We asked our reps and some of our key NDs a series
of questions, that could assist new ND graduates.
Here is part one of our series with Dr. Katie Yash, ND:
What do you believe is the single biggest challenge new graduates face in setting up their practice?
Your business training in Naturopathic school will never give you 100% of the information you need. By your 2nd-3rd year you should have an idea of where you hope to practice (at least know which city you’d like to be in). Around that time start thinking about what that might look like for you (e.g. home practice, clinic with multiple ND, clinic where you are the only ND, preferred conditions or patient base, etc). Realistically most new graduates start off as associates at a clinic. Being an associate is vastly different from running your own show. You want to make sure you have a general idea of what the going rate in your area for an associate is and be able to utilize that information while bargaining with potential clinics. The only way to get a handle for that sort of “on the job” information is from talking to NDs who are currently practicing in the area you are hoping to practice within. If you don’t have a mentor then use your preceptoring times to ask the following questions:
1. What are your feelings about splits vs rent for newer NDs?
2. What is the going rate for a split or rental price for this area?
3. What sort of minimums and caps are normal?4. How do you handle your dispensary?5. When you were an associate, how much of the income from your dispensary did you pay your clinic owner?6. What marketing practices did you find helpful in the beginning of practice?
- Knowing where to recruit patients from, was a challenge that I found in the beginning of practice. If you are new to an area or city, then you have to work hard to connect with as many local businesses, non-profits, schools, gyms/yoga studios in order to start building relationships and getting newpatient through those avenues.
What are the top 3 skills you believe new graduates need to build a growing practice in the first 36 months?
- Perseverance: You cannot rely on anyone but yourself to get people in your door. It might seem annoying or frustrating but you have to keep cold calling and visiting leads until you set up that initial coffeedate. It is those small meetings that can lead to repeat talks and potential patients.
- Market yourself like crazy: You need to come up with a marketing plan. Map it out so you have some marketing aspect you are doing, daily, weekly, and monthly, and stick to it. Your plan should focus on your strength and heavily rely on the best resource you have in the initial months of practice which is free time. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should focus on getting your face and personality into the community in as many ways in possible.
- Choosing the right clinic: It can be hard to find the right space to set up your practice. Make sure you know what is important to you for setting up your practice. Some questions to consider: What split are you comfortable with? What kind of clientèle are coming to this clinic? Are these your ideal patients? What other practitioners are there and how will referrals work? How will you run a dispensary there? Is there space for you to come more than 1-2 days if needed? Is there reception? Who keeps the files if you decide to leave? What out will you have if you don’t get a single referral within the first 2 months you are there?.Check back for part two, and click here to learn more about Dr. Katie Yash.