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Welcome to ChiroSecure’s weekly show Chiropractic, Connecting People and Communities with this week’s host Dr. Kim Hoang. As Dr. Kim says, and I quote, “starting off as a female chiropractor and also Vietnamese. I found that there are a lot of challenges that I’ve been able to overcome and have built two successful practices with a lot of determination and a lot of hard work.” And now here’s Dr. Kim, hello, ChiroSecure nation. I wanted to thank of course, ChiroSecure for giving me this platform to be able to share my story and hopefully influence my fellow colleagues who are just maybe starting off, uh, and building their own practice. Um, little bit about myself. Uh, I’ve been practicing for about 20 years in the greater New Orleans area. I have two offices, one on the East bank and West bank of New Orleans. I went to Parker University and, uh, after graduation I moved back home or actually to Louisiana home is actually a town about 60 miles South of new Orleans.
And there I practiced with, uh, a doctor, um, who, uh, I learned a lot from, I, I practiced with her for about four years. Uh, and I knew it was time for me to be able to venture out on my own, but I was scared. Um, I didn’t have the financial back up. Um, uh, and, uh, so a little bit about my family history. Um, both my parents were immigrants from, um, Vietnam and, uh, when they came to the United States, they pretty much came with the clothes on their back. Um, my, uh, both my parents were in the fishing or the seafood industry, my mom, she shucked oysters for a living and my dad, um, he went shrimping, crabbing, uh, worked in the oil rigs, um, and through, um, some bad investments, uh, mainly a, a shrimping boat. That’s saying we pretty much lived in debt our whole lives.
And excuse me, I knew that that was not how I wanted to, uh, live my life. Uh, so I was determined and I put myself through school, uh, and, uh, went to, uh, again, Parker university graduated, uh, in 2000. And, uh, again, whenever I started in, I ventured off on my own, I didn’t really know what to do. And, um, with, uh, some, some of the things just kind of lined up and I was able to get into a practice where I was partnered with, uh, another friend colleague of mine. And then eventually I was able to buy him out and then, um, and then pretty much, uh, bought the building that I’m in right now. Um, but whenever I did that, um, and, and this is what I wanted to share with, with you guys. Um, I wanted to start off at, with a low overhead.
Um, I didn’t, I did not want to, uh, live above my means. Uh, and so with that, it was a minimal practice. Um, we pretty much, um, went to, um, well actually just, uh, had, uh, an adjusting table and also a couple of different, uh, therapy, uh, bed. Uh, and, uh, as far as the loan that I had taken out again, it was probably maybe 20, 30,000. It wasn’t a lot at all. And I was able to actually, uh, work hard, um, and basically be able to pay that off in no time. Um, but in any event, um, as I was able to accumulate, uh, revenue and wealth, um, I knew that I wanted to pay off any debt that I had, of course, student loan, uh, and, you know, mortgages things of that nature. But, you know, again, my point is that live below your means.
I think that in today’s society, we kind of want to keep up with the Jones and we tend to create debt, uh, and, uh, you know, it, it, it’s just a negative spiral. And again, I think that I learned from the way that I grew up and I did not want to be in that position. Um, so that would be, um, the, the first, uh, recommendation that, that, that I would tell my fellow colleagues, um, uh, let’s backtrack, uh, again, um, I, I wanted to let, you know, as far as, um, why I B, why I became a chiropractor. Um, so whenever I was young, um, at the age of eight and also 13 years old, I was in a couple of car accident. Never did anything about it because we didn’t know, uh, that we were able to go to the doctor’s office. Um, and I developed back pain since I was 13 years old.
Uh, and it wasn’t until I went to undergrad that I was able to meet, uh, my, uh, mentor. Uh, her name is Dr. Saline, and she took me under her wings. And I then knew at that time that I wanted to become a chiropractor. Um, and so everything that I have here at my office, I’m able to have a personal testimony for my patients. Um, I am able to try it out, I’m able to let them know, and that personal testimony goes so far. Um, so, um, in any event, um, now currently, uh, one of the things that, um, in, in, in back to the financial portion of it, you know, once you’re able to, um, to make money and save money and reinvest into your office, uh, whether it be, you know, going from a, um, printed, uh x-ray to a digital, uh, x-ray machine, or, you know, if you wanted to invest in, uh, the, in a $10,000 table, or recently we actually had incorporated, uh, the ACA spinal decompression table, um, technology has come so far and to be able to, um, uh, give this as a, uh, as an added service to your practice, uh, not only do you see your patients flourish, um, but you know, also you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re able to, um, uh, see the, the, the financial benefits of it as well, too.
