You need to treat more than four patients an hour

I love to see the Community Acupuncture movement grow. Its very cool to see more clinics signing on each month. What concerns me is that many of them see only four patients and hour and many stay at that level for years now. We need to change that. 

I understand that moving from four patients/hour to 6-8-10 or more  patients/hour is hard and scary. And I applaud all of you who made the leap to Community Acupuncture at all given the training you got at your acu-school. But in the long run, four patients/hour is not sustainable for almost all of us. 

I see also that the issues to get to 6+/hour are several and on several different levels. Most of them have to do with the fact that you are practicing by yourself in a small clinic. For POCA to address that, we need to move towards working closer together somehow. I am sure that in the next year that we will figure out many of the needed answers. If you want say in the comments your fears/thoughts  about moving towards seeing more than 4 patients/hour. I promise you won’t be criticized. 

I also recognize that some of you want to stay at 4 patients/hour and may take offense about what I am saying here. If you are in this category, I am not talking to you and I wish you all the success in the world. But the core of Community Acupuncture needs to move towards confidently seeing more people.  

Seing 6+/hour entails looking at practicing even more differently than 4/hour does. As such boutiquers just don’t understand what we are doing. They make misguided assumptions. We have to move beyond them. 

That’s all I got here. Just want to know that I and several other people are thinking about you and believe we can solve your issues!




Skip Van Meter
Author: Skip Van Meter

Skip is Lead Acupuncturist and Co-Founder of <a href="" target="_blank">Working Class Acupuncture</a> in Portland, Oregon. With the earlier part of his life spent acquiring knowledge about geology, urban planning and teaching high school, he has now been an acupuncturist for 19 years, using about a 1,750,000 needles poking his patients. He likes all things soccer, has three fabulous sons, the best wife in the world, and a great dog and two cool cats.

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  1. so grateful for this thread. we are opening our clinic this fall. we were gonna start with 4 patients/hour but after reading some of the posts, it makes more sense to start at 6 patients per hour while it’s slow starting rather than transitioning later.

    very excited.

  2. finally getting the responses to the POCAfest Clinic Success informal survey up (keep an eye in the CS forum in the next few weeks). for one of the questions: “what do you wish you knew before doing CA? Like, oh, I wish someone had told me that or I’d done it that way”

    THE most common answer, from clinics old and young: “I wish I’d gone to 6/hr sooner.”

    second most common: “I wish I’d known how much I’d love doing it!”