On numbers and white lies

Patients have started asking this question again:  "How long have you been in practice?" I always hate to admit I've only been out of school for a couple of years, but really, it's just a horribly flawed question if the person is trying to figure out how much experience you have or don't have, let alone trying to figure out if you are reliable or able to help them at all.  I don't believe that more experience = better at acupuncture, but just in case it does, community acupuncture is the fastest track around.  

One of the great things about using an online scheduling service like Appointment Quest is that it counts things for you, like how many patients you've seen in any given length of time.  A search just revealed that I have had 1576 appointments in the past 7 months since Philadelphia Community Acupuncture opened.  That averages out to 53 patients a week, including the early and slower months.  I am probably seeing about 65 patients a week right now.

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posted on March 11 2008 by ellengrover

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Loving CA

I’m usually ready for blog week but I’m gearing up to move my clinic in July so time got away from me.So, I’ll tell you about my wonderful week at CA lastweek.

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posted on March 10 2008 by annmongeau

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Money does not equal wealth

A former classmate called me the other day raving about a clinic she had visited.  This clinic belongs to one of our former teachers.  Anyway, she went on telling me how busy he was and that while she was there, one of his patients left the office after paying a $280.00 bill for one visit.  (Now, keep in mind that she always refers to what I do as "that community thing".)  She thought it was so great that he was making so much money, charging for injection therapy (a big thing here in Florida), herbs and a visit.  "Well, isn't that awesome?" she asked me. Hmmm... 

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posted on March 6 2008 by SarasotaCA

Tags: gratitude
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On the Verge of Gettin’ It On…

In his excellent "The Technium" blog, Kevin Kelly posits a hypothetical threshold of "1,000 true fans" an artist would need to make a living while working their chosen craft (http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php).

The biz model Kelly suggests strikes me as fundamentally similar to the manner Community Acupuncturists approach their clinics; that is maintaining financial partnerships with many 'modest-paying', appreciative 'fans' rather than a scant number of higher-paying ones.

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posted on March 6 2008 by andy wegman

Tags: economics
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Rescued:  Small Damn Clinic!

All-  One of the questions we got from the New York workshops was how can one set up a CA practice where the rent is so high?  Lisa and I answered this too ways:  First that's a problem that all acupuncturists face, not just CA acupuncturists.  Second we have Lumiel's clinic in San Rafael to use as a model.  Her clinic is in a very high rent district and if she can do it solo practitioners anywhere can do it.  I wrote about her clinic last September and below I have rescued that post for all to read and ponder.

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posted on March 5 2008 by Skip

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Community Acupuncture: Fundamentally Different

First, I want to second what Lisa says below about our great NYC weekend.  Its always great to get out of your comfort zone to get some perspective and this happened for us.  

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posted on March 4 2008 by Skip

Tags: community
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A Beautiful Weekend

This past weekend Skip and I went to New York to do two workshops back to back:  a big workshop at PCOM on Sunday and a smaller one on Saturday for some students from the Swedish Institute who couldn't go to the one on Sunday. We took the redeye flight from Portland to New York on Thursday night and arrived bleary and mostly sleepless on Friday morning to find New York in the grip of what seemed to us (wimps from Portland) seriously nasty weather:  20 degrees, snow showers,  piercing wind. 

But it was a beautiful weekend.

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posted on March 4 2008 by Lisafer

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Nine Things I Learned the Hard Way

After reading Skip's 55-85% blog, I thought "That's the kind of thing you could only learn the hard way". After I thought about it I realized that there are a lot of things that Justine and I have learned by trial and error while we were setting up our clinic. I hope folks find some of these ideas useful; here they are in no particular order:

I found Score to be helpful especially for legal and financial questions and I loved their one day seminar in which they made it very clear how much work being a small business owner is. It also had great ideas on how to manage the finances during the first few years while the business is paying back the start up loans.

We clearly laid out all of our business agreements in a document that included a detailed section on how we would end our business relationship if we chose to do so.

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posted on March 4 2008 by thomasriordan

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“You Get What You Pay For”, and other American myths

Children’s books are teaching me a lot these days. Domitila is a Mexican Cinderella story. My five year old seems to be able sniff these classics out as soon as she enters the library. Smart girl - gives me a lot of hope for our future. Domitila’s mother puts love into everything she does, even cooking with scruffy cactus plants from the desert, transforming them into a delicacy (nopales). Domitila learns her mother’s art and impresses the governor’s son who endures great sacrifice, trying to find the mysterious servant who can reveal the secret. Meanwhile, the evil stepsister and her mother try to trick our heroine and her father with delicacies made from stolen food - but the taste is horrible. We love these stories and honor their wisdom. Why is it often difficult for us to live by them?

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posted on March 1 2008 by River Jordan

Tags: musings
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55-85%

This morning I revisited something I wrote about in the forums a year and a half ago. Back then I said that it felt like the capacity of WCA topped out at about 80%, meaning that once we filled about 80% of our slots it became increasingly hard to fill the remainder because it got increasingly harder for patients to find open slots that met their time constraints. (This is a variation of the difficulties one faces when moving at speeds close to the speed of light. Surprised .)

When I first wrote this some folks had slightly different percentages for their clinics. Makes sense- results will vary.

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posted on February 28 2008 by Skip

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