Sherman College of Chiropractic
Experts in the Business of Running a Practice
by Freelance Writer Beverly Knight
Some in the profession realize that education doesn’t end when a doctor graduates. In 2001, Sam Wang, D.C., graduated from Sherman and established an office just outside Chicago with two of his classmates – Gary Roeben, D.C., and Brian Rutecki, D.C.
Wang is now CEO of Chiro One, which has grown to 56 offices with another 10 set to open soon. Roeben serves as Chiro One’s director of marketing, and Rutecki is the chief training officer. Coming so far in less than 10 years took drive and a strict adherence to the vision that the three young chiropractors embraced when they opened that first office.
“We realized that our chiropractic colleges were doing a fantastic job with the academic training, but the day-to-day challenge was running the business aspect of a practice,” Wang says of the impetus for developing Chiro One into the one of the largest privately owned chiropractic clinic groups in the profession.
The three young men discovered that most people go into the profession because they want to help others to better health.
“We set out to find a way to manage the business aspect of the practice so that our doctors could take care of patients, do what they went to school to learn to do,” Wang says of the business they developed to help doctors with everything from hiring trainees, handling payroll, managing accounts receivable and billable and dealing with legal compliance issues. “Our goal was to make it easier for doctors to focus on educating and caring for patients.”
That entrepreneurial attitude has been so successful that Wang left his full time practice five years ago and is now dealing entirely with the administrative side of the business. He assists in training doctors and handles the corporate administration of getting practices up and running. The group now manages a team of 400 chiropractors and staff members and tallies more than 43,000 patient visits a month.
“I have my hands on everything that has to do with running a practice,” Wang says, likening Chiro One's branding to McDonald’s. “Chiro One has standardized what chiropractic is in our offices. Just like you can walk into any McDonald’s and expect the Big Mac to be the same, we want patients to be able to walk into our office in Waukegan (IL) or one of our offices in Kentucky and know just what kind of experience to expect.” And now Chiro One is set to expand into Texas, a huge market that Wang feels is ready for their concept.
But he emphasizes that their model was not designed to be either a franchise operation or a coaching situation. They look upon the relationship with their doctors “like a marriage,” Wang says, focusing on the development of a relationship that helps everyone to succeed and reach goals. “We create the opportunity for them to grow, find themselves, become leaders. When the opportunity arises, they can take advantage of leadership in our group.”
Citing the fact that seven to 10 percent of the population now utilizes chiropractic, Wang, who knows what a difference chiropractic can make in a person’s life, wants to spread the word about the benefits of chiropractic care. “But it’s not only important that people experience chiropractic care, we want them to access it in a beneficial way instead of as crisis care,” Wang says, comparing the patient who only seeks chiropractic care where he’s in pain to someone who buys an expensive computer and only uses it to check e-mail.
Wang advises aspiring chiropractors “to create a mission and vision that’s larger than themselves,” something that inspires them. And, he says, “they need to have the ‘why’ of what they’re doing. Having a career and taking care of a family financially is easy. What do they want after that?”
Wang knows what he wants.
“We have attained enough to retire and go off into the sunset, but our vision is so big that we want everyone to be under chiropractic care,” Wang says. “We’ll be in your town, and it’s just a matter of time.”