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Graduate Profile of Ronald Pratt, LAc

  1. Date of graduation: September 2012
  2. Full-time or part-time practice: Full-time
  3. Current practice setting: Solo practice in Rochester, NY and with one other Five Element practitioner in Buffalo, NY
  4. Areas of practice specialization:
    • Type of patients: I work in two cities that have suffered greatly over the past few decades and are currently experiencing quite a bit of economic revival. As a result I work with a diverse group of urban and suburban residents who represent a variety of working-class and professional positions. These patients range in age from their early 30s to late 70s and are from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds
    • Type of therapy used: Worsley Five Element acupuncture, moxibustion, gua sha, nutrition, and herbs
    • Principal conditions treated: Chronic illness, chronic pain, stress-related illness, anxiety, depression, and wellness
  5. Most rewarding aspect of practice: Acupuncture is a wonderful form of medicine. Sometimes we help people with purely physical ailments and sometimes healing happens on a much deeper emotional or spiritual level. For me the most rewarding part of practice is witnessing patients get their life back. Whether they are stopped by physical pain, personal turmoil, or a lack of empowerment in their own healthcare, many patients who come for treatment are at the end of their rope. They have tried other options and often see acupuncture as a last resort, their one glimpse of hope. For me the most rewarding part of being a practitioner is seeing patients move past the point of desperation, which results when ailments drive their life, to a place where they are back in control - they've got their joy back and walk into the office with a smile.
  6. Most essential tips for other graduates desiring to establish a successful practice: Establish a panel of experts and be strategic with outsourcing. Working as an acupuncturist is often very isolating for a new practitioner. We are with patients all day but unless we establish a panel of experts too, we do not really have people to chat with about work. I worked 10 months with a senior practitioner and have fostered other mentor relationships. I hired legal, marketing, and accounting experts. I have a group of peers I can count on for advice and to redirect me when needed.

    I do a fair amount of administration in house and utilize my panel of experts when I am stuck. In this way, I can work as efficiently as possible. I also made some hard decisions early on. For example, I do my own laundry and insurance billing so I can outsource marketing. Laundry doesn't change. Internet marketing, however, changes so fast that I see value in paying for support rather than spending lots of time learning a strategy that will change fairly soon. It's also about honoring my resources. If I spend a lot of time doing things that deplete me, I'm not going to have as much to offer when I'm in the treatment room. Therefore, I really try to strike a delicate balance when managing the business tasks in my acupuncture practice.

Ronald Pratt a 2012 graduate of the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture, a CCAOM member institution. For a list of all CCAOM member colleges, see the state list.