You get a lot of good information by reading books, and chiropractic schools are all about reading books and giving you tests that will blow your mind away and make ask why you studied in the first place. But that’s where the challenge of discipline kicks in. You can keep reading the books and attend the seminars, but when you finally step out there to help people with their pain, you have to reach out and connect to them. Dr. Kevin Fisher learned everything he could in the classroom, but what he enjoys more is learning from the practice of pure chiropractic. He had a lot on his plate before he was able to set up his own clinic, until a long talk with his uncle sealed the deal and made him realize that he had to figure things out and just learn as he goes.
Dr. Kevin Fischer and I have been best friends since I can remember. We grew up playing basketball together at the age of six. We went to the same middle school. We stayed close throughout high school and college and we ended up going to chiropractic school together to get our doctorates. It was a very rewarding, hard and fun four years and I couldn’t have done it without him. Dr. Kevin is an amazing person, extremely good at what he does and has worked very hard for everything he has. We had been through everything together from a young age. He is my brother and I am very excited to have him on the podcast.
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Pure Chiropractic with Dr. Kevin Fischer
We have Dr. Kevin Fischer, one of my best friends since forever. We went to chiropractic school together. We did everything together. How are you?
I am doing all right. How are you?
Pretty good. How’s working in the new office?
Work is good. It’s definitely a grind. I’m working at another office as well, trying to pick up some hours and pick up some shifts. The office is going well though.
It’s a lot of work to start up a new place.
At first, I had my doubts. Coming out of school, I was set on it. I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to see my own patients and bring in the patients that attract to me.
What I didn’t like about our school is they scare you with everything. “Don’t do this, you’re not going to be able to do this by yourself. Don’t adjust this person. That’s a huge red flag.” In some cases, they might have been right, but they put a lot of fear in you before you even get out there.
I haven’t come across it, but I guess they prepare you for the worst, which is a good sign to recognize it. The patients that you want to go out and seek and bring to your office ultimately you’re going to attract them.
Out of the hundred that graduated, you were up and running years ahead of everybody. How long did you have it in your head that you’re like, “My mind is made up, I’m doing this, and this is what it’s going to take?”
It started in school. There’s ten terms of chiropractic school. In third or fourth term, I got into this mentorship program with AMP. They are humongous around the nation. I didn’t know what it was. A classmate of ours, Nicole, brought me into it. I went to one of their seminars and it was good. They instilled confidence in you coming out of school, allowing you to open up with a lot of momentum.
Do they assign you like, “This is your guy that’s going to help you all along the way?”
They definitely have a person or another doctor that’s in there and he’s telling you what you should do, like a guideline. I didn’t fall along with it. You want to seek patients. There’s a lot of people who come right out of school and they’re seeing a lot of patients right out the start. I reached out to a guy down in Toms River, and this is where I was starting to search. This third and fourth term is where I started saying I want to do it. It still was so early for me to be where I wanted to practice.
I started getting later on six or seventh term, I reached out to a guy in Toms River. It was all about renting. I knew that I didn’t want to go out and get a loan from the bank. I had an idea to be an independent contractor, rent out of an office, have my own patients, and lower my overhead, which is humongous in the beginning. I didn’t do the one in Toms River, so I got into a riff with the guy. Toms River was a good idea at the time. There was a bunch of people in a community that seemed to be a decent place to practice.
Are you still in school at this point, looking at all this stuff? Even before you graduate, you’re trying to set everything up.
I’m looking into it. I visited his office when I came home for break. This might be the place, not knowing the area so much. I started thinking about other things that I can do in the meantime, like where should I start to do events, talks, all that good stuff. I finally got home and I did a preceptorship in Connecticut. That’s where I started honing in on where I wanted to be in practice and help people out. That further solidified when I was home, that in Toms River the drive was too far. With the traffic, it was impossible to get there if I wanted to be down there. A lot of my close family friends were in the county area that’s shooting towards Ocean County. It’s different, only 40 minutes away, but a different type of town.
