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“One of the BEST 1/2 Days I had in Practice”
“If I live to work....will I be happy?” Mark Studin 2018
I have long established there are only two things required to be successful; Long days and sleepless nights and there is no substitution. However, in life, you must consider the entire picture.
It was 28 years ago, and my practice was “rocking.” I was treating about 135 patients a day, which averaged 50 before lunch and the balance after lunch through the evening. As I practice in the lowest paying state in the United States, volume was critical, and I was no different than many of you today where I did not inherit a trust fund from my parents and every practice day was critical to the finances of my family.
My youngest daughter was in third grade, and we received a notice home from the school that on a beautiful Monday in June her entire grade was having “field day.” In her elementary school, this was a competition between classes of running, sack races, tug of war and all the other fun things that eight-year-olds do in a fun competition. My initial reaction as I told my wife was “this is very cute, and I am not going because every Monday morning I have a full schedule, so you will represent the family at school.”
As the day got closer, I heard my daughter talking excitedly about her events at her first field day, and I was conflicted with my decision not to go. I decided to cancel those 50 patients, with rescheduling whomever I could to make up their missed appointments. I went to the third-grade field day. On that day I saw my eight-year-old daughter win her first 50-yard dash and witnessed the beginning of a very successful career as a sprinter who succeeded at a very high level that lasted through college.
That day helped me realize a crucial lesson in life in deciding what was more important to me and who I am. I decided that 50 strangers and a bunch of money was not as important as being with my daughter on that day. As a side note, to this day my eight-year-old who is now 35 years old remembers that daddy was there to share that “milestone moment” in her life with her.
From that moment on when a similar decision had to be made on where I should be versus practice, I always said to myself “in 20 years will I remember that I saw 130 patients on that day or this life event.” That guiding statement has served me well in life and has helped me create a balance between business and family. Please note that I do not take lightly the canceling of patients as I realize that people have lives and have made a commitment towards their health and concurrently that commitment flowed to me as their doctor. However, I do not live to work, I work to live.
I worked with many doctors around the country and I can tell you with a great degree of certainty that almost all who have not followed this advice in some manner are less fulfilled and less happy than those who have. Money is critically important, and you know how seriously I take your finances. However, I take your happiness much more seriously than your money.
Create a balance while committing long days and sleepless nights to your practice.
Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
Adjunct Associate Professor of Chiropractic, University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic
Adjunct Post Graduate Faculty, Cleveland University-Kansas City, College of Chiropractic
Adjunct Professor, Division of Clinical Sciences, Texas Chiropractic College
Graduate Medical Educational Presenter, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education Joint Partnership with the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
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