If I could pick the one characteristic that causes doctors to fail in functional medicine practice, I would pick Lack of Consistency. As a matter of fact, I would even give it a nice diagnostic name: Shiny Object Syndrome.
Successful practices use consistent systems, marketing, clinical protocols, etc. Consistency over time helps to establish expectations. Your patients refer other patients to your office because they received a service that provided them with great value. If your clinic is inconsistent with the services being offered, you will create confusion. The best example of poor consistency in an FM clinic come MLM products.
Let’s break it down. Too often doctors will jump on board with multi level marketing (MLM) products or supplement
s. These companies come and go over the years. Typically, they start out strong, but their popularity soon dies out when a new MLM product is born promising better, faster, and greater results.
Many unsuccessful docs I talk to are what I would call serial MLM shifters. This is where shiny object syndrome comes in. They jump on board with one MLM because the marketing looks shiny and convincing. They stick with it for a while, but then something newer and shinier comes out. So what happens? The doc leaves the first MLM for the next. This process might happen several times over the short span of a few years. This lack of consistency creates confusion. It does nothing to help the doctor build his/her reputation and brand.
The reality is this. When a doctor offers a product that literally anyone can offer, it creates devaluation of the doctors’ services. In all honesty, your patients are being offered the same products by their cousin’s friend, their aunt, their brother’s coworker, etc. They don’t want to come to your office and be offered the same garbage.
And it is not just products. I have seen docs jump from offering laser therapy, to decompression, to HGH weight loss. Whatever is trendy and hot, they start offering. Problem is, trends change. They come and go. If you come and go with them, you have to re-invent your practice all the time. That is a lot of work.
Consistency Trumps Trendy
If you want a successful and reputable functional medicine practice, you have to offer solid, scientific products with a long track record of success. Not a hot new super berry from the wilds of Africa that has only recently been discovered. Let the infomercials take care of those products.
Your patients are coming to you because you are the expert. If your clinic provides consistent systems, supplements, lab testing, and treatment protocols that get results, you will lay down the foundation for long term success. Remember, there are no “get rich quick” tricks that create success. Consistency over time = success. If you like trends, you should think about creating them. By the time they are popular, the world becomes your competition.
Committed to your success,