Archive for tag: oregon

Marketing Project

How was your week last week? Has everybody recovered from Halloween? Now we're in the home stretch. It's the start of Week 11 -- time to start thinking about finals and projects and practicals.

All I can think about right now is the MARKETING PROJECT! I know I've mentioned it before -- but to reiterate... We're tasked with developing a business plan including start-up costs, developing a marketing calendar, business cards, logo, brochures, website, etc. It's a LOT of work (and worth a lot of the class). In addition to all of that, we have to do research on the location where we're hoping to practice, what type of demographics are there, and whether we think the area can support our type of venture. 

Location

As of right this second, I'm looking at Portland, Oregon. I've been drawn to the Pacific Northwest for quite a while. I miss the seasons (but not so much the cold), and everything I've heard about Portland and surrounding areas, is absolutely amazing. There are other reasons, of course. One of the biggest ones is the liberal scope of practice allowed in Oregon -- including obstetrics and minor surgery (with additional certification of course). The broader the scope for me -- the better; it's how I intend to practice. 

So, in my research adventures, I've found things like: how many chiropractors are in the area, what the per capita income is, what the average salary for chiropractors is in the area/state; and what types of practices are in the area. What I've noticed is that there seem to be two types of DCs in the area: single practices with maybe some physical or massage therapy, and single or group practices focusing on sports medicine. There are a couple of multi-disciplinary practices, but not many. There are a lot of sports medicine chiropractic physicians. This is great for me, because I have no interest in working with sports medicine. And for those of you that might be thinking about relocating to the Portland area -- it looks like there's some pretty stiff competition. 

Scope

I've had to spend a fair amount of time thinking about what all my practice will offer, what I'm willing to take on as far as scope, and how many other practitioners I'd like to work with me. This has the potential to become HUGE. I have always intended to have a multi-disciplinary practice. The more research I do, the more practitioners that I want to bring in -- not just Chiropractic, but Naturopathic, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, and Behavioral Medicine.

Management

At the outset, I'm feeling like we need about 8-10 practitioners to create the best, most effective type of practice. As wonderful as these ideas are, the logistics of setting something like this up, are daunting/enormous. And honestly, this is the kind of thing that I absolutely hate. You can ask any of my classmates or professors for my response when we talk about money and billing and other business management type stuff. The first thing I say is "Can't I hire someone for that?" They always cringe, tell me that I need to know it, and keep going.

I feel fairly safe in saying, that this project will probably be the extent (for the most part) of my forays into business management. I am learning a ton, but I also acknowledge that my talents lie elsewhere. First, I'll draw up the budget for equipment like massage and flexion-distraction tables, band aids, acupuncture needles, alcohol wipes, cotton balls, phlebotomy equipment, basic physical therapy equipment, herbs and supplements, office equipment, waiting room chairs, and silk plants. Then, I'll factor in things like electricity and Internet service. Yes, I'm in WAY over my head. I never thought I'd be doing something like this -- just practicing medicine. It takes a lot more than I'd ever imagined.

Maybe I should start looking for that business manager now. 

2013-11-12_xkcd _marketing _interview
(Source: xkcd.com)

Have an AMAZING week, everybody. I'll let you know how it goes.