Fast forward, I was in a whirlwind, was it going to a bank or finding another spot? February comes around, I have a job lined up at Atlantic City. That’s an hour commute. I have graduated at this point, and my license kicked in around late January. I got a job in February in Atlantic City for the meantime. I knew that if I opened up in February, I wouldn’t have that momentum. It took me two months to get out there. I found this realtor. He showed me a spot, I loved it, and in my mind, I wanted to be here. It was already set up for me. It was a blessing. The office had already a chiropractor in there. There’s so much stuff with an x-ray room. This saved me a lot of money, and there was one room for me to adjust and that’s all I needed. I signed the lease in March and I opened up April 4th that following month.
It was impressive because there was a ton of people in our class that weren’t even done yet. You had to set up shop. California is lacking. It took them three months to send my transcripts to New Jersey.
As a student, you’re trying to go through the process of having everything in line so you can set up and go out there and help a community that might need you in there.
I feel that they try to teach you their best about the business side of it, but how can you prepare? It’s your money, it’s your clients coming in, and it’s a different world. You can read all the books you want, but you can’t get it until it’s game time.
It’s crazy to think about that. I graduated a year ago and a year into business. It’s a lot of work. I’m tired, but I’m glad that I did it.
The last four years have been a lot of work. The amount of stress chiropractic school mentally puts on your body, it’s every day your adrenaline’s flowing. You have some guy with a clipboard, you have to regurgitate 30 orthopedic tests. Everything is crammed.
It’s easy to get into but tough to survive. They were weeding people out in that first month or two. It started with 130, and then at the end of two weeks it was down to 100. At the end of the first semester we were probably below 100 people.
I remember I was sitting next to one kid, and this kid never took anatomy. I was like, “What are you doing? You’ve got to get a book on it real quick.” On top of that, there are also some brilliant people, so it’s both ends of the spectrum.
We were in the middle of that group. We also didn’t know what we were getting into. We had no idea.
The first year of school was pretty much all bookwork. You don’t even remember why you’re at school for a while. It’s straight books. The workload was getting insane.
I remember first and second term weren’t hard, but there were a lot of introduction to what we were doing. Third term was probably the hardest. I was getting nervous because I was doing well in some classes.
Then they give you those little stupid classes that mean nothing that are hard.
It’s a lot of that tedious work that got to me. I was a year out. I was thinking about going back to New York to finish. That was term two. I missed everyone home. It was a lot. I was doing well. I wasn’t failing anything, I wasn’t slacking. It was a lot, and I have never been away. I went to community college, all of our friends, more of them went away and they experienced that.
It’s different when you have to hop on a plane to get back to everybody. Going away for three or four hours, I’m going to get in the car and go back for the weekend, and that’s fine.
I had a long talk with my uncle, and he’s like, “What do you want to do?” I said, “I want to be a chiropractor.”He’s like, “Let’s figure out a way to get you through this.” From right there, I hopped on a plane, I went home for a week, and it felt refreshing. Every single semester, I went home for a break. I took a week off from school. It sped up the semesters. I knew when my break was, I knew when midterms were going to be. When I had windows to leave, I come back and pretend I was sick. I am sorry, but everyone needs it because it’s tough to go in and be through. You have 22 credits. It goes up to about 26 each semester until our last eighth term or ninth term. It’s mentally draining a lot of these things, and they expect you to know and ace a lot of these tests. I don’t have that mental capability to ace everything. I never was that person.
What’s the difference? There are a couple people in our term that would get straight C’s, and they’re good doctors, and they graduated with us. You have people that were straight A’s, and it’s almost like they don’t talk to people.
They were more stressed, and I didn’t want to be that. I didn’t want to be that person who’s overstressing these things. It is stressful, but I didn’t want to have that on my shoulders at that point. That’s where all those breaks came into play and I needed that for my own psyche.
That happy medium makes you a better doctor because. There was a couple of people reading the book and it’s like, “This is how it looks like.”Take the book away, you have to talk to people. This is how it’s going to go down. You have to react to people, you can’t read something out of a book and think it’s going to be okay. You get a lot of good information from it, but you got to learn how to talk to people.
