When I got closer and closer to completing my masters, I started to feel like I knew less and less. The weight of the reality that I will be done with this program but have no set up for a career was daunting. I was gaining so much clinical knowledge, and all the information I needed to pass boards, but had no idea how I was doing to start a business.
I knew nothing about business. I had foregone business courses in undergrad because I was planning to be a doctor, so why did I need to know business? For allopathic medical doctors, there’s somewhat of a process. Med-school, internship, residency…and a host of different career opportunities. For a licensed acupuncturist in California, it’s largely, “Well, you knew you’d have to be an entrepreneur, right?”
Side note: I am convinced more opportunities will arise outside of entrepreneurship for us to truly become part of the standard of care, and getting acupuncturists into the standard of care is my overarching why. Patients need access to acupuncture. We need more than a small percentage receiving acupuncture. I think these integrative opportunities like working at major medical centers, hospitals and veterans associations will be more in demand as time goes on, but there needs to be a set up in place for that to happen (more on that topic and the foundation of #IntegrativeThinking in later blogs).
For right now, I want to explain why I wrote these two eBooks and how you can get the most out of them. Because I would have been thrilled to have something simple like these books as resources when I was finishing up school and as I was going through my initial struggles in practice. I scrambled to find inexpensive or free business classes in my last year and after I got licensed. I joined networking groups and created all the social media accounts and played with, “should I take insurance and which ones?” I Finally found my sweet spot with branding and how I wanted to operate a few years later, but I was constantly having moments where I would say, “Huh, would have been nice to know that in month one”. For those of you who are students, you will have many moments like this in the future, for those of you who are licensed, I know you’ve had these moments.
The eBooks are a little something I could manage to at least help make the set up easier. You don’t know what you don’t know. My eBooks are not an MBA in a box, although I would love if this community grow to have resources like that. The eBooks give you two things: the why and the how of set up.
The first eBook is really geared toward California acupuncturists (we do have a third of the country’s practitioners here). It’s a safety net and a HUGE time saver. I just compiled all the resources you need so you can see where to go for each step of your foundational set up. If you’ve already done this, I still think it’s worthwhile to make sure you didn’t miss any steps (that’s always afear of mine, so I wanted to put that out there for any other double/triple checkers) but you might be a better fit for eBook number two, which I believe anyone can get something out of when you read it.
For eBook number two, Navigating the in Office Setup of your Acupuncture Practice, can be for anyone at any level of practice. Yes, you save tons of time discovering all these steps if you are just setting up or are about to set up your practice, and I wanted to meet that need for new practitioners. However, even being in practice for years now, I reflected and made some additions and changes to my own practice as I wrote this eBook. I made this second book less about just the steps (although they are there and you can go straight through) and more about thinking out the why behind each in office set up decision you make. Everything you implement affects the patient experience and you own experience as a practitioner; and applying critical thinking to your own experience yields some valuable takeaways.
To get the most out of these eBooks, I would read them more than once. Go through and make quick implementations and set ups foundationally, especially if time is stressing you out. But I would go back again and really dial in on your “why”, because we all have one. You can use the second eBook in particular to re-vamp policies and procedures, as I am currently doing with my latest business pivot. It’s evergreen content and depending on where you are in your journey, you’ll receive different types of value from the experience.
These books are just the beginning, and this is a community for all progressive acupuncturists. If you’re forward thinking and see the power of this medicine, I want to hear from you. Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Leave them in the comments below!
Empowering listeners with information to enhance their own personal and social awareness in the vital areas of: recovery, lifestyle and true optimization of human performance. Dr. Nell is a Licensed Acupuncturist and the founder of PIQUE Health, a private practice in Beverly Hills.