Cover Stories


How to Build a Sports Health Care Practice
Cover Stories
Written by John L. Stump D.C., Ph.D., Ed.D.   
Monday, 28 August 2006 21:12


Preface

In business, “toke wa karinary” is the Japanese term for “time is money.” The Japanese feel that maximizing these two factors is the key to the success of any endeavor,1 especially the sports health care practice. Many doctors, when they get out of school, are idealistic and can’t see practice as a business in the marketplace. One thing a doctor must soon learn is the fact that services are a product.

Introduction

As a chiropractor wanting to specialize in Sports Injury, I had the proper academic background, as a former high school biology teacher and coach, coupled with the chiropractic techniques to build a solid practice when I graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1976. After professional certification in Sports Injury and working for the International Chiropractors Association with the Sports Council, I became heavily involved in the 1986 Asian Games and 1988 Seoul Olympics held in South Korea, when I was elected the president of the International Sports Council.2

During this Olympic period, my sports practice blossomed. I then decided to attend the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama, to pursue a post-doctorate degree in Sports Medicine and have a part-time Sports Medicine practice while I was attending classes for my doctor of education degree.

The practice I established was the first “natural alternative” to the traditional “RestgPrescrip-tiongSurgery” practice used by the orthopedists in the area. The U.S. Sports Academy was in favor of the alternative slant, because they knew how important drug free treatment is with Olympic and college athletes. At that time (1988) I had just returned from working the Seoul Olympics as a Sports Chiropractor and was aware of the importance that “speed of recovery time of an injury” was for an athlete. Acupuncture and herbs had played a big part in the health care of the athletes of the Far East (China, Japan, India, Korea, etc.) during the Seoul Olympics. As chiropractic care was introduced to the athletes in the 1984 Olympics, you could now see the complimentary benefits that it had provided, different from the acupuncture-centered care of the past.

Acupuncture had provided relief in a “yin” format (slow, steady, low force) to the athletes. When chiropractic was introduced to compliment the sports care, it provided the “yang” format they had been lacking (fast, high force, specific adjusting). Manipulation (called tuni in the Orient) is a slow, more general movement, and was the only manipulation provided before chiropractic.3 The athletes accepted the Western “chiropractic” instantly. It was quick, easy to understand and was not complicated by extensive, detailed herbal formulas; and best of all no drugs were used!

Establishing a Sports Practice

The sports medicine practice I was then establishing in Alabama was unique and provided both Western and Eastern approaches to the athlete’s care. Without having to resort to drugs or surgery in most cases and, if that became the case, I had become good friends with some of the best orthopedists in Alabama. These orthopedists had cared for some of the best athletes in the nation and were interested in the new concepts that I was bringing to the sports health arena.

Athletes are more in tune with muscle injury because that is the most common problem in an athletic oriented practice. However, chiropractic is traditionally a neurologically based practice, as is acupuncture. Here, again, I had studied Applied Kinesiology under Dr. George Goodheart while I was at Palmer College and with post-doctoral certification after graduation, I felt comfortable in the athletic injury field. This system combines chiropractic (Western), acupuncture therapy (Eastern), and muscle testing (which athletes understand completely). Utilizing Applied Kinesiology techniques allowed me to implement the type of sports care necessary to help 90% of the athletes.

There was an area that I was not completely satisfied with. This was the area of nutrition. In the beginning, I was utilizing a great deal of the herbal formulas I had learned in Korea from the Sports Nutritionist taking care of the athletes. The herbal prescriptions were excellent but took a great deal of time to put together; and getting the ingredients was even harder. Some even had to be ordered from China, Japan or Korea with a two-to-four week wait. Then, if they were out or they did not understand your order, there was another four-week wait to change it.

About this time, I remembered using the Standard Process Company for a nutritional company when I had started practice in Delmar, Delaware, and worked with the Washington Redskins. I knew they had a sterling reputation as one of the leading whole food nutritional companies in the United States. They had been established in 1929 by Dr. Royal Lee, a dentist and leading pioneer in nutrition in the country during the early 1900’s.

I contacted the company and talked with the representative from Atlanta in charge of distribution in Alabama. We setup a meeting to refresh my memory on the product line and what they had to offer a doctor just setting up a natural sports oriented practice.

At our meeting, we discussed all of the updates the company had instituted in the five years I had been in the Republic of South Korea working with the Olympic Team. Not only had some of the product names changed but, also, they had introduced a whole new product line called Medi-herb. This product line had an extensive array of herbs, many of which were the same herbs I had been using, but with Western and Latin names instead of the many different languages I was trying to master—Chinese, Japanese, Korean or another Asian language.

I was extremely pleased. The rep also explained to me the new computerized evaluation system, called a “Symptom Survey” that had been introduced. This increased the speed of the nutritional evaluation system a great deal. Now, each nutritional evaluation would not have to be done before hand, sometimes taking hours. They had even introduced a new educational system for the doctors. Instead of the sales representative coming to the office, taking the doctor to lunch or his valuable patient time, the Standard Process Company now had seminars for continuing education credit and nationally recognized nutritional experts teaching, instead of the “salesman” approach as used by so many companies. The support system was fluid and easy to implement into a sports practice.

Now, I was ready. We had our building lease agreement, staff and the service line of chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition, physical therapy and related therapies in place. We had located near the office of a very good rehabilitation specialist that could take care of any problems we couldn’t handle. The rehabilitation specialist was a personal trainer and we had several meetings and discussed alternative methods as opposed to the medical model. We agreed on the majority of treatment approaches and plans to see patients when we opened.

