It may not evolve into the worldwide cultural phenomenon of Facebook, and the
story of the creative collaborators may never become the subject of an
award-winning and accolade-garnering major motion picture. However, '09 West
Campus alumni Dr. Beau Pierce and Dr. Kyle Knox would still be quite pleased,
awards or not, if their recently launched “Circle of Docs” website becomes the chiropractic social network.
Dr. Pierce began musing about the development of a
chiropractic-focused website, modeled after Facebook, shortly after he
the first year of building my practice, I noticed that the only chiropractors
with whom I could actively network were former classmates and doctors that I met
at seminars,” said Dr. Pierce, who now maintains a practice in Santa Maria,
Calif. “I thought it would be great if there was a neutral place for anyone in
the chiropractic profession to share information, exchange ideas, and provide
support for the struggles and stresses that doctors encounter in practice at
different points of their careers.”
With no formal background in web development, Dr.
Pierce embarked upon extensive market research studies, which led to contacting
multiple web developers who have created similar “niche” website for their
creative counsel. He subsequently formed an executive team, including Dr. Knox,
for input regarding design and content considerations.
Circle of Docs
(www.circleofdocs.com) was launched on Jan. 16, 2011, approximately six months
after Dr. Pierce began the project.
“Within 48 hours, we had doctors from the U.S., Brazil
and Australia all communicating with one another,” said Dr. Pierce, who was a
West Campus Guide and president of the triathlon club, as well as an active
member of the Sports Council. “We thought in one week we’d get 50 or so people
to join, and we ended up with 136. The international rate is overwhelming. We’ve
now spoken with doctors from around the globe, including Australia, Canada, the
U.K., Spain, England, U.S.A., and New Zealand. Things are really picking up and
there is new info being put up every 30 seconds.”
The offices in which Dr.
Pierce and Dr. Knox maintain their practices are approximately 150 miles apart.
During the course of developing the site, they were able to maximize their
productivity (and avoid lengthy drives on traffic-filled freeways) by utilizing
web-based resources such as “Google Wave.” This also enabled each of the
first-year doctors to work on the site in between caring for patients.
“I’m fortunate to be in
an office with a mentor who has 25 years of practice experience,” said Dr. Knox,
who practices with fellow West alumnus Dr. Terry Schroeder, ’86, in Thousand
Oaks, Calif. “However, I know a lot of recent grads and relatively new docs who
aren’t as fortunate. We encounter challenges every day. This is one way to help
reduce the stress and frustrations of those challenges, whether it’s dealing
with insurance companies, trying to locate a particular exam form, or resolving
“While starting a new practice has its fair share of
stresses and challenges, I’m grateful to work in a profession where every day I
have the opportunity to impact a person’s life in a positive way. The website is
also a great forum for docs to share their ‘success stories,’ and enjoy a little
chiropractic ‘spizzerinctum.’ And the more docs involved in the conversation,
the site has the look and feel of the Facebook format, their goal is to foster a
site where the conversation focus is more professional than personal. In
addition to providing a web-based portal of communication and information for
chiropractic doctors, another interactive goal for the site is to host webinars,
conduct online interviews (where doctors can ask questions of the guests), post
reviews of chiropractic products, and host other forms of virtual media.
“We’re not looking to
reinvent the wheel; it’s more about an evolution of existing technology,” said
Dr. Knox, who also served as a West Campus Guide, was a Sports Council officer,
and was teammates with Dr. Pierce on the triathlon team. “Our profession doesn’t
have the financial resources of the big pharmaceutical companies, so in order to
better educate the public about the chiropractic profession, and what we do as
chiropractic doctors, we have to utilize available avenues that are equally
affordable and effective."
“In some respects," continued Dr. Knox, "the Internet
levels the playing field; so through the development of this website, it is our
goal to help the profession carry out that mission.”
You won’t find any
advertising on the Circle of Docs website, but they may entertain offers in the
future. For the time being, Dr. Pierce wants to keep the focus on informational
content and the fostering of spirited, but respectful, interactive dialogue
Dr. Pierce, “It is our goal to serve as an informational resource to the
chiropractic doctors of today, as well as to the future docs, so we can serve
our patients to the best of our abilities, and to help advance the health
benefits of chiropractic care.”