Training the Wellness
Professionals of Tomorrow
The Masters Circle is a premier leadership coaching organization run by Doctors of Chiropractic for Doctors of Chiropractic. It allows each individual chiropractor to function as if he or she had a staff of hundreds—helping them manage their practice, recruit patients, negotiate with suppliers, and most important, analyze and keep abreast of new developments in their profession.
The Masters Circle story is but one example of what will emerge in all areas of the wellness industry as some wellness professionals realize they have a greater calling educating and training other wellness professionals than in just practicing wellness.
Dr. Bob Hoffman remembers his first chiropractic experience, at age 18. He had developed a critical case of mononucleosis, with lemon-size swellings, and his family medical doctor ordered him quarantined for four to six months. As luck would have it, his mother attended a luncheon club speech by a chiropractor and asked the speaker if he could help her son.
Bob was amazed when he sat in the waiting room of the chiropractor. Patients walked in limp and sad, and walked out strong and happy. Bob had never seen a doctor's office like this.
Bob was his last patient of the day, so the chiropractor was able to sit down and explain both mononucleosis and chiropractic care.
The X-ray of Bob's spine looked like a roadmap, and when Bob got his first adjustment he "instantly felt a rush, as if my body was just reconnected to the universe." He began to sweat profusely until all his clothes were soaked—which the chiropractor told him was an excellent sign. That night he had his first perfect sleep in months and when he awoke the next day his swellings were down 50 percent.
Bob returned to the chiropractor every two days for two weeks until he was completely healed. The chiropractor sent him back to the medical doctor for bloodwork, which showed normality, and the MD explained that he must have originally misdiagnosed the mononucleosis since he had never a seen a patient recover that quickly.
Three years later, when Bob graduated college, the same chiropractor sponsored Bob for chiropractic school at Columbia Institute of Chiropractic. Bob graduated in 1978 and began his practice on Long Island. In chiropractic school, Bob had been taught that the goal of a successful practice was to have 100 patient visits per week in 10 years—Bob reached this level in four months. By 1981 Bob was up to 700 visits per week and soon had the most successful chiropractic practice in New York state. Professionally, he served on multiple boards and was later elected president of the International Chiropractors Association.
By the early 1990s, Bob had three fulltime Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) working for him, and his practice had made him a millionaire many times over. Looking back over his first 20 years, he says: "I was constantly reinventing my practice over this period, adjusting it to changing times and new technology, without ever losing its purpose or the history and heritage of chiropractic."
During his years in practice, Bob became friends with Dr. Larry Markson. In 1981, After 20 years as a chiropractor, Larry broke his elbow and couldn't practice chiropractic, so he started consulting other chiropractors while he healed. He found that he was so good at consulting that he never returned to practicing, and built a successful chiropractic consulting business known as Markson Management Services (MMS). He was joined by another well-known chiropractor, Dr. Dennis Perman, and together they grew their consulting business into The Masters Circle.
In 2000, The Masters Circle had 270 DC members paying approximately $7,000 a year each for consulting services—with each chiropractor member receiving service as if he or she personally had this $2 million staff coaching their business. But wellness was taking off, and something was needed to take The Masters Circle, and the businesses of their chiropractor members, to the next level.
The next level occurred when Larry and Dennis made a deal with Bob Hoffman, the most successful chiropractor in the state, to become president and CEO of The Masters Circle. Looking back on the last six years, Bob reflects: "At first, I was reluctant, but now I realize that no matter how many people I was able to help in my practice, it pales in comparison to how many people I am able to help now by helping thousands of chiropractors."
Under Bob's leadership, The Masters Circle has grown almost 400 percent in less than 6 years, to 1,000 DC members each paying an average of $9,000 per year. In our interview, Bob pointed out that the average practice of his members, which was already $300,000 per year, increased 27 percent last year alone. Or put another way, "each chiropractor paying $9,000 a year got a ten times (1,000 percent) return on their investment in The Masters Circle."
Each member of The Masters Circle receives the following benefits.
Five National Seminars—Each seminar is two to three days long, and teaches the latest techniques, personal development skills, success principles, leadership, business acumen, and current healthcare trends. Seminars are attended by both DC members and their staff.
Year-Round Think Tank—Eighteen chiropractic consultants available by appointment or at open hours each day for consultation or problem solving.
125 Mini-Seminars—These virtual seminars, called PODs (for Practical Open Discussions), are telephone conferences attended by up to 20 members at a time. They consist of a 15-minute, single-topic lecture with "cross-podination" afterward. Some members take two to three PODs a year and some take two to three PODs a week.
Eight-page Monthly Newsletter—Secrets to creating the practice of your dreams.
MasterTalk—Audio magazine sent every month
Monthly Statistical Analysis—Computerized statistical analysis of each member's practice each month, analyzing retention, practice trends, strengths, and weaknesses.
MasterMemo—A monthly editorial and member update from Dr. Larry Markson.
Chiropractic Assistant Newsletter—A monthly newsletter for Chiropractic Assistants.
Weekly E-column every Monday morning.
Online Bulletin Board—A place where members can post anything they wish and contact and share ideas with other members.
In 2000, the average member of The Masters Circle received coaching, training, and education equivalent to his or her each having a staff of 10 people costing $2 million. Today, each member receives the equivalent of having a staff of 100 people costing $9 million.
In 2004, TMC started a new education and training program for CAs (Chiropractic Assistants); last year they graduated their first class of 268 certified CAs in full cap and gown.
Bob Hoffman really lights up when he talks about what's coming next. He, Dennis, and Larry realize that as important as chiropractic care is, it is just one component in the emerging $1 trillion wellness industry. Looking back on what TMC has been able to bring to the chiropractic profession, Bob wants to see similar coaching, training, and professionalism made available to all wellness professionals—TMC already has a few non-DC members, including an MD and an Emergency Room nurse. Bob is currently traveling around the world developing a plan to bring what TMC has learned to the greater wellness community.
The story of TMC is but one example of how successful wellness practitioners often have a duty, and a higher calling, to become teachers and trainers to their chosen profession within the wellness industry.