a side street, in the back of a strip center with no signage. People didn’t know he existed. He folded.

I’ve even seen a chiropractor open his practice on the wrong side of a one-way street in the middle of a residential neighborhood with no parking. The few patients he attracted had to park in the residential neighborhood only to have the police tow their cars away.

In the next issue of this "How to Start a Practice" series, I’ll discuss a do-it-yourself method of finding a "hot" office location.

Dr. Peter G. Fernandez is a world authority on starting a practice. He has thirty year experience in starting new practices, has written four books and numerous articles on the subject and has consulted in the opening of over 3,000 new practices. Contact Dr. Fernandez at 10733 57th Avenue North, Seminole, Florida, 33772; Phone: 727-392-0822, 1-800-882-4476; Fax 727-392-0489; or visit

How to Choose a “Hot Town” in Which to Practice: Starting a New Practice IX
Practice Management
Written by Peter Fernandez, D.C.   
Friday, 04 May 2007 13:40

In the last article, "How to Choose a ‘Hot State’ in Which to Practice," I advised you, the start-up doctor, to drive the country with your spouse looking for the climate, geography and type of people you prefer in choosing a place to live. Having found your ideal area of the country, I recommended that you find a "hot state" in which to practice. A "hot state" has better insurance and practice laws; therefore, the doctor can practice more easily and more profitably than in a "cold state."

Now that you have determined the state in which you would like to practice, I recommend that you and your spouse drive around it looking at all the towns that are the size in which you would like to practice. If you were raised in a town of 100,000 and you would like to live in that size town, look at every town in your chosen state that has a population of 100,000. If you prefer to be on the water, look at every town of 100,000 on the water, etc. Give yourself a chance to fall in love with two or three towns, then determine if they’re "hot" or "cold."

A "hot town" is one that can provide an additional 150 new patients a year to your practice (150 new patients at $1,000 per patient equals $150,000 in additional income per year). If one of the towns you like is "hot" and two of them are "cold," and you’re equally in love with all three, your choice is easy, isn’t it? Choose the "hot town"!

A "cold town" is one that doesn’t need or want a chiropractor. If you choose to practice in a "cold town," you’ll have to work four times harder to earn the same income as you would in a "hot town."

Let me relate a story that happened to me. I was practicing in Georgia but decided to return to my home state, Florida, to practice. I was raised in Fort Lauderdale, one of the most beautiful towns in Florida, with wide streets, clean air, beautiful beaches, inland waterways, etc. When you are raised in heaven, why go elsewhere? I was madly in love with my hometown, just like a lot of start-up doctors love the town in which they lived.

At the same time, I had a friend in St. Petersburg, Florida, who insisted that I visit him. For your information, when you’re raised anywhere else in Florida, the last place you want to visit is St. Petersburg. Everyone’s heard of St. Petersburg. Comedians call it "God’s Waiting Room," "Wrinkle City," etc. It’s the retirement center of Florida. Who wants to practice in a retirement center? I sure didn’t.

But, he was my friend so I went to visit him, confidant that I would be happy to get back to Fort Lauderdale. Wow, was I surprised! It was a beautiful city with wide streets, clean town, fresh air, beach waterfront on three sides, inland waterways, etc. My next thought was, "Is this a ‘hot town’ or a ‘cold town’?" The demographic and psychographic studies revealed St. Petersburg was a "hot town." I moved to St. Pete and was a very successful practitioner for over thirty years. I’ve loved every minute of my life in St. Petersburg and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Isn’t it amazing? I was madly in love with one town—until I saw another. That’s my message to you. Drive your chosen state, look at all the towns of the size you prefer, and allow your spouse and yourself to fall in love with three or four. Then, ask a consultant who specializes in starting a practice to help you do the demographics and psychographics studies to determine which of the towns are "hot" and which are "cold." You are making a costly mistake if you don’t have a consultant to advise you on how to start your practice. The following are some basic guidelines, which should help you.


Study demographic information available from the town’s libraries, Chamber of Commerce, real estate companies, etc. Learn everything you can about the people of the town. Some of the demographics I use to determine "hot towns" and "cold towns" are:

• The average household income;

• The percentage of the population over sixty-five;

• The population’s aging trend;

• The number of families with children—young children or teenagers;

• The DC-to-population ratio;

• The insurance coverage of most of the townspeople;

• The number of major industries in the town;

• The economic and population projections for the next five years;

• Are property prices declining, stable, or increasing?

