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December, 2012

Build Your Practice Without Leaving Home: Online Training

By Peter G. Fernandez, DC

A reported 5.6 million college students (including those from colleges like MIT and Stanford) are now earning their degrees via online classes. It is estimated that 30 percent of all high school and college level students are currently learning online. From online technique classes to satisfying license renewal requirements, DCs have come to recognize the tremendous value online learning has to offer.

And now, DCs are going online to learn how to build their practices. Getting practice building education online is an ideal solution for most professionals. Balancing work, family and social obligations, in addition to physically attending practice building seminars can be very difficult, expensive and impractical for most doctors.

DCs are now attending practice building classes when and where they choose. They log in for class before their work day begins, while having lunch or after putting the kids to bed and they exit the class without disruption and pick up where they left off when they return. No more long security lines at the airport, no costly hotel rooms, food, etc.

The Advantages

Doctors appreciate the convenience of online practice-building classes. Classes are available 24/7, whenever and wherever you and your internet connected computer are. Citing lower transportation costs, day care and food expenses, Tarleton State University estimates their students save up to $1,000 per seminar by taking the same course online. Texas A&M University concurs that the real savings in online learning is found in reduced travel costs. In addition to travel and travel related expenses, most doctors have to close their practices for a day or more in order to attend a seminar. This loss of practice income can easily double a doctor's total seminar expense. It can cost thousands of dollars a year for a doctor to "go get" the instruction needed to build his/her practice, but with very few exceptions, the internet now "delivers" the same information for a very small fraction of the cost.

In order to get the very best practice building information and instruction, doctors had to travel to the seminar and purchase the related study materials. That was "then," the internet is "now." Today, the most travel a DC must do in order to get the practice building information they want or need, is the walk over to their computer. Gone are the days of waiting in long security lines, lost luggage, delayed flights, grumpy attendants, etc. Just get yourself a comfortable chair, log in and have the information you want and need delivered to you, fast and hassle free.

Doctors do not have to wait for the information they need to be presented at a distant seminar. Online practice building instruction is available 24/7, 365 days per year. Doctors can set their own study hours, anytime and anywhere. Thanks to the many mobile apps now available, you can choose to learn in your office, in your home, at the beach or practically anyplace you might be in the world.

Types and Formats

There is an abundance of online practice building classes and they are only a key stroke away. However, to help you make the best choice for you and your practice, the following is a brief description of the various types and formats of classes currently being offered online.

Webinars are the online version of the traditional "travel to" seminars and are typically offered as live broadcasts. Because of this, you can only attend these classes at a specified date and time. This rigid scheduling makes webinars one of the least favorite online learning formats. However, depending on the specialized information being offered and how qualified the presenter is, it could be in your best interest to "make the time" to register and attend a particular webinar.

Promotional classes (webinars or pre-recorded videos) are presented by entrepreneurs that want to sell you something. Depending on how relative the product or product information is to you and your practice goals, you could learn something of value by attending a promotional class. While no one wants to watch a class that is a sales pitch, the entrepreneur will usually give you some great information while trying to entice you to purchase more. If you can gain knowledge and have the option to accept or reject the sales pitch, why not view it? Remember, no one is forcing you to buy – you can just simply say "no."

A class module is made up of a series of classes pertaining to a common topic. DCs can now find practice building class modules online presented by some of the best practice building consultants in the country. When you sign up for a class module, you are paying for the complete series of classes within that module, you do not have the option to pick and pay for only certain classes. However, you can study each class at your own pace, whenever and where ever you choose.

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