That’s why they also call it a practice. You take in learning experiences, and it’s not all by the book. How many times do you see it? How many times you see that person and know exactly what it is because you’ve seen it a lot of times? In the book is, it’s nice to know, but it’s not practice. It’s not real life at that point.
It was cool when we started treating people two years at those satellite clinics. You could start to see where you’re going and the skills you’re developing. It becomes hands on, and that’s the fun part.
You get fed a lot of information in your first, second, and third term. You have to be diversified. You have to be upper cervical. This is the best technique, but in reality, what do you like? What works for you?
We were lucky where we had those instructors who are like, “What do you do? Make sure you’re doing it well, and you can do your thing.” It allowed us to grow rather than other people had, “This is how I do chiropractic. This is the only way to do chiropractic. This is how you’re going to do it while you’re here.” How do you grow and do that?
Like yourself, you went in a different direction as far as chiropractic. It all works. It’s what you find interesting.
It’s what is going to get you out of the bed in the morning and happy to go to work.
It is all fun. I love what we do. It is a sport in a way. You use hand-eye coordination to adjust, and it’s definitely a skill.
It’s a skill. It’s an art. It’s awesome to see people will get better. After people’s first adjustment, they have no idea what to expect, and the excitement level on their faces is unreal.
It’s still amazing to me that a lot of people have the doubt about chiropractic when they come to see you. It’s happened to me a couple of times where that adjustment was their best one. They’re always scared on their first time experience. Those are the ones that you want to have all your energy into. It’s awesome to see and give them a great experience as a chiropractor.
I’m talking to random people that don’t believe in it. “It’s not a religion, why aren’t you believing it? It works. It’s scientifically proven that this works.” You’re going to run into people like that. Their mind is closed before you even start opening your mouth.
You’re going to attract people who want to be there. If they’re going to try and prove me wrong on things, I let them talk. Not that I don’t care about them, I wish them well, but those are the people I don’t want, because it brings the energy down as far as what you want to see and how they want to improve.
You start learning all that with all the different people that start coming into your office. There are a lot of people that are fun to treat because you get to go through that process with them. It’s cool to see them get better, and then they start bringing their families.
Being in practice, you start seeing those referrals come in. It means that you’re doing something, and you’re changing.
On top of that, you’re your own boss, which is the most phenomenal thing. Until it has happened to you, it’s unreal. You can make your own hours. You can do anything you want. If you’re not there, you’re not helping people or making the money, so you got to find that perfect balance. I do find when I’m working too many days straight, I’m not my best and I need that. The patients know that too.
The patients know that, and they’re like, “You need a break.” I’ve taken two breaks, and they’re like, “You deserve it.” It’s nice because they know you shouldn’t be working all the time.
You have some patients that come in that are like, “Are you all right?” You are human. There are days that you’re not feeling as good as the other. As a doctor, you have to put that shield up and be good all the time.
I am in an office too. I got an optometrist in my office in the back. I have a psychologist and life coaches that rent from my space too. One lady, who’s a patient of mine, she’s always like, “I’m supposed to be good at this.” She’ll come in and she’ll have her emotions with me. She gets right back into her place and she has to put on that front.
I was working with another doctor too and we would sometimes vent to each other, and you turn around and she’s right back in the waiting room.
It’s tough to put that face on the entire time because we’re not always happy, but you have to be able to make sure that your personal life isn’t getting in the way of what the patient needs.
You’ve got to figure out what hours work for you because what works for one person won’t work for the other. Once you find that sweet spot of what hours work for you, how many people you want to ad, it becomes fun. If you’re overdoing everything, it comes out.
I was working ten to seven. I didn’t have a break. I was allowing walk-ins to come in. I was waiting for them; it wasn’t fun. As much as I tried to get people closer together so I do have a break, I was allowing one person to come in at my lunch time. I finally was like, “I need to go on break. I need to make sure that I’m having my time. This is my schedule. If it works for you, great. If not, then we got to go our separate ways.”