• Is the crime rate above average, increasing, or decreasing?


Whether a town is "hot" or "cold" sometimes has little to do with demographics, and more to do with the perceptions of the people who live there. Psychographics is the study of the trends of the people in a city. Examples of psychographics are:

1. McDonald’s restaurants use psychographics very successfully. They use nighttime NASSA satellite data and photo imagery to track vehicle traffic patterns to determine where they will build new restaurants. They build at an intersection of town, if analysis of the photos shows a heavy pattern of vehicle traffic between the hours of six and ten at night (dinner time).

2. Does the chiropractic profession have a bad reputation in that town? You might wonder how could the people of a town have a bad impression of chiropractic. I know of a town in which a chiropractor’s method of treatment killed a man on the adjusting table. The negative newspaper, radio and television publicity severely hurt every DC’s practice in that town. A DC in another town was charged with paralyzing a patient. The DC fought the charges valiantly in court and won. But, he was "convicted" in the press. Most of the people in the town, believed the chiropractor paralyzed the patient, because the negative press was so convincing. The townspeople’s negative opinion of chiropractors took years to change.

Every possible source of competition in your prospective town should be noted. Evaluating your potential competitors is an intelligent element of any business plan.

Demographics vs. Psychographics

The facts, figures and ratios revealed by studying demographics are very valuable when properly analyzed. However, even the most favorable demographics can’t compensate for a psychographic study that comes up negative. Sometimes demographics give the wrong impression. For example: Everyone knows that statistics reveal that every third child born on this planet is oriental. This author has seven children, none of them oriental.

The key to getting the most from your demographic and psychographic studies is the proper analysis of what you find. Just one example is the doctor who decided to open his practice in a town with an excellent DC to population ratio of 1:8000 (the usual in his state was 1:2000). He failed to consider the psychographics, which would have told him the town’s main employer had an HMO insurance that didn’t cover chiropractic. The doctor’s analysis was incomplete causing him to pick a "very cold town"…and he failed.

In this article I have discussed the use of demographic and psychographic studies to determine a "hot town." The next issue of this, "How to Start a Practice" series will concentrate on finding a "hot location" within your chosen town.

Dr. Peter G. Fernandez is a world authority on starting a practice. He has thirty year experience in starting new practices, has written four books and numerous articles on the subject and has consulted in the opening of over 3,000 new practices. Contact Dr. Fernandez at 10733 57th Avenue North, Seminole, Florida, 33772; Phone: 727-392-0822, 1-800-882-4476; Fax 727-392-0489; or visit

How to Choose a “Hot State” in Which to Practice: Starting a New Practice VIII
Practice Management
Written by Peter Fernandez, D.C.   
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 12:04

I’m sure some of the readers will wonder why this author is discussing states in which to practice. Why not skip this step and go directly to helping you determine a good practice location within a town or city?

The answer is simple. Some states have excellent practice and insurance laws that support and encourage the practice of chiropractic. These laws allow a DC to practice according to his practice philosophy. (Can you imagine being a mixer in a straight state?) They allow you to practice more comfortably, to practice more comprehensively and to become more financially successful. I call this type state a "hot state." States that have poor insurance laws, restrictive practice laws, etc., result in the doctor practicing three to four times harder to earn the same income as his colleague who is practicing in a "hot state." I call this type state a "cold state." The difference between "chiropractic affluence" and "chiropractic poverty" is, quite often, an invisible line between states.


Other Factors

Other factors that contribute to a "hot" or "cold" state designation are laws that support or discourage a new practitioner and an excessively high tax structure, etc. If you could just as easily practice in a "hot state" with a lower tax rate, wouldn’t you?


Example of "Hot" and "Cold" States

Let me give you an example of "hot" and "cold" states. I had a client who wanted to go back to his home state to practice. I had him do a "hot" or "cold" state analysis. Upon completing his study, he reported that his home state was not only cold, it was freezing cold...a very tough environment in which to practice. But, he said, "My wife and I are from that state and we want to live close to our relatives."