Education as Advertising

Over the next several years, as I was completing my doctorate in sports medicine and education at the United States Sports Academy, I established a lecture and speaking schedule in the immediate area, concentrating on the city where my practice is located the first year. The second and third years, I extended the territory another ten miles until I had a bull’s-eye around my practice of civic organizations—Rotary, Kiwanas, Lions, Optimist, etc.—with which I had been a lunchtime speaker. After the first year, it had a snowball effect with more requests than I could fulfill in a once-a-month speaking schedule. I then was getting, on the average, about five-to-ten patients after each lecture.

The subjects of the lectures were always varied and different. Rarely were they just on chiropractic, unless requested, but chiropractic was always the subliminal message in the talk. The talk always started with a Sports Medicine topic and about the United States Sports Academy, but ended with an alternative healing correction method being heralded. This lecture/talk method became the only method of advertising that was needed. After several talks, the local TV station interviewed me, and that gave my practice another boost.

My post-doctoral education in Sports Medicine was very beneficial for the atmosphere of the talks for both the audience and myself. Several people told me, after the lectures, they felt they were getting a whole hour (which you rarely get) with a professor and a doctor that not only knows about the problem but someone who can correct the problem as well.

Conclusion

I have completed my doctorate at the United States Sports Academy and have a very thriving practice. I continue to do the local talks, but now lecture nationwide and write a weekly column for the newspaper. I feel that a sports health care practice can be very rewarding in many ways, not only for chiropractors, but other health care providers that wish to specialize in the sports area. It is demanding, in that you often have to see patients all day at the office, then go somewhere to cover for a team or an athlete as a team physician or therapist at night or on the weekend; but the rewards are great. In addition, individuals get involved with the strength training aspect or the other areas of a sports health care practice that often lead to a specialty, all in itself.

Dr. Stump did his undergraduate work in Biology at the University of Maryland and received his Masters and Doctorate in Sports Medicine at the United States Sports Academy. A 1976 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he went on to do the majority of his postdoctoral work in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture in Japan, but receive his OMD degree from China Medical University, Beijing in 1981. Dr. Stump may be reached by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
The ProAdjuster Edge
Cover Stories
Written by TAC Staff   
Saturday, 24 June 2006 10:41

Right off the heels of the most successful ProAdjuster National Symposium ever, The American Chiropractor magazine’s Editorial Board Member, Dr. Frank Corbo, had the opportunity to sit down with ProAdjuster President and CEO, Dr. Maurice A. Pisciottano.  The testimonials were still pouring in from the May National, one of two annual ProAdjuster Business Symposiums, and it is being described as an event few in the chiropractic industry have ever experienced before.

In fact, those in attendance knew they were witnessing something very special and, quite possibly, something that may never happen again. For the first time ever, Zig Ziglar and Jay Abraham shared the stage as they delivered their messages of motivation and inspiration that will certainly leave a profound impact on the doctors, their families and staff.

Zig’s message, those words that many of us have heard on 8-tracks, cassettes and CD’s in the past, were brought to life as he incorporated concepts from his new best selling book, Better than Good.  Zig also shared his personal testimony about chiropractic, and how it changed his life from a young child and throughout his career. He challenged those attending to sharpen their skills, continually grow in their interpersonal communication and to never give up, because there is a hurting world that needs our care.  It was, indeed, vintage Zig.

“There may never be another time that we have the opportunity to share such intimate time with a man that has, literally, shaped and impacted the lives of millions of people the world over.  I wanted to give those that attended a gift that they would remember for a lifetime,” said Dr. Pisciottano.

This statement encapsulates the man behind the ProAdjuster, and it is commonplace for those of us in the profession that have had the wonderful opportunity to know him on a much deeper level. You will come to find that he is one of the most generous people in our industry.

In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Pisciottano discusses the philosophy behind ProAdjuster.

TAC:  Dr. Moe, the ProAdjuster is growing at an unprecedented rate. What has lead to such success in your company?
Pisciottano:  Every successful company, every successful chiropractic clinic, is a unique blend of its products and its people. ProSolutions is no different. Regarding our products, we are relentless in the pursuit of excellence. For example, when we were researching to find the perfect ProAdjuster piezoelectric sensor head, we went through over 2,000 versions before we developed it! It was a grueling and, I might add, a tremendously expensive process. The results, well, they speak for themselves.

Regarding people, the pursuit is no different; I am always on the lookout for bringing great people into our organization.  In one of my favorite books, Good to Great, best selling author Jim Collins says this: “Get the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus, and then decide where you’re going to drive the bus.” 

I couldn’t agree more with this statement.  You see, if the truth be told, I’m not the smartest guy in our profession, I just make it my business to hire the smartest people, and that is what makes our company great.

For example, take a look at the relationships we have developed in the profession.  We bring in the best of the best.  For instance, the foot scanner in our ProAdjuster chair is made by Foot Levelers, one of the most well known and respected companies in the chiropractic profession. We would be crazy to make our own orthotics when they have been making them for 50 years.

The same is true about our nutritional supplements. We’ve contracted Douglas Labs to develop ours.

We also recommend that every one of our clients have a coach, and we have selected The Masters Circle as the consulting arm for our company.

These are all top-notch industry leading companies. You see, another great tip to doing business well is to create and maintain strong relationships within the industry. We have been extraordinarily fortunate to have many friends in chiropractic.

A key ingredient that I will never forget that I have learned from Dale Carnegie’s work is this: “I would rather have 1% of 100 people, than 100% of myself.”  Great business comes from great people. 

TAC:  If you had to sum up your goal for the chiropractic profession as a whole, what would it be?  
Pisciottano:
  Anyone that knows me or has ever seen me speak can answer that one, and it is simply this: We are determined, we are resolute, we are focused on one outcome, and that is to make chiropractic the #1 health care choice on the planet earth! 

TAC:  How do you intend doing that?
Pisciottano:  That’s a great question. It begins and ends with one word: certainty.

