As part of a Px (Pediatric Experience) Club event, students heard directly from Diana Husk, DC, who operates Cumming Family Chiropractic in Cumming, Georgia, which specializes in pediatric medicine along with pregnancy and post-partum care.
Dr. Husk shared tips on how she juggles a thriving practice while raising a young family.
“If you want to have a thriving practice, make a lot of money and spend time at home, you 100 percent can,” she said. ”First, you have to have a clear vision of what your ideal work/home balance is. Be specific and actually write it down.”
She highlighted several ways students can create a proper work and home balance. One way is to always stick to their office hours in practice as this will allow you to make your days predictable and less stressful. And, utilize resources available to you. Her schedule includes working Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a nanny who brings her children to the office, where they have a designated room. Tuesday and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., her nanny cares for her children at home. Every weekend is dedicated to family time.
When building a practice, she suggests creating a culture and focusing energy on your niche and the type of patient you want to treat. She recommends making sure you train your assistant well for first phone calls so they know the kind of patient that best fits your practice.
“With a lot of chiropractic practices out there, you have to distinguish yourself. Your online presence, for example, can play a big role in defining what your practice is all about, so make sure it’s top notch,” she said.
At Dr. Husk’s practice, she sees many patients who are traumatized. She discussed the importance of creating a relaxed environment that’s more like home rather than a traditional medical practice.
“Think about how you want your patients to feel in your office. I want my patients to feel lighter here like a weight has lifted. I want them to feel stress relief,” she said.
Early on when opening a practice marketing budgets can be low, but Dr. Husk mentionedthere are lot of other ways to get the word out about your practice. She recommends getting to know the local Mom Community by finding out where they shop, take their kids and what providers they see. Connect and find ways to utilize those places and providers to your advantage.
“Meet with providers like pediatricians and offer them free care so they can get to know your practice. Don’t assume providers like the people they’re currently referring to or that they won’t be open to you,” she said.
She also shared a few suggestions for maternity leave.
“When it comes to maternity leave, you should assume you’ll need more time than you think,” she said. “It’s hard to come back.”
She told students to consider getting short-term disability, which can help provide an income while you’re caring for your baby. She added that while you’re gone, be sure to incentivize your staff and get them excited for your cover doctor.
“It can be helpful to utilize programs like Sked, which can be used for appointment scheduling,” she said. “Slack can also be useful for communicating with staff. Both were lifesavers during my maternity leave.”
Overall, she said it’s important to recognize that being a business owner is hard.
“Owning a practice can be mentally, spiritually and emotionally demanding,” she said. “If you’re burned out, you can’t hide it. Your patients deserve good energy and so do your staff along with yourself. Make your happiness a priority and don’t forget to enjoy life.”
For students who want to specialize within chiropractic medicine, clubs are a great way to gain practical experience and advice. Px Club provides National University of Health Sciences’ students with information regarding the powerful impact of pediatric chiropractic care, treating pediatric patients and running a successful pediatric practice.