Continuing Education


Continuing Education=Credentials=Curriculum Vitae=Admissibility=PI Practice
Continuing Education
Written by Dr. Mark Studin DC, FASBE, DAAPM, DAAMLP   
Sunday, 25 April 2010 00:00

http://www.theamericanchiropractor.com/images/studinartpic.jpgNot too long ago, to get PI patients you had to take the lawyer out for a fancy steak dinner, buy him a nice holiday gift or take him to a ball game, so he would "remember you" when a new client came into his office. That "game" worked for many years, but no more, so don’t bother wasting your money, time and effort. Next came the "you refer to me and I will refer to you" game. That game is almost gone as well.

If those don’t work, then what does? If your work is not admissible and you have deficient credentials, then the lawyer can’t prevail in his cases with you, so why would he want your referrals only to lose the case at the end of the day? He DOESN’T! It is actually more difficult today for the personal injury lawyer than it is for the doctor to earn a living in much of the country and lawyers are now only willing to work with credentialed doctors whose work can be admitted into testimony. Otherwise, they will lose their cases before they get started.

What does all of this mean? Let’s break it down:

Credentialed doctor: In order for a doctor to testify on their findings, they have to be considered an expert. In order to be an expert, the doctor has to have the credentials of an expert. Your Doctor of Chiropractic degree gets you to the plate, but in today’s competitive environment, the lawyers have many choices; do they work with a neurologist, orthopedist, anesthesiologist or you? Although many lawyers like the medical specialists, they usually see the patient once or twice and do not understand the continuity of care, or the functional losses the way the DC does, as we see the patients more often. That is a huge advantage if the DC also has the post doctoral credentials and knowledge base in the following areas:

1. MRI spine interpretation

2. Neurodiagnostics

3. Triaging the injured

4. Crash dynamics

5. Impairment rating

The above 5 areas are the basic credentials (with the knowledge base behind it) that a lawyer would need to certify you as an expert in most cases and put you ahead of the competition. In other words, the only way you are going to have a PI practice that will last for your entire career is if you are the best-of-the-best through clinical excellence.

We often see continuing education as a necessary evil, but we couldn’t be more wrong. We need to take courses that go beyond technique, nutrition and wellness. I’m not saying those are unnecessary, but they will not give you the credentials or knowledge base to manage the trauma/personal injury case.

Would you want to go to a general medicine practitioner for open heart surgery? Of course not, nor does a trauma patient want to be cared for by a wellness practitioner who has limited knowledge in trauma care. Ask yourself this question: "What is the slice thickness that the MRI company takes of your patient’s cervical spine and what should it be?" If you do not know the answer then you are not a trauma specialist and that answer matters greatly in getting an accurate read.

Unless you have credentials in MRI, it is unlikely that you will be able to testify on MRI. The lawyers know that without those credentials, they will have a much harder time using you to settle a case, making you a very poor candidate to work with. That also means that if you refer a patient to the lawyer, it is likely that he will be forced to go behind your back and refer your patient to another doctor because he cannot prevail with just you. Referrals no longer guarantee referrals back if the lawyer cannot use you.

Lastly, unless your credentials are in an admissible format , like in a curriculum vitae (CV), the lawyer cannot work with you. If lawyers are not regularly asking for your CV, then they are not considering you as an expert. Every doctor in the nation should have an admissible CV, whether he does personal injury or not.

Next month I will discuss the narrative report.

 

Dr. Mark Studin is a consultant and educator. He teaches how, through clinical excellence to build PI practices and can be found at www.teachchiros.com. He is also the creator of the US Chiropractic Directory that hosts the world’s first CV builder for chiropractors and offers that for free to doctors of chiropractic and can be found at www.chirodirectory.com.

 
Chiropractic Seminars - Time Worth Spending
Continuing Education
Written by Robert Striker, D.C.   
Monday, 26 September 2005 21:18

Continuing education provides a unique opportunity for professional growth that benefits you, your patients, and your practice.  The top business leaders in the world agree that innovation is one of the most critical aspects of a successful business.  By offering the latest techniques and technology, business applications, and management styles that many doctors do not get from daily practice, seminars provide an opportunity to keep skills up-to-date and make it possible to educate and care for patients more effectively. 

Why Should You Attend a Seminar?

Practical Learning–Practical learning is the most successful method for mastering clinical technique, and allows for quick implementation of new skills when back in the office.  Attending seminars brings you into contact with a professional instructor and other doctors with a wide range of experience.  Demonstration and step-by-step instruction are unique benefits of classroom seminars that you will not receive elsewhere. 

Practice Management–In addition to clinical technique, your seminar instructor can provide useful information for your practice.  It has been said that your practice is only as good as the people you have working for you.  An excellent method of developing your staff, attending seminars offers formal instruction on insurance coding and reimbursement, billing, products, and equipment used in patient care.  Time and money spent to train your CA is an investment in the practice.  

Product Knowledge–Seminars offer opportunities for hands-on instruction and the chance to “test-drive” products and equipment.  Vendor representatives are usually available to explain usage, answer questions, and order supplies.  This is an excellent chance to compare the features and benefits of similar products to determine the best fit for your practice.     