You see, the biggest problem facing doctors of chiropractic today is that they have a low certainty level.  They’re short on having confidence in what they do, or can do.  This uncertainty leads to a whole bunch of things.  For example, doctors don’t want to do workshops or lectures.  They don’t want to ask for referrals.  They may be a little wobbly doing their reports of findings.  They have a low confront level for missed appointments; their recommendations for care are “subjectively based,” which is actually directly opposite of their own wellness mindset.  The effects of low certainty impact every aspect of their practices.

Having more certainty is linked to having clear clinical objective findings. And the things that give you clear clinical findings, in 2006, are tools that use technology. 

For example, take the Subluxation Station by Dr. Patrick Gentempo.  For over 10 years, his unit has been one of the standards used in our profession to document pre- and post-adjustment changes with high technology.

Technology has gained acceptance because it is irrefutable.  Technology is irrefutable.  And the benefit of combining technology with patient care is a powerful tool. The doctors’ certainty levels soar and, as a result, so does the confidence and belief in what it is they are providing for their patients.  When doctors see, for themselves, the irrefutable objective improvements in their patients, they experience an instantaneous shift in their personal paradigms that results in a certainty level in their care that transforms them.  The result of their transformation is very powerful, and it has the same practice-wide impact as a low certainty level, only all the influences are positive.

To simplify this process, the doctor’s results and the technology match up; therefore, we have an interfacing of the emotional subjective response of the patient. “I feel better,” with the irrefutable technology showing very clearly, “Your nervous system is improving.” 

TAC:  What is the biggest problem or challenge you see in the chiropractic profession today? 
Pisciottano:
  The biggest profession-wide challenge is that the percentage of patients and potential patients that truly understand and are willing to utilize chiropractic care is, at best, 5%.  So it’s a profession wide problem, because we’re basically barking up the wrong tree, with 95% of the population being fearful of what we do. We have to change the way we serve it up to them.

There was a study done about 2 years ago that cost upwards of $120,000, and this is what it revealed regarding why an individual is reluctant to go to a chiropractor.  Two things dominated the results: First, they were afraid to be twisted and turned; and, second, they didn’t know what to expect from one doctor to the next or, in other words, there was little standardization of the chiropractic experience.  Therefore, the most critical thing we must do is, instead of fighting them, we have to serve it up to them.  And, as a profession, we haven’t served it up.  What I mean by serving it up is that we are trying to fit the patient into our model for care delivery, but we are overlooking their fears and their concerns.
 
TAC:  Can you think of one change that a chiropractor can do to significantly impact his/her practice’s growth immediately?
Pisciottano:
  Simply put, research and find out what it is that people in their community want and need and serve it up to them. 

TAC:  Do you have any recommended marketing strategies that chiropractors can use to attract new patients and to keep current patients?
Pisciottano:
  The number one strategy is called educational based marketing. Educational based marketing conveys this message: “It’s only a matter of time.” It’s only a matter of time before I provide you with enough information—in the form of education—that will persuade you to consider chiropractic as an option for your health care.

This approach takes all the high pressure or “salesiness” out of the process and, as a result, both the doctor and the potential patient can relax.  When doctors relax, they can think better, they can concentrate on listening to the potential patient more actively, and so on. When patients relax, they feel as though the doctor is their “health advisor,” rather than someone that is manipulating them for their own benefit.  It is an essential foundational element to the doctor-patient relationship. 

TAC:  What type of educational based marketing tools do you recommend and utilize?
Pisciottano:
  We apply a principle known as the Forced Multiplier Effect to our system. This is a military term meaning we’ll attack—I’m sorry!—we’ll educate by air, by land and by sea.  The result is that you will achieve a geometric multiple when using all three strategies, rather than using any one single strategy.  The key to improving productivity of these tools is to aim them at producing goals in three areas: new business, business retention, and something called marginal net worth. 

Marginal net worth is a term used for ethically increasing the products and/or services offered to the patient and results in an increase in the doctor’s dollar per visit average.  Examples of this would be adding orthotics or nutritional supplements to the patient’s overall care.

Tools that we utilize, some of which we have created from scratch, some of which we have developed jointly with our strategic alliances, include products like the ProAdjuster Lifestyle Magazine™.  Those outside our company may not realize or understand what I’m about to say, and the impact of it, but our circulation has grown in just over a year-and-a-half to 250,000 copies per issue.  That’s a multiple of over five times any publication in our profession.  We’ve also created and perfected a process in which ProAdjuster Lifestyle Magazine™ is mailed directly into the doctor’s community and results in their being seen as the “expert.”
We’ve also created customized television and radio commercials that reach tens of thousands of potential patients.  We’ve created a top notch, turnkey patient lecture series that the doctors or their staff can use in the community.

Once in the office, patients and potential patients are proactively and systematically educated with tools such as customized in-office waiting room and consultation room DVD’s and waiting room point of purchase displays and placards for supplements, orthotics, and the first ever, customized ProAdjuster Sleep System.  Along with ProAdjuster Lifestyle Magazine, we have created with Back Talk Systems a ProAdjuster series of patient education trifold brochures and magazettes that add to our education based marketing. 

Dr. Rick Barrett and I have co-authored a book that is in its 3rd edition, Improve Your Life Proactively, that contains dozens of patient testimonials and, again, is just a piece of the educational puzzle communicating the mindset I discussed earlier, “It’s only a matter of time.”

Regarding patient care, on each visit, a patented and streamlined 5-step process that may take from 3-5 minutes or more, if necessary, is utilized.  The visit includes a full spine pre-adjustment analysis, which leads to specific treatment; once treatment is completed, a re-analysis is made, followed by patient education using a customized software system created in alliance with the Neuropatholator. And, finally, recommendations for care are rendered.

