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.