New to the CAN blogs, I think it best that I introduce myself. I’m Steve, a newbie in the Community Acupuncture movement and one who’s returned from a long hiatus after my BA practice. In essence, I’m starting fresh with almost no previous patients to draw from.
Prior to acupuncture, I was an engineer and database developer. A “techie” who enjoyed building, measuring, and improving things. Lots of interesting challenges, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I found my volunteer work with the ambulance and Red Cross much more fulfilling.
So why the intro? Because some of you out there may have similar backgrounds in science or engineering or you just might enjoy building, analyzing, and organizing. If so, then good for you. I’ve found it very important to set up reliable “systems” in the clinic. Systems for registering people, treating patients, managing inventory, and controlling finances. In any business, having your ducks in a row is a necessity.
That said, I have to share that my ideal personality for someone in a successful practice is not that of an engineer, but of a gardener. You’ve got to take time to understand your climate and location, to decide what you’re going to grow and how you’re going to nurture it. What I mean is, where will you locate your clinic, who do you want to serve, and how will you attract and treat them?
These are heady questions worthy of some decent pondering. You’ve got to pick produce that you really enjoy! Otherwise, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll let it wither and die on the vine. So, there’s my first thought for the CAN blog. When planning for a practice, take time – plenty of time to think about and decide the “who, what, where, when, and how” for yourself, your clinic, and your future patients. You’ll only grow and prosper if you enjoy the gardening.
To help get you started, check out the wonderful CA-101 guide available on this website.
“CA” is not short for “carrot”, although it’s definitely filled with excellent, nourishing advice. Keep in mind that gardening takes time. There’s a “bunch” to learn, including the all-important patience for letting the seeds grow. If you’re starting “fresh” like me, your new practice is highly unlikely to produce a bumper crop of patients within the first 6 months to a year. Cultivation takes time. For now, good luck planning your garden, and for goodness sake…don’t overwater!