The fundamental key to our system is that we have created a unique way of integrating each of these tools into our system.  This system is non-emotional but, rather, scientific; and, as a result, it consistently produces the desired results. 

TAC:  What single piece of advice would you give a new chiropractor just starting out or, maybe, an established doctor that is not quite achieving the desired results?
Pisciottano:
  Their success will be directly related to their ability to understand where to go to acquire the knowledge and skills to become the best doctor and best businessperson they can be.  This powerful combination will produce the most outrageous benefit that I have, personally, experienced hundreds and hundreds of times: complete certainty.  As previously mentioned, increased certainty leads to confidence, and a confident doctor of chiropractic will forever change his/her life on every front: personally, business wise, relationally and, most importantly, that will impact his/her practice, family and world, and, in the process, leave a legacy of servant leadership that will affect his or her community for generations to come. 

TAC:  I was going to ask you what you see as the future of chiropractic, but I believe you just answered it. 
Thank you for joining us, Dr. Moe.  Before ending our interview, do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share?

Pisciottano:  As far as final thoughts, I would say this: There is a continuum that I call the Doubt-Certainty continuum.  The more doubt a doctor has, the less impact he or she will make; the greater certainty he/she has, the greater impact he/she will make.  I would challenge your readers to take a few moments and assess the areas of their lives in which they may not have the level of certainty that they would like to have.  Then, decide that they are going to take the steps necessary to obtain whatever knowledge, skill or training they need to change it.

The most important thing to remember here is that we are not after perfection. Perfection has never been our goal.  We will make mistakes on some decisions; that’s natural. Every successful businessman or woman does; but the goal for each and every day is to make it better than the day before.

Would it be O.K. if I offer your readers each a gift?

TAC:  Absolutely.  A new Hummer like you gave away in Pittsburgh?
Pisciottano:  Actually, something more valuable. 

TAC:  By all means.
Pisciottano:  At the National Symposium in May, we unveiled a program that we have been working on for over two years.It combines every aspect of what we have just been discussing, mainly that success occurs when the doctor transitions from doubt to certainty, based on clear clinical results.  The program is called ProAdjuster University.  A very important part of ProAdjuster University includes our ProMap for Success audio CD series.  There are 26 CD’s in the series and they cover just about every challenge a DC experiences, for example, new patient consultations, collecting 100% of the office visit, time management, reactivations, handling missed appointments, networking with professionals and many more things.

Your readers can access the entire list on line at www.pro-adjuster.us/promap or they can call 877-942-4284, and ask for Jamie Blayney at extension 109.  They can pick any one of the topics they like and we’ll ship out the CD free.

Also, if they are serious about experiencing the benefits of the ProAdjuster system for themselves, they can call Jamie about that, too.  She will provide all the details for setting up, at my expense, flight and hotel arrangements to experience the ProAdjuster at one of our weekend trainings.  We have two each month, and we would be delighted to host them for a memorable weekend— a weekend in which they will meet doctors from across the country and around the world, some of which have been using the ProAdjuster for years, like Dr. Joe Grice who bought the first ProAdjuster in the United States, and now has four in his office, to Dr. Todd Fetter, who just began with the ProAdjuster a few months ago, but has already doubled his practice.  We encourage lots of communication with these doctors so that our guests can get as much information as they need to find out if the ProAdjuster is right for them.

TAC:  Thank you, Dr. Moe, that is, indeed, a generous offer. 
Pisciottano:
  Thank you, for the opportunity, Frank; it’s been my pleasure.

Frank A. Corbo, DC, CCRD, QME, is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. He is co-founder of Chiropractic Wellness and Fitness Magazine. Before starting his chiropractic career, Dr. Corbo was employed by The Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company in Milan, Italy, working with a strategic marketing team developing effective strategies for marketing osteoporosis products.

Dr. Corbo can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Five College Presidents Set the Record Straight
Cover Stories
Written by TAC Staff   
Saturday, 27 May 2006 03:56

"Chiropractic is a remarkable profession with a legacy of dedicated men and women working diligently to make chiropractic universally available.
As our profession grew and matured, so did chiropractic colleges.  They set the standard for what we can expect from our future doctors of chiropractic.  Our responsibility is to provide the best chiropractic education possible to the men and women who entrust their future to us."

Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, F.I.C.C., F.A.C.C.
President, Parker College of Chiropractic

What are some of the challenges now facing chiropractic colleges and students?

Here are the questions we asked:

1) Student loan defaults: do you provide advice to their students on how to manage loans effectively.

2) Decreasing enrollment: True or False

3) Quality and efficacy of the Educational programs in creating competent & successful chiropractors: Grade your School and Comment. (is practice management part of the curriculum)

4) Ongoing Improvement to curriculum to keep up with the changing needs of the patients (New Technologies being taught at the schools)

 

1) Student loan defaults: does your college provide advice to it’s students on how to manage loans effectively?

LCCW - Gerard Clum, D.C.

The news from Life Chiropractic College West on student loan defaults doesn’t get much better; the College’s draft cohort default rate for the latest period reported (2004) is 0.00%. The default rate in 2003 was 1.3% for chiropractic education in general and 4.5% for the entire program. Over the past five years the Life West default rate has averaged 1.3% compared with a profession-wide default rate of 1.5% and a national average of 4.5%.

That being said, Life West has an active and multi-layered approach to student borrowing, student debt management and graduate follow-through with respect to student loan obligations. The simplest strategy is also the most cost-effective strategy: Borrow ONLY what you NEED, understand that you can borrow well in excess of basic needs and avoid doing so at every turn. The second piece of advice to be aware of the “miracle of compounding” and do everything you can to accelerate payments to lower your overall cost of borrowing over time. The third tidbit is also a critical one; attend to your loan payback as closely as you paid attention to receipt of the money in the first place.

