1.) When looking for an associate position, what is a good or standard contract? What other clauses should we be made aware of?
2.) CASA classifieds are limited when searching for associate or locum positions nationally and internationally. What other sources are reliable?
3.) What is the best option when deciding weather to run a practice that is contracted into medical aids versus a practice that is contracted out?
4.) What are the best software packages available that cater to a Chiropractic Practice?
Firstly, thank you to Melissa Crestani for sending through such great questions! As a Chiropractor in Bedfordview, I provide information and knowledge that I have gained from my own personal experience in practice and I wish for fellow students, such as you, to learn from my mistakes!
So, here we go…
In my practice in Bedfordview, the standard contract for a locum position is usually a 50–50% consultation split, however, this is usually dependant on the Chiropractic Doctor who is offering the position. An Associate position traditionally would be 60–40% consultation split. Usually associate positions are when the Chiropractic Doctor, who owns the practice, does not work full time at the practice premises. When dealing with contracts, ensure that understand it clearly and concisely. If you have any doubts or concerns ask the Chiropractor to explain it to you, as a contract is binding. Ensure that you have your own malpractice insurance and liability cover, as most Chiropractors will not cover you. Also ensure that tax deductions are specified in your contract, otherwise you will be held liable to pay your own taxes.
When looking for a possible position, try and network with other qualified Chiropractors. It is always great when you can get recruited directly by a Chiropractor that you connect with and share the same vision with. They will be able to mentor you and help you along the way. Alternatively, if they are not looking for a locum and you make quite an impression with them, they would be sure to recommend you to one of their colleagues! If you are considering travelling and would like to try working overseas, connect with the members of the associations directly and they will be able to assist you.
Here is a link for Europe:
http://www.cce-europe.com/council-membership.html Here is the link for America:
Or alternatively, you can use Facebook and join some of the Employment Opportunities for Chiropractors groups and see what opportunities are out there:
The best option though is to ask anyone and everyone… if you don’t ask, no one knows that you are looking!
When it comes to medical aids, there is no wrong or right answer it is all dependant on the Chiropractor. My Bedfordview Practice is contracted out of medical aid. I charge a set standard fee for patients who are on medical aid and those who are not. When you are contracted into medical aids, you can charge full medical aid rates, but there is a fee that is payable to the medical aid to be contracted in with them, for example, like Discovery. Also bear in mind that with recent changes to most medical aid schemes, there is now a threshold for all Allied Health Professionals, so should you charge full medical aid rates and your patients require treatment but their savings has been totally exhausted, chances are good that they will not come back for their maintenance sessions.
When it comes to software, I use Quickbooks in my Bedfordview Practice. It is a more complex program to learn to use, but it is designed as a full accounting software program. Therefore, it does help you to manage your financials a lot easier and more proficiently, so that I spend less time and money later to the accountants to manage my bookkeeping.
Many Chiropractors do not focus on the running of their practices and are more concerned about just being a good Chiropractor. This is detrimental, as it can result in a practice failing within the first 2 years.
We all know how to be Chiropractors, we know how to help people. We should actually be focusing on being business owners.
As a fellow Chiropractor, I have been exactly where most of you are right now. I felt scared, uncertain and really lost and demotivated (especially after research). But you don’t have to make the same mistakes that I did. I always encourage questions and I have always made myself available to students and other Chiropractors out there to help where I can.
If you have any other questions or would even like to come around and see how my practice functions everyday, just contact me. My personal number is 073 222 0082 and to make it more convenient, I am even contactable on whatsapp. Look forward to your questions and feedback!