Whether you're a young or seasoned practitioner, opening your own Chinese medicine practice is an exciting , daunting and worthwhile challenge. There's a lot that goes into being a practitioner—beyond the medicine part of it. You have to learn how to blend your medical expertise with business know-how. And as our society and life circumstances evolve, so must our perspectives and services.
In this conversation with Cara Frank, we mull over the idea of evolving as a small business and as a practitioner.
We talk about some of the life decisions we have to make along the way—and how to maneuver through the obstacles on our path. Sometimes you just have to jump into the abyss and trust that you'll figure it out.
Listen to this discussion on the kind of practice we can build and inhabit that reflects who we are, and what we have to offer.
In This Conversation We Discuss:
- The entrepreneurial spirit – seeing the gaps; seeing the opportunities as a ‘creator'
- Cara Frank's journey into the world of business, including her experience in a Goldman Sachs small business boot camp
- Dealing with an overflow of patients in practice
- The important role of small businesses in the community
- “Here's a tip for anybody listening: My biggest practice building nugget has always been, I attract the patients I can help the most. I'm a magnet for money doing the work I love.”
- Learning your craft – school vs. experience
- ‘Jumping into the abyss’—and trusting that you'll figure it out.
- A brief discussion on treating respiratory distress and dosing correctly, including mastering phlegm and the heroic dosage
- Bossiness, confidence, and compliance in practice
- Making mistakes as part of being human—and wearing off the rough edges
- How do you ease yourself into what is appropriate for you at a certain time?
Wise advice from my teacher Ted Kaptchuk. He said: Pay attention. Not in a slacking off way. In a “be attentive and be mindful way”. Be a lifelong learner. Stay curious and be generous with your time and knowledge.
Cara Frank, L.OM., is an acupuncturist, herbalist, businesswoman, and author. She was raised in a health food store in Brooklyn, NY. When she was 8, she cartwheeled 5 miles from Greenwich Village through Soho and Chinatown and across the Brooklyn Bridge. For nearly 40 years, Cara has had the same crazy passion for Chinese medicine. At 17, she had her first acupuncture treatment. At 20, she enrolled in acupuncture school. In 1998 she went to China to study, where she fell deeply in love with East Asian Herbs. Since then, she has devoted her life to studying and teaching the topic.
Cara is the founder of Six Fishes Healing Arts in Philadelphia, where she maintains a busy acupuncture practice and acts as the head fish of a warm and lively office. She is the president of China Herb Company and, in 2021, launched China Herb Seminars. Cara has published articles in international journals and is the author of TCM Case Studies: Eye Ear Nose and Throat Disorders.