When David Keller was a young man in medical school, his future wealth seemed guaranteed. But in the past 30 years, the practice of medicine has become a great deal less profitable. Because of increased government regulations, HMO reporting requirements, malpractice insurance, and administrative obligations, the cost of running a medical practice today is astronomical. At the same time, the amount that doctors can charge for their services has been severely restricted.
The net result is that doctors work harder, endure more stress, deal with more hassles, and get paid less today than ever before.
"My colleagues and I don't like to think about what we get paid on an hourly basis," David said. "Considering the cost and time we've invested in our education, it's not an encouraging thought."
Lots of doctors today are leaving their practices to pursue more lucrative professions. "I never considered that," David said. "I love what I do. And I think it's important. For me the question wasn't 'What else can I do that pays more?' but 'How can I make more by being more effective in my work?'"
David found his answer in 1999.
One of his colleagues, a physical therapist, was talking to him about alternative medicine—a field David had been studying since he became disillusioned with the results of some of the conventional protocols he'd been taught in medical school. ...