Kevin Khalili of The Laser Rehab Institute of Santa Barbara: “My fourth piece of advice would always strive to master your craft”

The primary recommendation I have for any healthcare provider is to love what you do and let that passion shine when working with your patients. When you show your healing intention, it becomes infectious to your patients, and they will be excited to tell others. As a part of our interview series with prominent medical professionals […]

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The primary recommendation I have for any healthcare provider is to love what you do and let that passion shine when working with your patients. When you show your healing intention, it becomes infectious to your patients, and they will be excited to tell others.


As a part of our interview series with prominent medical professionals called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly Successful Private Practice Kevin Khalili.

Kevin Khalili, DC, CCEP founded the Laser Rehab Institute of Santa Barbara, California in 1997. This state-of-the-art facility specializes in preventative sports medicine, breakthrough injury recovery, whole body lifestyle coaching, and comprehensive functional medicine. Kevin practices yoga, meditation, eats plant-based food and is also a nutritional expert — having developed innovative supplements. Some of his steady clients are top competing including famous sports athletes and teams.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you ended up where you are?

For 28 years, I have been practicing preventive sports medicine as the clinical director of the Laser Rehab Institute of Santa Barbara, California. I graduated from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in 1992 and became a Certified Fellow of Chiropractic Biophysics in 2002. After pursuing postgraduate studies at Life Chiropractic College West, I became a Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner (CCEP) in 2017. I am also the founder of Dr. Khalili, LLC, a company dedicated to researching and developing plant-powered products and innovative home fitness solutions, as well as offering an online optimal health learning center.

I’m a huge fan of mentorship throughout one’s career. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Who has been your biggest mentor? What was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?

The late Don Harrison was the founder of Chiropractic Biophysics, and his son, Deed Harrison, is the current president of the organization. They found a way to standardize the spinal assessment and the appropriate protocols for intervention via proven peer-reviewed research. Even though it is the most researched method in the profession, less than 1% of today’s chiropractors are certified Chiropractic Biophysics doctors, most likely due to the additional expense, time, equipment, and study. Despite the extra effort required, I am optimistic that more chiropractors will realize the importance of learning this method for the sake of their patients. I also hope medical doctors and physical therapists will implement Chiropractic Biophysics. I feel the future of medicine is integrating all health disciplines to provide the best available care without focusing on the economic incentive.

What made you want to start your own practice? Can you tell us the story of how you started it?

Before starting my own practice in 1994, I worked as an associate in three previous practices. I gained a lot of hands-on experience but wanted to do things differently. I felt it was necessary to spend more time with each patient to offer better treatment and teach the patient at home protocols for self-treatment and prevention. I believe our healthcare system is geared to what patients have rather than on why they have a condition and how to prevent it.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

When I was about thirty, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening genetic kidney disease, and it took me on a quest to find a cure and learn for the first time how it felt to be a patient. My journey taught me many lessons about the vast world of healing and the ability to empathize with my patients. Even though my efforts failed, and I eventually had to have a kidney transplant nearly 7 years ago, I am truly grateful to have gone through such adversity because I evolved into a much more knowledgeable and compassionate doctor.

Because it is a “helping profession”, some healthcare providers struggle with the idea of “monetization.” How do you address the business aspect of running a medical practice? Can you share a story or example?

I feel the most important question to ask yourself is why you want to be a healthcare provider. If money or ego is anywhere in your answer, maybe healthcare isn’t the right profession. You have to absolutely love and dedicate yourself to your practice to offer the absolute best care possible. It is not about the fancy office and high overhead. Patients only care about one thing, and that is results. I started in a tiny modest office, but I invested in the best equipment available. Fast forward 28 years, I am still in a modest office but larger, have extremely low overhead, and regularly implement the latest technological and therapeutic advancements.

Managing being a provider and a business owner is a constant balancing act. How do you manage both roles?

I manage both roles by keeping the business model as simple as possible, keeping the main focus on healthcare, and always striving to provide my best.

