Recently, our Career Services department invited Dr. De Adrea Fontaine, who graduated from SCNM in 2013, to give a presentation to our students entitled, “Don’t just survive—thrive! How to Start Your Own Practice.”
Dr. Fontaine is competent in all areas of general medicine because her training has taught her to address the cause of disease. In her quest for her own personal health, Dr. Fontaine became interested in weight loss. She also specializes in treating acute infections, skin conditions, conditions that affect the aging population, men’s health, pain management and aesthetic medicine as it relates to aging gracefully.
Here are some highlights of Dr. Fontaine’s informative talk.
What are the most important things new naturopathic doctors should keep in mind when starting their own practice?
The most important things are to have a great vision, have capital (even if it means saving $10 per week), and believe in yourself. And the most successful practitioners pick a niche. Ask yourself, “what does the public want?”
You and your business partner (Dr. Ubong Attah Prince, SCNM 2013) had nearly 800 patients within the first six months of opening your practice. How did you attain that patient base so quickly?
It was a blessing. We didn’t turn away patients. We built rapport and word of mouth. We rented from a chiropractor who had a plastic surgeon in the office, and they both referred patients to us.
What do you specialize in?
Aesthetics, because that is what the people who come to us want. You have to meet people where they are. But we do everything. My favorite modality is hydrotherapy, and I use it as part of my general family practice.
How many of your patients are revolving door patients?
About 20%. These patients pay a flat fee to join, and they can come in every month and have 24-hour access to us. (Though only about 12% will follow up regularly, due to their busy schedules.)
How did you advertise your business?
Marketing was so important. We focused on SEO optimization and paid Google so that our practice would come up toward the top of the list during a search. We did Groupon specials. It wasn’t about the money, but about getting our name out there…With regard to prices for our services, we are probably mid-range. Don’t lowball yourself. You know more than most doctors out there. You’re taught to look for the root cause, and that is so important.
As an alumna, Dr. Fontaine is an excellent ambassador of SCNM as well as the field of naturopathic medicine as a whole. We sincerely appreciate her presentation and wish her continued success in the future.
To learn how SCNM can prepare YOU for a rewarding career in medicine, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480.858.9100.