Hours – Your opinion on evenings and weekends?
Please Note! Due to the high volume of irritating spam and slow-down of participation here, we are no longer accepting new comments, questions, or subjects on this Forum. We are keeping all the subjects and comments for review as there is a lot of good stuff here relating to practice-building subjects. So, dig deep! Thanks to everyone who participated here but it is time to move on to bigger projects educating the public about acupuncture! Matt Bauer
09-Apr-2014 07:42 PM
Hello Matthew and others,
My apologies if this is covered in your book – I have just finished the free chapters and ordered the hard copy, so I haven’t read the whole thing yet.
When I read your description of your practice, I found myself strangely elated when I read your hours – 9-12 and 2-5:30, Monday through Friday. Of course it just makes sense that if you have consistent hours it makes it easier to reach you.
I currently have “odd hours” – 12-8 on Monday, off Tuesday, 9-5 on Wednesday and Thursday, and 10-4 on Sundays. However I do have the ability to change my hours, and I would love to work a normal schedule.
I’m guessing from your hours that you find it’s not essential to provide evening and weekend hours. Has your clinic always operated this way? Have you ever offered evening and weekend hours? Have clients ever requested it? What do you tell them?
Thanks for your help!
-Jonah Ewell L.Ac
09-Apr-2014 09:24 PM
Hi Jonah – Thanks for posting here. I did work half days on Saturdays my first year or so but I realized that most of the people who wanted to be seen on Saturdays were doing it for convenience rather than necessity. I had a wife and two children and decided it was taking away to much from being part of my children’s growing-up just so someone didn’t have to leave work early once a week or so for treatment. As for evenings, although I state my hours as from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM – I will see patients earlier than 9 or later than 5:30 if they really need that. But I again found that most people could make it during my stated hours if they really wanted to see me. Most private practice Medical Doctors work the hours that I do and I did not want to have people think that an Acupuncturist was any less professional or needed to work beyond business hours. Now – if I had an associate working for me, I would have them cover some time Saturdays and an evening or two. I think it is a good idea to offer those expanded hours but it is not necessary for a solo practitioners especially one with family obligations. One last thing – I am in my office by 8:00 AM at the latest and work at least one hour of my “two hour” lunch. There is always lots of work to do above and beyond the patient contact time. I used to think I might offer some Saturdays after the kids had grown but now that they are grown, I find I badly need those two day weekends and have no plans to give any of that time up. Thanks again for your question.
10-Apr-2014 09:49 AM
Thanks for your quick reply and great answer. I suspected that the 2-hour lunch consisted at least in part of paperwork, cleaning, et cetera.
I think from now on I will commit to being in the office during certain hours even if I do not have an appointment at those times, and leave in a timely fashion as well.
14-Apr-2014 08:39 AM
My advice is that you be in your office during office hours and in those hours you don’t have patients scheduled you work on way to market your practice or improve your clinical or office operations. There should always to plenty to do even when you are not seeing patients and then you are there if someone stops by, calls, or emails.