NUHS - James Winterstein, D.C.

National University of Health Sciences has a very capable and active financial aid staff. We have for many years, counseled our students regarding their use of financial aid and the requirements imposed by government on the repayment. Our default rate, which is typically under 1%, reflects this effort.

NYCC - Frank J. Nicchi, D.C., M.S.

NYCC’s default rate is .5 percent.  NYCC, as is the case with all chiropractic colleges, is required by the Department of Education to provide debt management counseling to its students, and accordingly does so.

Parker - Fabrizio Mancini, F.I.C.C., F.A.C.C.

Absolutely and it works.  For the past three years, Parker has maintained a student loan cohort default rate between zero (0) and three (3) percent.  Approximately 90 percent of Parker students receive some type of financial aid.

Parker attracts high quality students who possess very good fundamental life skills.  We help our students build on these skills by offering superior business training that encourages responsible personal and fiscal behavior. Our students learn about loan repayment, receive individualized assistance with loan repayment issues and receive strong customer service.  The fine reputation of Parker graduates helps our students find quality career opportunities upon graduation that allow for timely repayment of loans.

TCC - Richard Brassard, D.C.

From entering Texas Chiropractic College (TCC) until graduation, the Financial Aid Office (FAO) is active in default management and in working with the students in Debt Management. For the last two years, TCC’s co-hort default rate has been 0%.

Entrance counseling gives students an overview of financial aid—what is available to them through Federal and State grants, regular scholarships, Federal Work Study and finally Stafford and Private Loans. We talk about how the loans affect their credit, how interest accrues on certain loans, how very rarely loans are discharged through bankruptcy and what can happen to their credit if they default on student loans.

We ask them to work with a budget to manage their funds and to determine their need and that the FAO is always open to and for them.

Students are invited to a Debt Management Seminar upon entering their third trimester. Lunch is provided for the students. They receive a history of their loan indebtedness and verbal reminders that they are only one third of the way finished toward their doctorate and will be continuing to borrow for the next seven trimesters. We encourage them to again look at their budgets. We remind them that if they use the Federal Work Study program they could reduce the amount they borrow.

We explain the different repayment options available once they go into repayment. We even talk with them about credit card debt and the importance of checking their credit history once a year. We welcome questions and remind them that the FAO counselors are always available to assist them.

Entering their seventh trimester, the students receive a mandatory invitation to attend a Debt Management Seminar luncheon. At this seminar, they again receive a history of their student loan indebtedness and are reminded that there are still three trimesters to complete before graduation. We encourage them to look over their debt and to talk with us about any concerns.

We hold exit counseling a few days before graduation and again explain repayment options, deferments, forbearance and the importance of keeping their lender(s) aware of any address or phone changes. We talk about possible changes in their financial situation and possibly not being able to make payments. We explain that they should always contact their lender(s) to discuss this and what can be done to keep them from being delinquent and to help keep them from defaulting on any loans.

We remind them that the FAO is always here—even after graduation—to assist them in any way possible.

 

2) Enrollment: Is it Decreasing? True or False

LCCW - Gerard Clum, D.C.

The facts speak for themselves, the profession has seen a notable decrease in enrollment that started in the late 1990s and has continued through Fall 2004. Data from the Association of Chiropractic Colleges indicates that the maximum enrollment in the 1990s was 15,398 seen in Fall 1996. Conversely enrollments thereafter began to decline and reached their lowest point in Fall 2004 with a profession-wide enrollment decrease of 36% to a total number of 9,811. The 2005 data indicates a slight upward trend in enrollment to once again in excess of 10,000.

NUHS - James Winterstein, D.C.

Enrollment in the chiropractic degree program has remained steady for the past three years and at the present time is on the increase for fall of 2006.

The reasons range from the impact of managed care on health care at all levels and in particular chiropractic care, to a shift in demographics, to the September 11 tragedy which resulted in a dramatic change in international student enrollment to the decline in interest in health care as a career option in general. Like all trends, these factors are modulating on a regular basis.

NYCC - Frank J. Nicchi, D.C., M.S.

The enrollment picture at NYCC is stable.

Parker - Fabrizio Mancini, F.I.C.C., F.A.C.C.

Enrollment at Parker College remains steady.  We purposely set 950 as a cap on our enrollment to provide the best education based on the capacity of our current facilities.  The enrollment cap has enabled us to raise our admission index.  We can select the more academically prepared students, which traditionally translates into a higher likelihood of success.

Parker College instituted the enrollment cap after carefully considering facility usage, class size, faculty to student ratio and clinic student distribution, as well as other factors.

TCC - Richard Brassard, D.C.

Enrollment at Texas Chiropractic College has been consistent over the past several years. Although there seems to be a decrease in the total number of students being admitted to chiropractic schools nationwide, here at TCC our enrollment has remained constant. Our student to faculty ratio is approximately 13:1, and we strive to manage our enrollment in order to keep the ratio at this optimal level, allowing our institutional environment to be family oriented and student friendly. This, coupled with our new, technologically advanced educational facility, provides a strong basis for our enrollment management plan.

 

3) Quality, Efficacy and Ongoing Improvement: Grade your School and Comment. (Is practice management part of the curriculum?)

LCCW - Gerard Clum, D.C.

One of the goals of Life Chiropractic College West is to see that our graduate in 2006 will be better prepared than our graduate of 2005. The issue of quality assessment and continuous improvement are at the heart of the academic process and also at the heart of the accreditation process. Life Chiropractic College West, like all of the chiropractic colleges and programs, is constantly evaluating its efforts, methods, procedures and planning in order that they accurately reflect the external environment and its attendant opportunities and threats.