Um, so, um, the next thing I wanted to talk about was, uh, in, in some of the things that I think has helped me build two successful practices is, um, also trying to learn another language. Um, whenever I first started off in practice, I knew at that point that I wasn’t the best chiropractor, um, but there was a need, uh, for, um, some of the minorities as far as Spanish speaking or either, uh, Vietnamese speaking, um, patients. And, uh, at the time I, whenever I started my private practice, although Vietnamese is my first language, I actually did not continue to use that language for, uh, an extensive period of time. So then whenever I started my private practice, I actually had to learn the language again. And, um, it’s a little different because whenever you speak, uh, in just, you know, everyday dialect is, hi, how are you?
But then once you have to speak about discs, uh, as, uh, uh, muscle, uh, where is the spine? You know, the vertebrae, things of that nature, you have to relearn it again, but to be able to communicate with my patients, that is one of the draw that I have, uh, here in my practice. Um, they come to me because I am able to speak their language. And I know that whenever I communicate with them, it is different. Um, it’s, it’s, there’s, there’s Google app, the Google translate now, but sometimes it’s very spotty is sometimes it’s okay. You, you hurt. Okay, where do you hurt? Is it radiating down the leg? Is it a sharp pain? All of those things are important. And so it, for me, of course, I was able to relearn the language. However, if you don’t know the language, then like Spanish, have someone in your office that speaks the language.
Um, so in my two offices, I always have a Spanish speaking person in each of the offices. And, uh, on a side note, I actually have tried to, um, take courses, learn Spanish as well, too. Um, that’s my ultimate goal. Um, but, uh, uh, have someone there to be able to translate and make sure that you get the full story. We owe it to our patients to be able to make sure that we are taking care of them to the best of our ability. Okay. So, um, and, and, and look around your area and see what the demographics are. Um, the, the practice where I’m at right now, my primary practice, I knew that there was a big Vietnamese community. So I knew that there was a market for it. And to this day, I think we probably have maybe just a handful of, of, uh, Benyamin chiropractors and these patients need our care, but they want to be able to speak to someone who was able to understand them as well, too.
And just like with the Hispanics, um, I think Spanish is probably, you know, one of the most spoken language in the world. Um, but to be able to have someone there to translate it, that there’s going to be a draw for it. Um, and, uh, uh, so learn another language, um, French, uh, Italian. I’m not sure whatever demographics, uh, uh, patients that, that you may have. Um, also, um, I, so I’ve been in private practice for about 16 years. I probably have, so we have three doctors in between the two offices and probably about six or seven chiropractic assistants. And I want to say that I probably have maybe a handful of employees that have been with me for almost 10 years. And I think that, um, that speaks volume. Um, uh, I think it’s, uh, because, um, I am able to pay them well and also listen to their needs, but hold them accountable, hold them responsible for what you expect them to do.
Um, so say, for example, if I were to go out of town, then normally it’s going to be my, my, my senior associate and also my office manager. They’re the two that’s going to be in charge. And guess what, there’s an issue. They’re not calling you, they’re going to call the office manager or either the, the, the senior associate so that they can troubleshoot it for you. Um, and also be approachable, uh, as, uh, as an employer, I find that sometimes the new employees, they get scared. They get scared to approach you because they think, Oh, she’s too busy. Um, I don’t really want to tell her how I feel, and then eventually you just don’t see them anymore. And again, uh, I’ve been in private practice for about 16 years. So I’ve seen my fair shares of, you know, employees coming and going. And we have a group of core, um, employees that have been with me for again, you know, 10 years or so.
And so whenever I get the new employees, sometimes we learn in terms of what had happened in the past. And how can we communicate with the new employees better? Um, uh, I always believe that I can always better myself. I never say that I am perfect. Um, because once you say you’re perfect, you quit learning and you quit growing. So I feel that if there’s a situation where, okay, this employee only worked for a couple of days and she left, okay, well, let’s look within our practice and the way that we communicate in the way that we’re doing something and what else can we do differently? And so I think that’s been, that has been able to help me, um, bring, uh, a, um, a good core of employees that understands their role. And, um, whenever one employee leaves, I know that I have a, um, set of, um, criteria that I have learned from the one that the employee that left to implement it on the new employee and tell them and tell them what to expect at the beginning.
