For Naturopaths, It is Now or Never

Last week we had the great privilege to teach naturopathic students at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. As part of their third and fourth year academic program, there is a weekly class on practice management that seems to be an extremely practical, if not genuinely popular part of the program.

It was an excellent opportunity to help the students to objectively see that they are in a great position to be able to grow a successful practice. Furthermore, in part due to the current medical system, that one’s success in practice is a function of one’s ability to wear their entrepreneur’s hat. We covered a lot of ground in the hour and a half presentation, including market positioning (speaking to the middle of the population bell curve), social media and marketing plans.

In the United States currently, there are a number of trends that are, if used positively, converging to thrust naturopathic medicine into its rightful place, true primary care. Naturopaths are in the right place at the right time, they really just have to go out and grab it! Here is an overview.

  1. Health Care Costs – Both at a national and corporate level, the cost of insuring your population or your employees is out of control. We are treating chronic issues with acute methods, and it is costing us dearly. More and more studies show what we have always known, an ‘ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. Share your wisdom with a local business today!
  2. Allopathic Implosion – Allopathic medicine is resorting to more and more aggressive tactics to shove their products down patient’s throats. From direct TV marketing, to $20 McDonalds Vouchers for full immunization, desperation is setting in. Osteoarthritis, depression, ‘diabesity’ and gastrointestinal issues are all better served by holistic, integrative and functional medicine. Take Mark Hyman’s recent meetings with major insurance providers as proof. Find ways to market to these demographics!
  3. Social Media – The use of claims to sell products has been the dominant form of sales in all industries, including and especially medicine. However, the public are better informed and more skeptical of claims than ever before. Studies show only 14% of the public respond to claims, 74% respond to reviews of peers. Word of mouth! This has been what naturopaths have generated for years, so let’s step it up on social media. Engage, communicate!
  4. Real Food – There is an awakening in the population about the role of food. My countryman Jamie Oliver is playing his part, but all over America there are more and more pockets of interest in understanding and reconnecting to their food.  Educate in your community!
  5. No Free Care – Americans are paying for their healthcare one way or another, and this leaves the closest thing to a meritocracy of any country in the Western world. Naturopathic Medicine should thrive in these conditions and empowerment is the key. New business models for primary care are popping up all over the place, be creative!

After the presentation at the University, during the question and answer I was asked by one of the academic staff if I think Naturopaths can afford to wait for licensing in their respective state to start a practice. Below is raw footage of my answer, I hope you find it inspiring. It is 6 minutes long, make sure you catch the end!

What are your thoughts about best strategies for connecting with the public?

 

Disclaimer: Video content is no longer available as of  January 4th, 2016


Holistic Practice Development helps practitioners to grow healthy, sustainable practices, regardless of demographic or economic environment.  Dr. Andrew Colyer and James Maskell have a combined 30 years of experience in the health care industry, and would love to help you grow your practice.  For your free practice strategy session, please visit:  http://www.HolisticPracticeDevelopment.com.

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