An area of considerable frustration for every chiropractic program is related to the subject of practice management skills. Some programs view this as a critical part of the professional education of the chiropractor while others view it as something beyond the capacity of the chiropractic institutions and programs to adequately address. Like many things, the reality is likely somewhere in the middle. This is the perspective we have taken at Life Chiropractic College West. We present the fundamentals of the business of practice with content ranging from business planning to office procedures. It is our intention to provide our students with a background that will allow them to make good business decisions with respect to their professional life, but not to provide them with the details of that professional life. We help them sketch the tree, the leaves are their responsibility.

NUHS - James Winterstein, D.C.

We began our Ethical Practice Management program for our DC students about 15 years ago. This is partially didactic using on campus faculty and also practicing faculty who are brought in on a seminar series basis. Part of the program involves preparation of a practice development plan and in general seems to have worked well. Coding and insurance relations are a significant part of the educational process. Our surveys reveal that 96% of our graduates are in practice – I would give us an “A” on that basis.

There is little doubt in our minds that the education of chiropractic students must change. Practice is not just about back pain and spinal adjusting any more. The quantity of knowledge has expanded very rapidly, so there must be greater education in the area of genetics and physiology, for example. Meanwhile, our chiropractic medicine department has markedly increased the instruction in various aspects of kinetic chain analysis and related methods of care. New soft tissue procedures, Kinesiotaping, and rehabilitation are all part of the curriculum today.

NYCC - Frank J. Nicchi, D.C., M.S.

Based on exit surveys of alumni who have been out of school for 3, 5, and 7 years respectively, the quality and efficacy of NYCC’s education program would warrant an “A,” evidenced by the fact that 94 percent of our graduates who have been out of school for 3, 5, and 7 years respectively, continue to practice chiropractic. Additionally our graduates’ annual income are ahead of net averages. When one combines these facts with our relatively low student loan default rate, one easily discerns an overall picture of successful graduates.

NYCC is committed to chiropractic’s increased availability for all patients through integration, academic excellence, quality patient care and professional leadership.

Parker - Fabrizio Mancini, F.I.C.C., F.A.C.C.

Parker College continues to provide innovative instruction and we are proud of our many efforts to stay on the forefront of chiropractic education. Parker students learn successful practice management skills through the Parker College curriculum and Parker Seminars.  Our students leave as prepared, competent, and exceptional doctors of chiropractic and successful business owners.

TCC - Richard Brassard, D.C.

Creating competent and successful chiropractors is not only the mission of Texas Chiropractic College, but it is also a requirement for continued accreditation with the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). Accreditation is based on standards set forth by the Council on Accreditation (COA) of the CCE. These standards demand that the Doctor of Chiropractic Program provide students with the necessary instruction and opportunities to observe, acquire, and practice under supervision, the attitudes, knowledge and skills in the areas of: history taking, physical examination, neuromusculoskeletal examination, psychosocial assessment, diagnostic studies, diagnosis, case management, chiropractic adjustment, emergency care, case follow-up and review, record keeping, doctor-patient relationship, professional issues, wellness, ethics and integrity.

Practice management is a significant component of the Clinical Sciences curriculum at Texas Chiropractic College in preparing its graduates for clinical practice. A five-credit, 75-hour course in business law, practice management, and insurance is offered during a student’s eighth trimester. The course includes legal aspects of setting up a chiropractic practice, jurisprudence, legislative issues, and writing a business plan. The course also includes materials on effective office procedures, practice management, and business skills. In addition, students learn all aspects of insurance billing, third party payers, CPT and ICD-9 coding, filing techniques, and documentation. During internship in the outpatient clinic, students rotate through the clinic’s business office to gain practical knowledge of office management and patient billing/collections. Interns on preceptorship programs gain valuable experience from exposure to business offices in private and group practices.

 

4) New Technology: Is there ongoing Improvement to curriculum to keep up with the changing needs of the patients?

LCCW - Gerard Clum, D.C.

This is perhaps one of the most exciting areas for Life Chiropractic College West. In 2000 we occupied our new campus in Hayward, California. The campus was designed with a technology emphasis and related structural preparedness for greater technology application in chiropractic education and practice.

Soon thereafter, we became the most-wired campus in chiropractic with power and data to the desktop in every classroom where this was feasible. The next step involved campus-wide Internet accessibility on a wireless basis. This was accomplished and today there is wireless connectivity in every section and corner of the campus.

In 2003 we began a conversion from film-based radiography to computed radiography. This was accomplished by the end of 2003 and we are presently increasing our capacity through the inclusion of digital radiography technology for use in the classroom and the Health Center. Life Chiropractic College West was the pioneer in the use of computed radiography in chiropractic education worldwide and we will once again pioneer the application of digital radiography in chiropractic education on a worldwide basis.

In 2004 Life Chiropractic College West collaborated with True MRI Inc., and the first weight-bearing MRI facility in academia in North America was installed on our campus. Through this relationship we have initiated research efforts at the College and partnered with other chiropractic programs utilizing this technology. We have also developed a senior student rotation program offering firsthand experience to our students in the use of weight-bearing MRI. Our next effort will be to develop a one-year post-doctoral fellowship in advanced imaging focusing on the application and research related to this technology.

NUHS - James Winterstein, D.C.

In addition to the physical medicine components of the education of DC students, we have added much more in the field of clinical nutrition and botanical medicine and are looking toward expansion of education in the field of pharmacology, since patients today use far more and varied drugs than at any time in the past. As physicians, our graduates must be knowledgeable in these areas of therapeutics.

The other vital aspect of student education today, is in the arena of clinical research. At National, this aspect of education is expanding rapidly with emphasis upon the “why and how” of evidence based medicine.