As a father, I completely understood his desire. I wanted all my children (three are DC’s) to live near me. I want to see my children and my grandchildren on a frequent basis. I definitely understand the pull of family.

I asked the doctor what town he was from. Then I asked, "If you lived within a one hour drive of your parents, would you be happy?"

He said, "Yes. That would be ideal."

I advised him to live in his hometown in the "cold state," one hour from his parents, but practice in the adjoining "hot state" (12 miles away). The adjoining "hot state" did not have a restrictive practice climate. This doctor is now earning double the income and treating the same number of patients as his friends who practice in the "cold state."

The point I’m trying to make is: You have a choice. You have a choice as to where to live, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the same state you choose to practice, nor in the state in which you were raised.


Your Personal Preferences and the States That Fulfill Them

The first thing you need to do is analyze the type of terrain you and your spouse prefer. Do you like the seashore, desert country, mountains, rolling hills, or farm country? Do you like hot or cold weather? Do you like the four seasons or would you rather not be bothered with the change in seasons? I have seven children and I couldn’t imagine having to dress and undress seven children in winter clothes. I went south to take advantage of one season...summer.

Your next step is to determine the type of people with whom you wish to associate. Do you mix well with conservative people, like those from the Northeast? Do you prefer "down home folks" as found in Southern states? Do you associate better with solid Midwesterners or the laid back Californians?

Are the educational levels of the people surrounding your future practice site important to you? If you want to surround yourself with highly educated people, you’d be wise to choose a state whose population prizes higher education.


Let’s Put the Pieces Together

If you like rolling hills, warm weather and "down home folks," you’ll probably like Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Northern Georgia, Northern Alabama and Kentucky. You have a choice! You are not limited to any one state in order to get the kind of topography, weather, or people you like.

Do you like water, the four seasons, and conservative people? In this case, you’ve got the beautiful states of Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Northern California, Oregon and Washington to choose from. Again, you’re not limited to one state.

My advice to all doctors starting a practice is to get in a car with their spouse, and drive the country to give themselves a chance to fall in love with several different areas.

If I had had a chance to drive this country after graduating from chiropractic college, I would have practiced in Boston, San Francisco, Southern California or Florida. Really narrowed it down, didn’t I? What I liked about Southern California is exactly the same thing I like about Florida. The same type people, same warm climate, and the same fresh air. However, Florida has more humidity than California; but you can live in Florida less expensively.

What was it that I liked about the northern states I chose? Boston has the same ambiance and educational opportunities as San Francisco. The people are very similar in attitude, dress, and education. The weather is comparably the same, except it snows in Boston. Winters in Boston are colder, whereas San Francisco has cooler summers.

When I wanted advice on where to set up my first practice, I wrote to my mentor and Logan Chiropractic College President, Dr. William Coggins. I wrote that I was undecided as to where I wanted to live and practice, but I was looking for the weather to be in the 70’s during the day and low 50’s at night. I’ll never forget his response. He said, "Pete, when you die and go to heaven, you’ll find weather like that. But, in the meantime, you should be looking in Florida or California!"


My Message to You Is Very Simple

Take the time to go out and look at different areas of the country. We advise our client doctors about "hot" and "cold" states every week. Discover where it is you would be happiest. Then analyze the states you like to determine which ones are "hot". If you can be equally happy in a state that qualifies as "hot" as opposed to a state you liked that turned out to be "cold," choose the "hot state". A "hot state" will allow you to see more new patients, generate more income and become more successful.

Now that you have decided which state you want to practice in, the next article in this series will discuss "hot" and "cold" towns. Yes, each city can add or detract from your success.

By the way, here’s some "gee whiz" information. Eighty percent of married male doctors will go to their wife’s hometown to practice. If the male doctor is single, eighty percent will go back to his hometown to practice. Interesting, isn’t it?


Dr. Peter G. Fernandez is a world authority on starting a practice. He has thirty year’ experience in starting new practices, has written four books and numerous articles on the subject and has consulted in the opening of over 3,000 new practices. Contact Dr. Fernandez at 10733 57th Avenue North, Seminole, Florida, 33772; Phone: 727-392-0822, 1-800-882-4476; Fax 727-392-0489; or visit




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