D.C. Alumnus, Associate Professor- Distance Learning

“Creative Solutions for more Patient Access: Improving Bureaucratic Practice

New York City born and bred Dr. Joseph Forese is a driven doctor constantly on the move. Nonetheless, he knows how to live a life well balanced between his work and spending precious time with his wife of 28 years and their two daughters. He flew out of New York when he was 18, joined up with the Air Force as a civil engineer and served as a veteran during Desert Storm. Circa 1997, Dr. Forese settled down in Marietta, Georgia to begin his chiropractic education at Life University (Life U). He has been connected to or taught for his alma mater in some fashion since that time.

“I always believed in the self-healing properties of the body, which is why I was drawn to Chiropractic in the beginning,” said Dr. Forese.

After graduating with his hard-earned D.C. degree in hand in 2002, he practiced in Smyrna, Georgia for a few years before deciding to go to medical school. A major impetus for this decision simply had to do with the constant limitations that Dr. Forese ran into, complications related to insurance companies denying chiropractic care coverage “in mass” at that time.

“That was the burgeoning of ‘They are not going to be able to tell me what I can and can’t do.’ So, I looked into going back to medical school so I could practice any way I wanted under the umbrella of insurance,” said Dr. Forese.

Fast forward to 2007, Dr. Forese becomes a licensed M.D. in addition to his D.C. credentials. He has since owned and operated a chiropractic office at one point, as well as a hospital-based practice. He has held executive positions at the highest level, even as President and CEO of a hospital and several healthcare related businesses. Serving in both medical and chiropractic capacities has been rewarding to Dr. Forese; though today, he is more focused on the chiropractic side of things.

Currently, he works at Mason Mill Chiropractic in Decatur, Georgia, happy to practice Chiropractic as part of a team dedicated to the pursuit of good health. The office sees about 200-300 patients a week, so “it is a pretty busy practice, a true community practice.” He also currently teaches through Distance Learning for Life University, with the classes changing each quarter based on need and popularity.

When asked for advice for new and upcoming chiropractors on how to succeed in the current climate, Dr. Forese has some interesting insights. Of course, he reiterated that there is no one right answer or one-size-fits-all for all students or new chiropractors. For some, he advised it might be beneficial to work in the office of an established chiropractor for a significant time before considering setting up their own shop. With that said, it is wise to ‘be careful and make sure everything is structured and written out, so everyone knows their roles and rights and responsibilities.”

Dr. Forese sagely reminds us that, as a business professional, it is important to remember that many times the business dealings that chiropractors will enter into are often transactional in nature, so students need to know what they are intending and expecting to get out of any defined arrangement and what the expectations are of the other party as well. For those that feel led to make the leap to their own practice, Dr. Forese has some smart rules of thumb.

“I would suggest low overhead; start small and then grow organically. Don’t come out guns blazing in a huge office and a huge practice and take on a lot of debt,” said Dr. Forese.

Dr. Forese mentioned personal injury as a lucrative, though sometimes looked down upon, path in the chiropractic world; however, those patients need care as well, so it is an avenue to consider. Overall, he emphasizes being “a good steward to the community, as there is really no better grassroots way to grow your practice.”


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