When I attended chiropractic college in the mid sixties, I was required to earn 180 credit hours for graduation. Our students today must earn a minimum of 246 credits for graduation. Clearly the educational process – both quality and quantity have expanded, but I do not think we are done. Because of the magnitude of knowledge expansion, I think regular residencies will become a necessity in the future. This process will be phased in, I believe over the next 10 to 15 years. Within the residency process will be more hospital rotations and great opportunity for collaborative learning.

In my estimation, schools that are not looking to educational expansion will not be able to continue far into the future. The health of society is changing and despite the great interest in complementary and alternative medicine, there is evidence that the population is becoming less healthy. The declining health is related to lifestyle, in great measure, and I can think of no better physician to address these needs than the well-educated chiropractic physician who can bring a broad and minimally invasive approach to optimizing health. This great need must be addressed by broadening and extending chiropractic education. If we don’t see this need and this opportunity, I believe we will see a decline in our profession as others move in to take an ever-increasing share of back pain patients, which for many decades represented the chiropractic physician’s bread and butter.

National is up to the challenge and we welcome it as we look to the future, not as a large chiropractic institution, but as a university that offers the kind of educational quality that will be required for success in the challenging world of health care delivery – a university that offers a culture in which inter-professional collegiality is valued and promoted as we continue to expand our program offerings to include naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, oriental medicine and massage therapy.

NYCC - Frank J. Nicchi, D.C., M.S.

The most striking change in NYCC’s curriculum is its current emphasis on integrative care. NYCC’s on-campus integrative health center exposes students to healthcare therapies that include chiropractic, nutrition, mental counseling, massage, dyslexia training, medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Many chiropractors would agree that the true “art” of chiropractic, as distinguished from its philosophy and science, is something that comes through practical hands-on experience. The first step begins when students are introduced into real-world practice situations and are able to treat a wide variety of conditions.  NYCC has made every effort to forge relationships with distinguished healthcare facilities that accomplish this end.

Other colleges are likely to implement NYCC’s successful “hub and spoke” patient outreach model.  Throughout the New York State, for example, NYCC reaches out to a cross-section of a region’s patient population through a system of central hubs and connecting health facility satellites.  The “hubs” are NYCC’s integrated health centers, located in Seneca Falls, outside Buffalo, and Long Island.  They serve as central cores for the “spokes.”  Each center has a wide variety of spoke opportunities, including scoliosis screenings at local high schools, participation at sporting events, and speaking at local health fairs.

NYCC’s success resides, in large part, in its various internship relationships with renowned healthcare institutions.  These include the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.; State University of New York at Buffalo and Farmingdale; and Salvation Army sites throughout the state.  In Rochester, N.Y., NYCC collaborates with the Monroe Community Hospital (with an emphasis in geriatric care); Lifetime Care (an organization that provides home care, hospice services, and support for caregivers); Mercy Outreach Center and St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center (multidisciplinary clinics for low income populations.)  In addition, students intern at Clifton Springs Hospital for diagnostic imaging rounds.

NYCC has also played a significant role in heightening the presence of chiropractic in the military, after federal legislation mandated chiropractic benefits for active-duty personnel at designated sites.  NYCC collaborated with the Buffalo VA Medical Center, making this the first academic affiliation between the Department of Veterans Affairs and a chiropractic institution.  The Buffalo VAMC was the first in the country to appoint a doctor of chiropractic to provide chiropractic services to veterans.  Today, there are 28 VAMCs or Community Based Outpatient Clinics nationwide, with on-site chiropractic available to veterans on a referral basis.

These unique experiences offer valuable opportunities to student interns for developing health goals based on patients’ needs.  Undoubtedly, University of Buffalo’s students will present health concerns that differ from those of chronically ill patients at Monroe Community Hospital.  As NYCC prepares its students to work collaboratively with medical students, hospital staff, and other healthcare professionals, they may, in turn, encourage these professionals to collaborate with chiropractors.

Through these integrative efforts, the College has played a significant role in changing the chiropractic profession.  As colleagues and patients increasingly see chiropractic interns and clinicians in hospitals and other venues formerly considered “off limits,” practitioners are decreasingly relegated as mere “neck and back” doctors, but rather health professionals who treat a broad spectrum of health concerns.

Who benefits from NYCC’s efforts at integration?—students, the profession, and, most importantly, patients. 

Parker - Fabrizio Mancini, F.I.C.C., F.A.C.C.

We understand that the needs of chiropractic patients change and that health care consumers, as a whole, take a more active role in their care than in years past. Wellness is so important that it consumes most of our decisions, according to economist Paul Zane Pilzer. In fact, he projects that by 2010 an additional trillion dollars of the economy will be devoted to products and services that keep us healthy, make us look or feel better, slow down the effects of aging, and prevent diseases from developing altogether.

Parker College recognizes the growing need to prepare health and wellness specialists for the continually changing and expanding professional roles in healthcare. A Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness is now offered at Parker College. The program provides rigorous academic studies in an interdisciplinary program to prepare men and women for many healthcare related careers.

This program is attractive to students wishing to supplement their chiropractic degree with a bachelor of science. This distinctive degree program is also a good fit for those looking at careers in corporate wellness centers, fitness settings and community and college health settings.

Parker’s Future: As we prepare for our 25th anniversary in 2007, we naturally look toward our next 25 years. Since its humble beginnings, Parker has flourished and is now a highly respected college. However, we simply cannot sit back and be satisfied to admire our accomplishments and maintain the status quo. If we do, we will be shirking our responsibilities to our profession and to all those our profession serves.  Too much is at stake.  We have recently adopted our Parker Mission Statement:  Parker creates leaders who promote wellness care through high standards in Education, Research and Service.

Statistics show repeatedly that many health problems are preventable.