You’re doing family practice right now. You see all walks of life, everything.
I don’t see as much as much kids and even infants. It’s tough to get that to come into your office because you have to market to it. When people ask if kids can get adjusted as well, absolutely, but that’s not my specialty. I had a pregnant lady come in and I helped her, but I said, “I think you need to go see someone who is certified in ICPA for kids.”In those offices, they have their special pillows and all these stuff for pregnant women and babies. I don’t have that, so I’d rather them get the best care they can.
When you realize that you can’t do everything and you start sending people this way and that way, it’s amazing what you see comes back at you.
It’s all about getting them to the right place and at the right time. In chiropractic, you can try and help everyone, but sometimes you need to get them out.
Are you leaning towards like sports chiropractic now? Is that something that you want to shift your practice to?
I have an opportunity. I’m working full time Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then I have my own practice Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The one lady that I worked for, she’s going through some health issues. She works with sports. She has physical therapy in our office, but it’s a lot. She’s adjusting almost 60 patients a day, and then those people sometimes go to physical therapy. It’s not even that I can’t adjust all those patients. It’s more of the business side and the insurance side too. She’s in networks. She knew a lot of referrals. It’s tough when it comes down to taking over. I don’t know if I’ll lean towards sports medicine, but we’ll just have to see when that time comes. It’s a couple of years away, but I’d like to have my own place.
You also found niche too, because your girlfriend, Amanda, she’s Brazilian.
A lot of the Brazilian community are very hardworking people. They do a lot of construction, and they are in need. They don’t know that chiropractic helps them. I’ve seen a bunch of them, but they all come in with the same pain, the lower back pain, all day long. They think it’s very expensive. I try and help them out the most that I can.
Is that something that’s in their culture? Do they have a lot of chiropractors around or is it still relatively new?
I don’t know if there’s a bunch of chiropractors out there. It’d be very nice maybe one day to head out there. It’s beautiful out there. She said that there is a school out there, but I’m not sure of how many practices they have around. It’s definitely open. It’d be nice. That would be a whole another process to go through, all the paperwork and licensing and all that stuff.
After going through that, what’s going to rattle you at this point? It was high pressure and high intensity all the time. It got us ready for what was coming next even though it’s completely different.
It’s tough to get rattled when your brain has been rattled for three years. When we graduated it was like I’m looking at a book for a year that I haven’t. To learn something else now is tough.
What I was naïve about right after school, a couple months after trying to do my own practice, I thought everybody in the business world had my best interests, whether it was talking to these people and make sure the new office was ready. I was very thankful for that to be all over and done and finally settling. That’s business. That’s what they don’t prepare you for. There were some kids in our class that thought they had it mapped out. It’s good to have that confidence level, but you can’t have it mapped out until it happens to you. There are a lot of people telling you what you can’t do, and you can’t listen to them.
The lady that I’m working with now, she wanted me to come right in after school. I exerted that level of confidence that I wanted to have my own practice. She’s like, “You can’t, because you don’t know what you’re doing.” I was like, “You might be right, but how am I going to know until I do it?” I was getting ready for an interview with another guy in Ocean. I’m sitting down with this guy, and he’s telling me he did $1.2 million last year. I look at him, and I’m like, “If you can do $1.2 million, I can have my own practice.” I knew that I can do it, and from that point on I was like, “I’m not working for you, I’m opening up in Ocean right next to you.” I had my mind set up. I saw some people, and I’m like, “How are they in their own practice? I can do that.”
If you don’t take no for an answer, it will get done. It might take longer because you don’t know what you’re doing, but if you keep falling through it and not giving into all the roadblocks, eventually you’ll get there.
It’s been the best thing that’s happened to me, and I’m so happy I did it. You can tell people you have your own practice. It’s nice to be your own boss.
What’s your website? Where are you located? Where can people find you?
I am located Route 35 in Ocean. It’s called Pure Chiropractic. My website is PureChiropracticHealth.com. All the information’s right there. Come check me out.
Thanks for so much for coming on. It’s been a pleasure.
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