I saw a new patient yesterday for an acute wry neck, something I’ve managed many, many times.
I took her thru the routine, including education around how pain perception works, the tip of the iceberg metaphor, how the healing process works…better, worse, same or different being all part of that.
The treatment went well, followed thru with my standard SMS and emails.
I gave her home advice and recommended she see me again the next morning.
Long story short, she replied via text, she wanted to cancel as she was no better.
What do you do?
My reaction surprised me given how well I understand this scenario. I got emotional, and by that I mean angry and frustrated.
How could she not give me the opportunity to show her my magic and the magic of Chiropractic. How could she cut me off without any opportunity to explain. This could be the breakthrough she’s been looking for…right?
Well that’s called ‘perceived reality’ so I thought I’d re-affirm, to myself as much as anything, the ‘Actual Reality’. So here goes.
There are 3 types of patients, Apples, Oranges and Pears, no better or worse than one another.
In our practice an ‘Apple’ is one who ‘gets’ the bigger health picture; who pays, stays and refers.
We want ‘Apples’.
This patient was an ‘Orange’ or a ‘Pear’. These patients have pre-decided you’ve got one shot! They are not interested in wellness. Any attempt at offering a schedule or product is met with an over-servicing, over-charging inference. Quite simply these patients are not only NOT LISTENING, they’re not even in the same room and THERE IS nothing you can do to change this!!!!!! So don’t even try.
We don’t want or need these. We want ‘Apples’.
There are clinics however, who want ‘Oranges’ and ‘Pears’. They love seeing patients once or twice; treating acute pain etc.
So I remind both myself and my fellow colleagues, ‘LET GO’ and stop adding meaning. It’s not personal; it’s doesn’t mean you are not successful or a not an accomplished practitioner, YOU ARE! It’s simply that what you are offering is not what they want irrespective of you think they need.
Focus you’re energy on the ‘Apples’ and let the rest go. It’s only fair to you and you’re Apples.
Oh, and keep having fun, Dr. A