Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

A Call to Action

By Angelo Santin   

Features Leadership Profession

Canadian Chiropractor welcomes our newest columnist, Dr. Angelo Santin,
who will be sharing practice management and growth tips for DCs.

Canadian Chiropractor welcomes our newest columnist, Dr. Angelo Santin, who will be sharing practice management and growth tips for DCs.

As a new graduate in a small rural town, I struggled in my first year of practice. I found I didn’t have the words to communicate chiropractic or the experience to deal with different personality types. Patients would drop out of care prematurely or use me as a receptacle for all their problems. They weren’t motivated or inspired. Consequently, they dragged me down.


It wasn’t until I took responsibility for searching out the answers and making changes that I began to see my practice grow. The growth, I observed, was the result of my patients’ improved understanding of the true benefits of chiropractic.

The reason I wanted to write this column was that I want to share with you some of the gems that helped me help my patients achieve this understanding and, ultimately, grow my practice so that you can benefit also.

In this first article, I want to start from the beginning and lay out keys to making some initial changes for you and your practice. This information is, essentially, a collection of readings, seminars, and conversations with various mentors and leaders in our profession. Collectively these experiences motivated me to start the process of making changes for myself.

Let’s review the keys for initiating growth in your practice.

This seems basic, but it is the necessary first step to change our mindset. In my first year of practice, I went to various seminars listening to people like Carter, Mancini, Riekeman, Esteb, Clum, and many others. I was inspired and impressed by their message and their confidence in chiropractic.

But, at first, I was looking for the “magic bullet” – some new script, or new gizmo, that would make me successful. As I listened to them, I realized success had nothing to do with these external things. In fact, the only way I would make any changes was if I started to take responsibility. Having graduated from CMCC, I know I received a good, scientific education – however, as a new chiropractor, there were many areas in which I lacked proficiency. Therefore, it was necessary for me to go out and spend my own time and resources to add this knowledge to my repertoire.

Taking the first step and owning up to my own fate got the ball rolling.

When I began practice, I had no concrete idea of why I was doing what I was doing nor did I know where I wanted to be in the future. With the help of a few mentors, and other resources that I read, I began to write down some goals, missions and visions for my practice.

Just to clarify, a mission is why we exist and a vision is what we want to be. These statements guided me in everything that I did from that point on. Once these were in place I was able to do the things I needed to do to get me to my vision.

Once I heard from these amazing leaders in my profession, I began to see a pattern. Many of them delivered similar messages that rang true with me and I slowly began to realize that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Many of these inspirational speakers I had contact with, or listened to (for example, Dr. James Carter, Bill Esteb and Dr. Tom Preston) have systems and procedures that have worked for many chiropractors. I decided to use these resources and, eventually, made them my own over time.

These resources were a guide for me to run my practice and turned out to be invaluable.

Early on, I would go to seminars, keep the information I gathered in my binder for weeks and then, never actually look at it again! It is extremely important to take what you have learned and make some action steps. These steps should detail what you are going to do, how you are going to do it, and finally when you will do it. You need to set a timeline so you can keep yourself accountable or use a colleague and keep each other accountable. This is a sure-fire way of taking what you learned and putting it into practice!
I welcome any comments or questions. You can contact me either by e-mail or you can call me directly.

Remember – when it comes to your practice, work from the inside out.

Keys for Initiating Change
Key 1 – Take responsibility

  • There is no magic bullet.
  • Success does not come from external elements or other people, but from within you.
  • Start to educate yourself in areas where you lack proficiency.

Key 2 – Formulate a vision and a mission

  • Establish your direction.
  • Mission is why we exist.
  • Vision is what we want to be.

Key 3 – Learn from the experts

  • Look for mentors and established expert information in the profession.
  • Use a variety of resources as guidelines.
  • Make the information your own, to fit your practice vision.

Key 4 – Create action steps

  • Collate what you learn and create a plan.
  • Include what you will do; how you will do it; when you will do it.
  • Establish a system for accountability to yourself or with a colleague.

Dr. Angelo Santin is a 2006 graduate of the CMCC. He operates a busy subluxation-based family practice in Thunder Bay, Ont., and is currently serving his second year as president of the Thunder Bay Chiropractic Society. Dr. Santin is one of a small number of international proficiency-rated chiropractic coaches, and draws on his success, along with the experience of the most renowned experts in this field, to provide time-tested, effective and patient-centred ideas for every chiropractor. He can be reached at or 807-344-4606.

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