I think that each person is different as far as with the role that they take. And I think that, um, sometimes it’s hard for us to say, okay, this is your job. I mean, yes, we have a handbook, but there’s different. You know, I have an office manager, she knows that she pretty much takes care of a lot of things, but to be a good leader, you have to delineate your task. And so the next person then feels that, okay, well, I thought she was supposed to do it. So in any event, you know, trying to delineate the task and also telling them what to expect, and then again, you know, paying them well as well too. Um, I think that once I was able to, uh, compensate the senior employees a little bit better, um, there was, uh, an expectation on my end that I was, you know, that, that I would say, okay, you know, what, it’s your job do it.
Okay. Uh, as far as being dramatic, um, I’m just not going to take it. I’ll listen to you, but I’m not going to be here to babysit you. Okay. Um, so, and then another thing, um, is learning is earning. Um, and so what I love is I think that in my 16 years of practicing, there were some points in my career where I just felt like I was just going through the cycle, you know, going to work, seeing the patients, if the patient came in great. If they didn’t. Oh, well, um, and, um, it was going through some life experience, um, where I was able to, uh, get a coach and my coach, um, Dr. Bob Hoffman with master circle has been amazing for, for me personally. Um, he was, he’s been able to, um, motivate me and also guide me and coach me, uh, as far as things from handling stats to also taking seminars in and also furthering your education. Um, I find that where I was 10 years ago is definitely, I’ve definitely advanced to where I am today. And, and that comes in part with always trying to learn more, whether it be for us recently, we have just gotten a national certification of a disc decompression, uh, and, uh, um, we, so, so we’re the disc specialist, and it’s great to be able to say that because
Not a lot of chiropractors out there are disc decompression specialists.
So, so maybe loaning, you know, a niche that you may love and that you, uh, are passionate
About is going to
Give you an identity. Um, I myself have had a couple of disc herniations again from a couple of the car accidents that I mentioned to you, and then later on in my life as well, too. So that’s something I’m passionate about because that’s something that I have, and I understand it very, very well. So, um, and, um, probably about once or twice a year, I take my staff, uh, in, in for the seminars are handpick, um, certain staff members, and we’ll go to seminars outside of the new Orleans area. And it is a time that, uh, not only that we can connect together, but also to, to, to meet other professionals, um, in the, in, in, in a field, you know, talk to their staff or either, um, just, um, brainstorming. Um, and I think that that, uh, helps motivate us. So whenever we come back from these seminars where we’re, we’re recharged and also we’re excited, and sometimes you need that.
Um, I think that in private practice sometimes, um, we get set in our ways and if no one’s pushing us, we don’t really do much about it. Um, because no one is really telling us, Oh, you need to take this test and you need to pass it, or else you’re not going to be able to advance no, it’s our practice. We do whatever it is that we want, but at the same time, we need to be able to get that motivation. Um, so, uh, you know, again, uh, uh, continuing education is an important part of, uh, of my practice. Um, so, um, other than that, um, I hope that, uh, I have been able to inspire, uh, some of my colleagues and, and this is the reason why I wanted to do the show. Um, I would tell you that I am usually not a, um, uh, a person that’s good in front of the camera.
Um, but, um, you know, I wanted to get outside of my comfort zone and also more importantly is to inspire my fellow colleagues and, and, and let you guys know that, Hey, look, you know what, when, when, whenever you come from nothing, you sometimes think that, Oh, it’s so sad that you know, that this happened to me, don’t think of it like that, you know, take it and run with it and take the positive out of it. So what I’ve learned is that, Hey, you know what, I was not, uh, blessed as far as financial, uh, financially, you know, growing up, I was blessed with a lot of love for my family, and I still remain very close to all of my siblings and, and that’s, that’s my heart. Um, but I was, I was blessed with the drive and I find that that drive will allow me to say success is, is, is, is, is, is a must.
Um, um, there’s, there’s, there’s no room for failure. And, um, I, I get excited because my, my practice is pretty much my baby, but, you know, sometimes I’ll wake up at two, three o’clock in the morning and, you know, ideas come into my head and, and I get excited about that. And, um, whenever I’m able to, you know, especially see my patients get better, of course, that’s, that’s, that’s why we become who, who, who we are. Um, and, and, you know, to be able to, to advance yourself and your knowledge, and be able to, uh, allow or be able to give that service to the patient and be able to see that their lives are, are, are, are, are saved, you know, from what we do. Um, it just, life, life can’t be better. I mean, that’s, to me success, you know? Um, so I think that, uh, I, again, I think I’m going to wrap it up today and I look forward to speaking to you, uh, in my next show, which will probably be in about a month and next week, speaker is going to be Dr. Frank Vaught. And, um, I hope you have an amazing day.