Seminar Shopping

There are many things to consider when shopping for a seminar.  It is essential that you find a credible education program with a sponsoring organization that is committed to the advancement of chiropractic and patient care.

The seminar you choose should be delivered by an experienced and well-trained chiropractor with specialties related to the seminar topic.  Speaker credentials should be readily available in seminar promotions.  The sponsoring organization can help guide you in selecting speakers that will address the appropriate subject matter and learning style for you.

A seminar should be informative and interactive, offering time to ask questions and hands-on demonstrations.  Lecture notes prepared by the instructor allow you to give your full attention to the speaker rather than wasting time trying to take thorough notes.

Finally, it is important when implementing your new skills that you be able to access information after the seminar.  Find out if post-seminar contact with the speaker is possible.  Check into availability of learning aids and references at the seminar or from the sponsoring organization.

How can you maximize the benefit received from attending a seminar?

Actively participate–Attend all sessions and get involved by asking questions and participating in demonstrations.   

Use the Tools–Review seminar notes and purchase instructive texts, videos and audio tools, and products offered at the seminar that you will need to support new protocols.

Practice What Your Learn–Put your new knowledge to work as soon as you return to the office.

Attend Refresher Seminars–It may take more than one seminar to become proficient and confident in a new technique.  Follow up with a refresher course on the same type as soon as possible to advance your skills even further.

Offer a Press Release–Announce to your community that you have attended a post-grad seminar and include information on the subject matter; whether it be a new technique or product offering, special populations or sports oriented training, you never know where your next patient may come from. 

License Renewal Seminars should provide practical information that chiropractors can put to immediate use in their practices.  Look for ones that are designed to improve your techniques, build your practice, and enhance your care. Education is an investment that will pay off through a more successful practice and healthier patients.

Robert S. Striker, DC, MBA is a cum laude graduate of New York Chiropractic College.  He earned an MBA from the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University with concentrations in Product and Market Development and Corporate Innovation.  Dr. Striker currently serves as the Director of Marketing and Communications at Foot Levelers, Inc.

 
Patients Win Through Your Seminar Experiences!
Continuing Education
Written by Scott Schilling   
Monday, 26 September 2005 21:16

Knowledge is an amazing thing.  Without it, you are no different from anyone else—no matter your profession, no matter your passion, no matter your God-given talents.  With it, on the other hand, you are different from everyone else.  You can be at the pinnacle of your profession. Your passion shines through in all you do.  Your God-given talents and capabilities can be maximized beyond exppectation.  The person with the most knowledge, who puts it into action, truly prevails!

You realize this as you return home from an awesome seminar.  It’s the best chiropractic seminar you ever attended.  You gained some amazing knowledge, and have come back to your practice understanding you need to put it into action--but you aren’t exactly sure how to do that.  Now that you have the knowledge, how do you let your patients know what you know?  Here’s the plan!

It actually starts before you even attend the seminar.  Let your patients know that you are attending the seminar and will be learning from the best of the best in the chiropractic industry.  Help them understand that, as part of your licensing—and more importantly your professional commitment to chiropractic—you attend seminars regularly to consistently hone your knowledge, skills and capabilities.

Announce your intentions.  Make copies of the seminar brochure for display; hang a sign that says, “Our commitment to education insures we benefit you!” or tell patients that you are going as they are scheduling their next appointment.  Let them know, you’re going because, “The more I know the more effective I can be at helping others enjoy a wellness lifestyle!”  In other words—simply tell them.

For a chiropractor to be truly successful, he or she has to “know” chiropractic inside and out.  This is only what your patients expect of you.  To be the best you can be in this or any profession, you need live it daily with full conviction, and then learn everything there is to learn about anything that is complimentary and/or contrary to that profession.  Why?  It’s simple: Patients/People expect you to know your profession; but many don’t expect you to know about those that are complimentary and/or contrary with the same level of expertise.  Here’s the kicker—when you do, you become more valuable to them than anyone else!  You become THE Authority!

By becoming the “Wellness One-stop Shop”, your overall value increases to your patients.  Because of the value you provide them, they will, in turn, provide you value—paying the fees you request, maintaining the schedules you suggest, and referring others that are in desperate need of your care—because you have the answers!

Other ways to inform your patients you are on top of your game

Create an email/newsletter detailing the highlights of the event:  Relate the top 5 new ideas, concepts or valuable pieces of information you gained at the seminar.  What did you learn that could be potentially valuable to your patients?  Whatever that is, craft an email or newsletter to let them know!  Make it short and concise—something like, “The Top 5 Things I Learned at the Whatchamacallit Seminar to Help You!”  Detail those things; even if they’re not totally new to you, they probably are to your patients!

Hang a new poster or display you brought from the seminar.  Buy something new that not only freshens up your practice, but also calls patients’ attention to another valuable piece of information.  Let them observe your dedication to constant and never-ending personal improvement on their behalf.  When you rotate your posters and displays, there is always something for patients to notice and ask about!  Get them asking you!

