Managing Functional Medicine Practice Stress

Consistent Functional Medicine Practice Growth Strategies

It is something every functional medicine practitioner deals with.  STRESS – and it comes in many forms:

  • Not enough timestress control
  • Not enough money
  • Not enough patients
  • Managing an office
  • Managing employees
  • Fear of lawsuits
  • Fear of legislative oversight
  • Difficult and unreasonable patients
  • Constant decision making
  • Stress at home because of everything above…

This list goes on and on.  The reality is, too much STRESS can be a functional medicine practice killer, but stress can also be a wonderful motivator.  When you go through enough experiences, you pay a life tax of stress.  Learning from these stressful experiences and taking actions  based on them can help lead to improvements in both your personal and professional life.

A Self Managing Practice

One of the best stress relieving decisions I ever made was to institute a self managing model into my practice.  Setting up roles and guidelines for my employees and holding them accountable to their individual tasks as well as ensuring that they are all cross trained for the different roles in the office.  This model of management builds a team attitude, but also sets up an office that can run efficiently even if you aren’t there.  There is no single office manager.  There is no need for micromanagement.  Employees receive a profit sharing check at the end of the year that is based on the performance of the office.

Fun in the sun - Functional Medicine MarketingNow that brings me to another point.  One of the biggest and most unnecessary stresses is employee turnover.  Constant turnover is a huge time vacuum, and it costs a lot of money.  Take care of your existing employees by:

  • Paying them well
  • Incentivizing good behavior with financial reward
  • Providing them benefits like (supplement allowances)
  • Complementing their good behaviors verbally
  • Holding team building meetings or parties.

This year, I flew my entire team to Cancun for a week.  Remember that your team knows how to work together, but do they know how to play together?  Adding a social element builds employee bonding and loyalty.  Remember the family that plays together stays together.  If you are looking to hire new staff, remember this… Hire Slow – Fire Fast.  (more tips on how to hire here)

Other Stress Relieving Techniques

Now you probably share these elements with patients on a daily basis, but do you live by them yourself?  The following is a list of fundamental things you should be doing.  Especially if you want your patients to take you seriously:

  • Eating real food that you are not allergic to
  • Regular Sunshine
  • Regular exercise
  • Proper sleep
  • Addressing your health with the same kinds of tests you would recommend to your patients (vitamin and mineral deficiency analysis, food allergy, etc)
  • Taking time off with your family and to recharge your own batteries.
  • Managing your time with an iron fist (remember that time is the one resource that cannot be bought or replaced)

Regular and consistent application of these techniques keeps you looking younger, feeling greater, full of energy, and allows you to set the best example for your patients.  The side effect helps increase their compliance to your recommendations, thus increasing your revenue and improving your practice “Happy-ness” factor.

Dr. Peter Osborne

Dr. Peter Osborne