Don’t be the Bernie Madoff of Chiropractic

The Four Pillars of Trust

Trust. Without it is hard to be truly successful in life.  To learn about trust let’s look at the life of Bernie Madoff.  Bernie Madoff looked like a successful person.  He had all the trappings of a successful life; fame, fortune, and prestige.

Then we found out he was a fraud.  A massive fraud.  It is estimated that his Ponzi scheme cheated investors out of $50 billion dollars.  Bernie Madoff ruined countless lives and ended up losing his freedom in the process.

If we aren’t careful our lives can turn out just like his, with a few less zeros behind the numbers.  Let’s look at the four pillars of trust so we can make sure we earn the trust of our patients and team members.


Trust always begins with intent.  You can hide your intent for a while like Bernie, but it will always come out in the end.  Bernie never intended to help his clients.  His business was one big lie and his intent all along was self-serving.

Is your intent to pay the rent and your staff or to help patients?

Is your intent to get a nice Lexus SUV or to help patients?

Is your intent to boost your practice numbers or to help patients?

Is your intent to stay in network with insurance companies or help patients, insurance companies and their artificial limits be damned?

If your intent is any of the above you will eventually fail.  Staff and patients will see right through you and leave you and your practice high and dry.  Your intent must be to help patients to the best of your ability.  You must recommend everything they need.  Not one visit or service more or less.  Period.


Bernie said he was taking money from his clients and investing it for them.  People trusted their hard earned money to him.  Turns out he wasn’t doing that at all.  The investment side of his business was a massive Ponzi scheme.  His words and his actions did not match up.

Do your words and actions always match up?  When you say you are going to do something for a patient or team member do you always follow through?  Are you being 100% honest with your billing procedures?  Do you do the right thing even when no one is watching?


Bernie Madoff seemed to be very capable.  He had run an investing firm since the 1960’s and helped set up the NASDAQ stock exchange.  Would he have been able to make it as a legitimate financier and investor?  We will never know.

Are you a capable adjuster?  Do you constantly invest in continuing education credits to grow yourself?

Take the time to grow yourself.   Grow yourself as a clinician and business owner.


Bernie Madoff promised good returns on the money he was given.  When the market started to crash in late 2008 his investors wanted to take their money plus returns out of his firm.  Around $7 billion dollars was withdrawn.  The problem was that Bernie only had $200-$300 million left.

What are the results of care in your office?


Do you get people well and keep them well?  Has your staff been with you for the long term?  If you don’t get people the results patients want do you refer them out to other health care providers.

The beauty of chiropractic is that it works. It is simple in its principles and application.  It is very effective.  With these four pillars in place, there is no limit to the impact you can make in people’s lives.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Anthony Rojo

    well said!