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Is it better to start your own chiropractic practice or to join one after chiropractic school?

I am asking this question because I'm looking forward to attending chiropractic school at Life University soon as I have been accepted there. #business #doctor #finance #doctorate-degree #student-loans #startups #money-management #debt #healthcare-it #chiropractic

Thank you comment icon Read my answer under the question, "Is Physical Therapy or Chiropractic Medicine worth the time and money?" It will save you years of headaches. Allen Botnick DC CNIM

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kris’s Answer

Chiropractic College is very pricey and requires prerequisite coursework in related health care vertical.
You may enter into an accelerated program that adheres to the qtr. system or pace yourself.
Many new licensees seek positional growth attaching themselves to business without a background or experience owning/operating a business.
While ambitious and warranted many tools should be in place before opening a practice: Branding, Logo, Style of practice- integrated-subluxation based, Mngt system in place, surrounding professional resources ( PT, Med- Integrated) funding, build out, lease negotiation, practice location, area demographic etc.

It is great to associate for the first year if any of the above stresses you or concerns you and you can always return to your goals and ambitions after learning billing, coding, patient care, patient timing, etc. In addition, always try in your first few years to make payment on grad program if nothing but $10 /yr been inevitably most recent grads will go into pay as you earn (IDR income driven repayment.)

Everyone is different and arrives at success differently. Please feel free to reach out as I am a current Adjunct Professor and happy to help lend my experience and expertise and you see fit. Kind regards and many blessings to the reader!

Kris recommends the following next steps:

Price Chiropractic Schools
Visit location of Chiropractic School interest
Have a business plan going in
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Amanda’s Answer

It may be a good idea to join a practice right out of school so you can get an idea of how the business works. You can learn from someone who already owns their own business .This will give you time to create your business plan and save up for business expenses also.

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Ivan Alberto’s Answer

Hello James,


From the finance side when you want to start your own business sometimes is better to join one business already created and get experience in terms of the management, the operation of the business, the target market, the financial needs and the resources you will need to have successful, but always having in mind your objective that is to open your own business and for sure all the experience you will get from other people that have more years in the field will help you to success.

Thank you comment icon Thanks a lot! I really appreciate it. I think that would be the better route and most practical to attain right out of school. James
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Kyle’s Answer

As most of the answers above stated, Chiropractic school doesn't teach you much about the business/insurance side of things. This is a skill that is learnt over time and exposure to the different systems. With all of that being said, if you do not like to work for others, create your own schedule and can afford to start small until you grow a patient base, Start it yourself. Whatever you choose, do it well, and don't settle.

Kyle recommends the following next steps:

Start volunteering or shadowing at different clinics in your area
Talk to the owners about what it took for them to get there
Start drawing out your business plan now
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Dr. Mike’s Answer

I believe for most people that are not already business savvy, it is best to join an existing practice and learn from the experienced doctor and staff.
One of the most important parts of practice have nothing to do with chiropractic! It is important to run an efficient office that has the lowest overhead possible and to make a profit...otherwise there is no practice.
Find a good business coach or a good mentor to see you through the business end of your practice. Then you need to concentrate on the actual treatment aspect, get people better and ask them to refer people to your office.
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Dr. Constance’s Answer

It depends on the individual and how you plan. An important part of building your practice is money but you also have to know what you want your practice to look like.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Do you want it to be a one man/woman show? Or would you like to have a chiropractic assistant?
Do you want to offer other services? For example, many chiropractors will have a massage therapist or on site.
Would you like to take insurance or have a cash practice?
What type of people would you like to see? Children, Elderly, Athletes?
How are you going to market your business?
What are the requirements of the state you live in? Each state has rules that you must follow.
What kind of equipment do you want in the office? Tables only? Or would you like to offer other health healing tools.

Personal Considerations:
Do you have a family? If so, what will opening a practice vs working as an associate look like for your family?
Have you had time to recover from school? Sometimes working for an associate gives you the opportunity to get used to being back in the real world.


These are just a few things that have to be considered. I recommend shadowing as much as you possibly can while in school so that you can see what you like and what you don't like. Ask questions about how billing works, what overhead looks like for a small practice versus a large practice. If you're not in school yet, try to volunteer or work at a chiropractic clinic. I worked as a chiropractic assistant for almost 2 years before I became a chiropractor.

Also, start researching about what you need to do to take out a business loan if you choose to open your own practice. There are some things you have to do that take time.

Everyone is different. Many people only want to be an associate. Some people thrive when they work as an associate for a few years then open up their own practice. Others know exactly what they want, they just need the resources to achieve their goals.
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