Talk about the books, CD series and/or support materials of the speakers you learned from.  Share what you learned from the best of the best.  Make recommendations that your patients purchase or investigate the same information.  Make that information available to them at a nominal or no cost, if possible.  Become an asset to them with your new knowledge.  By helping others increase their desire to learn, you will gain a valuable standing in their minds!

Get Creative.  You know (or should know) your patients.  How can you help them to want to be more curious about their wellness and how to go about achieving it?  On a white board, create “Seminar Trivia”.  Write questions tied directly to the event you just attended and give small prizes for correct answers.  Once again, involvement in the process is what you are striving for here.

The bottom line is simply this:  You took the time, made the investment and learned the knowledge by attending a seminar designed to help not only you, but your patients as well.  The only way any of that investment pays off is when you translate it to your patients and staff.  Knowledge is tremendously powerful—but only once it is shared for the common good!

Scott Schilling brings 28 years of experience in sales, marketing, speaking and training to the chiropractic industry, business owners, corporations and entrepreneurs.  Through his affiliations with Fortune 500 companies, innovative start-up companies and high paced individuals, Scott brings a wealth of knowledge, education and expertise to the podium and to print. Contact Scott at 877-305-6565, via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.scottschilling.com.

 
Getting The Most Out of License Renewal Courses
Continuing Education
Written by John Heggie, DC   
Sunday, 22 May 2005 16:15

Continuing education is a great way to learn new skills and enhance patient care. Chiropractors attending seminars and learning new information are better equipped to help their patients achieve optimal health. They also tend to experience continuous practice growth through a reputation of having advanced knowledge in healthcare. Such chiropractors use a simple and effective way to search out the best seminars in chiropractic. The following is a proven procedure that you can use.

First, you must plan early so you can choose the best seminars of the year. Waiting until the last minute to attend a seminar is probably the top reason why doctors don’t get the most out of their continuing education courses and tend to foster a negative attitude about their yearly continuing education requirements. Also, waiting until the last minute will reduce your options of getting a reservation at the top seminars. Procrastinating about choosing a seminar usually results in attending a course that does not interest you and/or you will find yourself in the back of a crowded seminar hall.

Ask yourself the following questions when you are planning your continuing education:

• What areas of your patient care do you want to strengthen this year? (Exams, documentation, technique, therapy, rehabilitation, etc.)
• What areas of your practice would you like to strengthen and what courses can help?
• What new procedures, techniques or equipment do you want to investigate and possibly add to your practice?

Once you have defined what your continuing education needs and goals are for the year, do some research to find the best courses available. You will find most of the answers to your questions on the Internet. The leading continuing education companies offer comprehensive seminar information on their websites. The following are areas to examine when evaluating courses to be chosen:

• Course outline: Download the course outline and find out how much detail the course provides on the topic.
Instructor’s bio: Most of the top instructors have many years of teaching experience, advanced degrees in their fields of specialty, and have had many years in practice. An instructor with a diplomat, masters and/or a doctorate will generally offer a higher level of teaching and an insightful perspective on the human body, to enable you to strengthen your skills.
Reference material: Great courses provide doctors with course documentation. This advantage allows attendees to listen intently and enjoy learning without taking excessive notes in fear of missing key points.
Practical information: Look for courses that provide practical information that you can immediately implement to improve patient care. Usually, these courses are taught by instructors with several years of experience.

Then look into these items associated with the seminar to ensure that you receive the best possible learning experience:

• Break schedule: Most instructors use the standard teaching/break schedule of 50 minutes of teaching followed by a 10-minute break. Some instructors teach for more than 2 hours without taking a break. By knowing the break schedule in advance, you can better prepare for stretching and other comfort measures.
• Snacks and meals: Some seminar companies provide snacks and meal breaks. If the seminar that you have chosen doesn’t furnish these items, bring what you need to satisfy your cravings. A bag of nuts, spring water and some fruit will pay off greatly in keeping your focus on the course material and off your stomach.
• Reserved seating: To get the most out of a seminar, it is best to sit toward the front and in the center of the room. Ask for reserved seating or arrive a few minutes early to claim a good seat.

Lastly, tell your patients that you have attended a seminar. Knowing that you are on the cutting edge of chiropractic technology will increase your credibility. Give patients a tip or two that you learned and tell them how this knowledge can improve their health. You might be surprised with the feedback you receive and the new patients that will be referred to your office.

Dr. John Heggie is co-founder of the continuing education and license renewal company, Lakeside Chiropractic Seminars, Inc., and the distance-learning company, ChiropracticCE.com. ChiropracticCE.com enables doctors to earn CE credits via DVD, CD-ROM and the Internet. Dr. Heggie’s instructors include many of chiropractic’s leaders in neurology, chiropractic technique, radiology, orthopedics, nutrition, pediatrics, impairment rating, occupational health, pain management and wellness care. He can be contacted via the Lakeside Chiropractic Seminars, Inc., website, www.LakesideSeminars.com, and www.ChiropracticCE.com.

 


 
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