You have passed your boards, opened your office, and are finally fulfilling your passion to help the public stay healthier through chiropractic care.
But first, a word of warning: Passion can become its own entrapment. It helps if we listen to our family or close friends. Often, they will let us know when we need to be protected from our own wrong choices.
Sources of strength
Every day is a challenging adventure when you think about how to follow your passions and accomplish your goals. Your passion might be ignited by sensing that your interactions and ideas contributed in your clinic enable patients to accomplish their goals, while your staff could be fueled by a genuine concern for others.
Perhaps coordinating the many facets of an overview plan for each of your patients is of paramount importance to you. You enjoy being involved in many things at the same time, and your clinical healthcare package offers what you consider to be the ultimate complement to their chiropractic care. Multitasking is your nickname, not only professionally but publicly, too.
Or perhaps you are happiest when your patients know “why” their body is malfunctioning. You freely share your chiropractic knowledge, and it is easily understood by your hands-on explanation of your findings. They appreciate you as you palpate their spine and then show them where that subluxation is on their X-ray. You join them on their quest for health.
Maybe empathy is your burning passion. This ability to mentally and emotionally sense the needs of others and know when something is wrong or disturbing to your patients is a gift. Resolving problems creates an atmo- sphere of peace in your office. It has been said that the more of life’s trials and tribulations one has personally experienced, the more one is able to relate to the population at large.
You may have a charisma that motivates others to follow you. People want to be involved with you and do anything you suggest. You prefer to relate on a one-to-one basis. You believe you are the one everyone should rally around. You must govern the quality of care in your office, and you assume responsibility for getting the job done right.
You must see results and progress to completeness. Yes, you are one
of the few who will lead national seminars, professional organizations, practice management courses, write many books, and always seek to serve the needs of the profession.
These desires are noble, but they can also entrap you.
Take a time-out
You might become so focused on pleasing patients that you overlook your own personal discomfort while meeting their practical needs. No matter how many patients you help in a day, don’t fixate on the one patient who isn’t responding to care as fast as you would like. Use your sensitivity to people’s health needs to form a step-by-step clinical policy. This even- handed approach will produce a posi- tive response to care.
You or one of your chiropractic friends might embody one or many of the previous examples; all are indic- ative of doctors who love what they do. These different stimuli ignite your greatest strengths, but when you over- extend yourself, your strengths can eventually become your worst enemy.
It’s time to call a “time-out” when you start thinking you can achieve anything if you just work a little harder, and spend a little more time doing it.
Given that you only have so much time and energy, you need to consider where you want to invest it—in work or family?
The real challenge ahead for every doctor of chiropractic is to keep the “fire in the belly” burning for practice, and at the same time “keep the home fires burning,” too.
Gary A. Boring, DC, BCAO, LCP (Hon.), is a board member of the Sweat Foundation, practiced for 42 years at Boring Chiropractic, and is the author of Driven Towards Excellence 2014. He is also an extension faculty member at Cleveland Chiropractic College and president of the Academy of Missouri Chiropractors. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.