From completing your degree to opening a practice and becoming a business owner, your path was most likely challenging. Can you share a story about one of your greatest struggles? Can you share what you did to overcome it?

I think every healthcare practitioner would agree that the main agonizing challenge is dealing with insurance companies. Then one day, I made the scariest and greatest decision of my practice. I chose to be a 100% out-of-pocket cash practice in 2003. Since then, I have never looked back, and my office became much simpler to manage, and ironically, I became super busy without trying.

Ok, thank you. Here is the main question of our interview. What are the 5 things you need to know to create a thriving practice, and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. The primary recommendation I have for any healthcare provider is to love what you do and let that passion shine when working with your patients. When you show your healing intention, it becomes infectious to your patients, and they will be excited to tell others.
  2. Next, walk the talk and be a true role model of health. Trust me, when you act and feel the part, your patients will be much more compliant and more likely to refer.
  3. Another big tip is being financially accessible to your community by charging a fair price for your services. We are here to help our community and not gouge their wallets to live on a vacuous hilltop mansion.
  4. My fourth piece of advice would always strive to master your craft. There is a reason they call it a practice. I absolutely love learning and incorporating new technology and techniques into practice. After 28 years, this is what constantly keeps me excited about practicing.
  5. Finally, I would recommend spending more time with your patients and learning to communicate with them clearly. Patients want to be nurtured and cared for, and when you spend the time, they will feel that you truly care. This will help your practice thrive and help prevent the number one cause of a malpractice claim: lack of communication. Also, lose the ego; when you make a mistake, be honest and accountable with your patients. You will be surprised how forgiving patients are when you fess up.

As a business owner, you spend most of your time working IN your practice, seeing patients. When and how do you shift to working ON your practice? (Marketing, upgrading systems, growing your practice, etc.) How much time do you spend on the business elements?

Doctors are doctors, and our only focus should be on providing the best care possible. We are not taught marketing or business skills, and the simpler we keep it as doctors, the better we will be. Trust me, all of my colleagues have taken business seminars, worked with marketing firms, used business coaches, and have explored all kinds of advertising campaigns with little return on their investment. I have only focused on being the best doctor I can be for my patients, and my practice has been solidly booked for over 20 years with no advertising whatsoever. We have become so busy that we rarely accept new patients.

I understand that the healthcare industry has unique stresses and hazards that other industries don’t have. What specific practices would you recommend to other healthcare leaders to improve their physical or mental wellness? Can you share a story or example?

The following are a few tips that I recommend for healthcare leaders. Remember, if we as doctors don’t exhibit a prime example of a thriving lifestyle, how can we expect our patients to follow our advice? Doctors should sweat daily for at least 45 minutes with bio-mechanically correct low-impact exercises, sleep deeply for 9 hours in a neutral posture on a proper mattress, and savor sustainably sourced organic foods that are at least 95% plant-based. Additionally, they should strive steadily at mastering their healing craft while embracing failures and mistakes along the way. Adversity is our greatest gift and our best source of learning. Finally, I strongly believe we as healthcare providers need to ween from the screens and do a digital detox from the tox box. We need to go outside more and engage with nature, talk to friends face to face, exercise, write a letter longhand to a distant friend or family member. It amazes me how often I go out in nature, either on a hike or to the beach, and people are buried into their screens with earbuds blocking out the wonderful sounds and sights of nature. We need to unplug and plug into our innate to experience this awe-inspiring world firsthand.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story about how that was relevant in your own life?

I love this quote from Hippocrates, “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” This quote absolutely nails it in terms of what I see due to people not adhering to Hippocrates’ advice. Many people who see me are experiencing pain or injury from being either inactive or overexerting themselves. The same can be said for when we run blood panels. We commonly see many excesses and depletions in their food and nutritional intake. Hippocrates is simply saying that moderation is the key to longevity.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

The easiest way to follow me is to go to my website: www.DrKhalili.com.

Thank you for these great insights! We wish you continued success and good health!

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