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April, 2014

Discover the Benefits of Online Practice Building

By Peter G. Fernandez, DC

A reported 5.6 million college students (including those from colleges like MIT and Stanford) are now earning their degrees via online classes. It is estimated that 30 percent of all high school and college level students are currently learning online. From online technique classes to satisfying license renewal requirements, DCs have come to recognize the tremendous value online learning has to offer.

And now, DCs are going online to learn how to build their practices. Getting practice building education online is an ideal solution for most professionals. Balancing work, family and social obligations, in addition to physically attending practice building seminars can be very difficult, expensive and impractical for most doctors.

e-learning - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark DCs are now attending practice building classes when and where they choose. They log in for class before their work day begins, while having lunch or after putting the kids to bed. They exit the class without disruption and pick up where they left off when they return. No more long security lines at the airport, no costly hotel rooms, food, etc.

Advantages of Online Classes

It's more convenient. Doctors appreciate the convenience of online practice-building classes. Classes are available 24/7, whenever and wherever you and your internet connected computer are.

They are less expensive. Citing lower transportation costs, day care and food expenses, Tarleton State University estimates their students save up to $1,000 per seminar by taking the same course online. Texas A&M University concurs that the real savings in online learning is found in reduced travel costs.

In addition to travel and travel-related expenses, most doctors have to close their practices for a day or more in order to attend a seminar. This loss of practice income can easily double a doctor's total seminar expense. It can cost thousands of dollars a year for a doctor to "go get" the instruction needed to build his/her practice, but with very few exceptions, the internet now "delivers" the same information for a very small fraction of the cost.

There is no traveling. In order to get the very best practice building information and instruction, doctors had to travel to the seminar and purchase the related study materials. That was "then" and the internet is "now."

Today, the most travel a DC must do in order to get the practice building information they want or need is the walk over to their computer. Gone are the days of waiting in long security lines, lost luggage, delayed flights, grumpy attendants, etc. Just get yourself a comfortable chair, log in and have the information you want and need delivered to you fast and hassle free.

There is no waiting. Doctors do not have to wait for the information they need to be presented at a distant seminar. Online practice building instruction is available 24/7, 365 days per year.

You decide when and where. Doctors can set their own study hours, anytime and anywhere. Thanks to the many mobile apps now available, you can choose to learn in your office, in your home, at the beach or practically any place you may be in the world.

Different Types & Formats

There is an abundance of online practice building classes and they are only a key stroke away. However, to help you make the best choice for you and your practice, the following is a brief description of the various types and formats of classes currently being offered online.

Webinars are the online version of the traditional "travel to" seminars and are typically offered as live broadcasts. Because of this, you can only attend these classes at a specified date and time. This rigid scheduling makes webinars one of the least favorite online learning formats. However, depending on the specialized information being offered and how qualified the presenter is, it could be in your best interest to "make the time" to register and attend a particular webinar.

Promotional classes (webinars or pre-recorded videos) are presented by entrepreneurs that want to sell you something. Depending on how relative the product or product information is to you and your practice goals, you could learn something of value by attending a promotional class. While no one wants to watch a class that is a sales pitch, the entrepreneur will usually give you some great information while trying to entice you to purchase more. If you can gain knowledge and have the option to accept or reject the sales pitch, why not view it? Remember, no one is forcing you to buy – you can just simply say "no."

A class module is made up of a series of classes pertaining to a common topic. DCs can now find practice building class modules online presented by some of the best practice building consultants in the country. When you sign up for a class module, you are paying for the complete series of classes within that module. You do not have the option to pick and pay for only certain classes. However, you can study each class at your own pace, whenever and where ever you choose.

Through the internet, DCs now have access to a library of pay-per-view practice building video classes. You can choose to "rent" one of these videos at a time, rent a series at one time or subscribe to one of the membership programs that will allow you unlimited viewing access for six or 12 months. A library of online video classes gives you complete flexibility as to what, when and where you want to learn.

The following is a sample of online specialty classes. Each of these classes focuses on one specific aspect of practice building.

  • Personal Injury Classes: These classes teach doctors how to build, manage and maintain a successful personal injury practice.
  • C.A. Classes: These classes train CAs how to efficiently and professionally perform their duties, i.e. run the front desk, answer the telephone, respond to patient comments/requests etc.
  • Practice Starting Classes: DCs can now learn how to open a successful new practice by following the expert instruction found in these specialized online classes.
  • Insurance Classes: How to properly complete insurance forms, how to avoid being red-flagged by an insurance carrier and what to expect if you are audited by an insurance company are a view of the topics taught in these online classes.

Tips for Choosing a Class

Can you watch the class more than once? Do you have an extended time to view the class or the ability to download the class? This is important. For you to get the most out of your online class purchase, you must be able to "study" it and this will often require you to view the class (or a section of the class) more than one time. You will find that you cannot download most online classes but, most will allow you to view the class several times or as often as you like over a specific period of time.

Who is teaching or sponsoring the class? Spend your time and money wisely by reviewing the credentials of the person teaching the class and/or the class sponsor before you actually purchase it. By doing so, you can usually determine if the class is going to be more "promotional" than "instructional.." Thanks to the Internet, this is a quick and easy process.

Priority should be placed on the degree of expertise the instructor has in the area they are teaching. Has the instructor personally achieved success in the area they are teaching? How many others has the instructor successfully taught how to do it? How long has the instructor been working in this field, etc. The greater the instructors credentials, the more valuable the class material will be and consequently, the more you should expect to pay for that class.

What is the cost? Online practice-building class prices vary depending on the complexity of the topic, the length of the individual class, the number of classes in the module and the instructor's credentials. Regardless, the cost of online classes should be significantly less expensive than the cost to physically attend seminar classes.

Are there additional practice building services? Some doctors are simply looking for online classes that will provide them with the basic information that simply teaches them how to properly build their practice. Others are looking for online classes and additional practice building services (designing ads, forms, brochures, etc.) that will help them build a mega practice.

If you want to build a mega successful practice, you'll save yourself the most amount of time and money by choosing online classes that give you the option to "learn more" (library of on-ine video classes) and that provide you with the additional resources needed to accomplish your goals.

Today, there are many qualified practice building consultants teaching all phases of starting, managing and building a practice. There is no question that online practice building instruction works. Physically attend a seminar = travel time + travel expense + travel stress/hassles + loss of practice income + loss of family time + additional child care expense. The solution is online learning that is convenient, affordable and effective.

Dr. Peter G. Fernandez, a graduate of Logan Chiropractic College, is a practice consultant with over 30 years of experience. He has written more than 20 books and over 200 articles on building a practice, and has consulted with 5,000-plus practices. Contact Dr. Fernandez with questions or comments regarding this article via e-mail ( ) or by visiting

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