I am suddenly struck with a realization of how much the healthscare industry has in common with the movie industry.
(Also, I am suddenly additionally struck with how exhausted and brain-dead I am, so I’m not sure if this is going to make a whole hell of a lot of sense. I figured I’d put it out there anyway.)
The majority of the population goes to the movie theatres or to rent/buy DVDs, and they have no idea that there are studios producing movies of quality outside of Hollywood. Because there is no “standard” maintained by “studio executives” for indie films, many of movies in this subculture get written off preemptively as “hit-or-miss” on a good day. And yet, there are dozens of excellent films out there – this weekend’s “the Final”, “Behind the Mask”, “Wristcutters”, and countless others – that totally make up for all the “Tracy Fragments”.
At the same time, the average entertainment consumer doesn’t care about edginess or intelligence in their film fare. They go to the Hollywood-produced movies – thereby MAKING them blockbusters – because they know what to expect, they know how the movie is going to end, and they know that because it’s not going to solve anyone’s problems or change their lives significantly, they’ll walk away feel satisfied with their lives just the way they are, even if it sucks.
And the healthscare industry is JUST LIKE THAT.
The majority of “healthscare consumers” go to the doctor knowing that they’re going to have tests run, get a prescription, and everything’s going to be… well, just fine. Eventually. Until it’s not again, and then they go back to the doctor, get more tests, take more drugs, and everything’s… just fine, until it’s not.
And then there is the “indie health” industry – the naturopaths and the chiropractors and the revolutionaries – and they are also “hit-or-miss”. Just like the really amazing movies you find in that niche that truly speak to you and change your life, there are NDs and other practitioners who will get down to your core issues and resolve them from the bottom up, changing the fabric of your existence into something amazing, incredible, liveable. And there are also the hacks and charlatans who make a great show but do not deliver the goods – the Hulda Clarks, for instance.
There will always be a market for indie films, and there will always be a market for natural medicine, because there will always be people who look around at the status quo and say, “This bites, let’s try something better.”
Expand this analogy to also include how people react to these sources of service, how far people will go to pursue or avoid these sources, and also what kinds of services will reveal themselves into the future… and we see a pretty interesting pattern.