Chris DeGeorge, D.C.
Finding Success With a Franchise
Chris DeGeorge, D.C., followed a conventional path when he graduated from Sherman in March 2000. Because he wanted to polish his skills in the Blair Technique, he took a position in Sedro-Woolley, WA, working with Michael Lenarz, D.C., a 1987 Sherman alumnus, certified Blair instructor, noted chiropractic author and member of Sherman’s Board of Trustees.
DeGeorge spent two years in Washington assisting his mentor with the operation of the practice while Lenarz was writing “The Chiropractic Way,” the first book written about chiropractic to be published by a major publisher, Bantam Books.
“Working with Dr. Lenarz after I graduated was a great experience,” DeGeorge says of his first experience following graduation. “I learned a great deal from him. To be the best chiropractor I could be, I felt like I needed to associate with someone successful.”
When DeGeorge left Washington, he returned to South Carolina to open an office in Bluffton, where he practiced for five years before closing that office to join the Upper Cervical Health Centers of America franchise team. Once again, his goal was to grow in his profession. Now an associate in Charlotte, NC, he works with Ray Drury, D.C., one of the founders of Upper Cervical Health Centers of America.
DeGeorge embraced Drury’s philosophy that to take upper cervical chiropractic to the world requires “an army of strong, passionate doctors” and that the more successful each doctor becomes, the stronger they become as a group and the greater impact they can have.
DeGeorge enjoys the fact that the Charlotte clinic is a training office for the franchise and that several other graduates of his alma mater share his passion for the UCHCA concept. Doctors working for 90 days in the office are able to understand how a successful practice is managed. They spend time learning marketing, patient management and the importance of billing, scheduling and collecting.
“The typical student coming out of school has a lot of experience to gain with running the actual business of a practice,” DeGeorge says. He explains that in training, the doctors put theory into action by actually marketing the practice, getting involved in the community and getting their names out there. But most of all, now that he has a broader perspective than when he graduated, DeGeorge appreciates the advantages that working with a franchise provides.
“A franchise gives you a blueprint that you can follow when you open your doors. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and you know that you are not out there alone,” he says of the comfort he takes from knowing that help and advice are only a phone call away. If I have a question about something, there are 45 or 50 other offices that are trying to do the same thing I’m doing. I just call and say, ‘How are you doing this?’”
For now he is content learning as an associate in the practice owned by Drury, but his ultimate goal is to own his own office in the franchise. “Working with a franchise puts you on the fast track,” DeGeorge says. “Within three years you can get to where it might take 10 years to get otherwise. I would strongly recommend that students check out the opportunities that franchises offer.”