The Next Evolution of Employment for Chiropractors
I was perusing through Chiropractic Economics and came across this article entitled “Chiropractic on the job: Worksites clinics attract more DC’s.” This is a review/ summary of that article from issue #15: September 21, 2018.
Are DC’s who have owned and operated their own clinics for 10+ years really throwing in the towel to go and work for someone else?
Initially, even thinking about packing it up and getting a “real job” made my head hurt and my stomach nauseous. It was like reading a horror story at first with real DC’s giving up their practices and going to work for corporate America. Corporate America or the idea of it for most small business owners in the US is equal to rules, suites and ties, stodgy colleagues sitting in small cubicles from 9:00a-5:00p and possibly selling your soul to the devil ( I added that one). The more I read the article, the more intrigued I became. I realized, for some people this would be ideal because they would no longer have to worry the stressors of running a business.
Check out the pro’s and con’s and why many chiropractors in the US are leaving behind their own practices for ‘worksite clinics.’
I can’t believe it’s growing when I didn’t even know it existed. Major companies like Northrop Grumman, Honda, Coca-Cola and MillerCoors, government agencies, Wall Street, cities like Chicago and states like Montana are setting up clinics within or next to their operations. It’s impressive the amount of services these clinics are offering. The idea is, the more services offered, the more comprehensive these become, which will reduce costs for the employers and raise employee satisfaction. Who has time to schedule a visit with their doctor or get their adjustments outside of work? With these clinics, it makes healthcare more accessible and simpler.
Clinics are offering a variety of services and with so many companies seeing a reduction in costs and patient satisfaction with using chiropractic care. The trend is now looking at hiring a boat load of chiropractors throughout the US.
Here are some of the current services offered at many clinics:
Primary Care (chronic and acute)
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Now this one I can definitely can on board with and makes perfect sense. If you work in a clinic for a big company, there is no marketing, overhead, payroll, expenses, scheduling, paying for continuing education, etc…the doctor can simply can come in see patients, do their notes, report to the MD and go home. The stress of running a small business is eliminated.
Working for a big company does come with perks. Salary, some clinics offer a flexible schedule, paid vacations, health insurance, 401k and other benefits. That is the American dream wrapped in one sentence!
With so many services offered in these clinics it gives chiropractors a chance to work alongside so many other healthcare professionals from MD’s, PT’s, OT’s, nutritionists it creates an atmosphere where working together to help the patient is rewarded.
Especially if your more of an old school chiropractor this one might be a sticking point. Data, notes, patient assessment and outcomes are reported to the clinic director which is usually a MD…gasp!
Since you would be an employee and no longer the employer someone else will be setting your hours and giving you directions. There will be a huge loss in independence so if your all about being the boss this is something to really think about.
A chiropractor working in this setting won’t have free reign in all aspects of patient care. They will have to work within the confines of what the clinic offers and some services maybe restricted to the chiropractor. For example, if the clinic has a nutritionist the chiropractor might have a very limited scope of how much nutrition advice they are allowed to dispense because nutrition issues would be sent to the nutritionist instead.
This setting is the opposite of private practice. The ‘one man/woman show’ is out the door and working in conjunction with all sorts of traditional western medicine is in. My guess is, ego’s would really have to be checked at the door and the reigns loosened to go from a private setting to a group clinic.
Lastly, I wasn’t sure if this last point is a pro or a con so I’m putting it at the end. A final thought on this new concept. Most of these clinics are hiring chiropractors who have been out in the field working a minimum of 3-5 years and some want even more experience. If you have been digging in the trenches and are tired of the nonsense that can accompany small business ownership this may be a great fit for you which would be a pro. If your coming right out of school, these big companies might tell you to come back in a few years with some experience…the con.
If you are in private practice for yourself, would you consider taking one of these positions?
Kassandra Schultz D.C