For instance, the landmark INTERHEART study included more than 29,000 people in 52 countries.  That research found a combination of lifestyle changes —including stopping smoking, eating healthier diet and exercising—could lead to an 80 percent reduction in the risk of heart attacks.  Imagine the impact if these lifestyle changes are combined with chiropractic care. The results can be amazing.

Wellness is and will be actively sought, taught and advocated throughout our college, clinics, research and seminars. We passionately believe we must interweave our wellness message with chiropractic. The wellness of those we serve stands in the balance.

TCC - Richard Brassard, D.C.

As demands for improvement are placed upon institutions of higher education, curriculum and educational programs will have to be routinely assessed and outcomes established for the institution to be able to continue to offer qualified students an educational program leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. Within the institution, the Department of Institutional Research assesses student performance on national board examinations, assesses faculty, staff, and students on campus climate, and assesses graduates at one, three, and five years beyond graduation on their knowledge of the CCE clinical competencies. Furthermore, TCC has established a task force to review college curriculum and syllabi for areas of deficiency and to make recommendations for improvement. The task force is currently characterizing the qualities of TCC graduates and will soon compare skill sets and attitudes of the ideal TCC graduate including the competencies of: therapeutic procedures, communication, public health, referral/collaborative care, evidence-based practice/research, quality improvement, practice management, special populations, health care informatics, and nutritional counseling.

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Can Chiropractic Care Help Scoliosis?
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Cover Stories
Written by Dennis Woggon, DC, B.Sc.   
Thursday, 27 April 2006 03:10

According to Dr. Charles Lantz, “Full-spine chiropractic adjustments with heel lifts and lifestyle counseling are not effective in reducing the severity of scoliotic curves”.  (JMPT 2001 Jul-Aug;(6):385-93, Lantz CA, Chen J.)

In an article published by Dr. Mark Morningstar, et al, the abstract states: “In this study, we investigate[d] the possible benefits of combining spinal manipulation, positional traction, and neuromuscular reeducation in the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis….  After 4-6 weeks of treatment, the entire sample size averaged a 62% reduction in their Cobb angle measurements.” (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/5/32)

I digress to the second article, with which I have a personal bias and representation.

Unfortunately, spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) and chiropractic adjustments (CA) both may have a detrimental effect on scoliosis by mobilizing compensated fixated stabilizing spinal units.  SMT and CA may actually increase scoliosis, and symptomatic care is taught in most chiropractic colleges.

The medical model is much worse, beginning with observation (like watching a coming disaster), followed by bracing (psychological and functional disability) and then surgery (permanent disability).

Scoliosis begins in the head, not in Cobb’s angle.  Cobb’s angle is only a reaction to the unaddressed subluxation resulting from abnormal biomechanics.

Scoliosis begins with forward head posture (FHP), loss of cervical and/or lumbar lordosis.

In the Active Phase, this is seen by a flexion malposition of C0 (occiput) and C1 (atlas) and a lateral deviation of the atlas relative to the head and upper cervical spine.

The C0 and C1 flexion subluxations create interference with the anterior corticospinal tract1 and laterally with the dorsal spinocerebeller tract.2  These tracts affect the postural muscles of the body.

This loss of lever arms causes a lateral shift of the body as an innate compensation to strength with a loss of flexibility.  (Note:  The normal curves of the spine give it strength and flexibility).

In normal spinal biomechanics, the body will compensate for this in order to survive.  This is Innate Intelligence.

The flexion malposition of C0 on C1 (posterior occiput) is unusual, but common in the active developing scoliosis.  This is accompanied by obvious head tilt or atlas laterality.

With the FHP and loss of spinal lordosis, this creates abnormal stress on the spinal cord.

Once the Cobb angle is above 30 degrees, normal spinal biomechanics no longer are applicable!

As the spinal canal lengthens in kyphosis, the spinous processes will then rotate into the concavity as a compensatory mechanism to decrease adverse mechanical tension on the spinal cord.  This is the “Over The Hill” or “Through The Valley” theory.

Abnormal spinous rotation causes the rib hump. As the spinouses rotate into the concavity, the rib cage will follow.

Without correction of the cervical and lumbar lordosis, correction of the scoliosis is not possible.  This is why manipulation, bracing and surgery fail, as they do not address the cause of the problem.

In order to correct scoliosis, the normal cervical and lumbar lordosis must be re-established first.  Once this is accomplished, it is then possible to correct the scoliosis.  Re-establishment of the normal curves reduces adverse tension on the spinal cord and then allows the Cobb angle(s) to correct.

In order to correct the scoliosis, establish a normal relationship of occiput (C0) and atlas (C1), correct the forward head posture, establish the cervical and lumbar curves, THEN, correct the spine in the lateral (Cobb Angle) dimension). 

Scoliosis Correction and Whole Body Vibration

Whole Body Vibration Therapy has been shown to be effective in working with the scoliotic patient.  The vibration overrides the proprioceptive system of the body, allowing for quicker alignment.

This would include 45-60 HZ for muscle guarding, 4.5 HZ for ligament and disc relaxation and 30 HZ for proprioceptive neuromuscular reeducation. By utilizing these principles, the Doctor of Chiropractic will become the spinal expert and take control of the care of the scoliotic patient.

The purpose of CLEAR Institute is to empower the DC who wants to specialize with the patients who have scoliosis and the doctors who treats them.

For Seminar information contact Parker College of Chiropractic @ www.parkerseminars.com, or call 1-800-266-4723.

For information on The Vibe or Vibrating Traction (VT), contact Williams Healthcare Systems at www.williamshealthcare.com or call 1-800-441-4967.

For further information, contact Dr. Dennis Woggon at www.clear-institute.com.

 
Your Practice is You
Cover Stories
Written by Bob Hoffman, D.C., Dennis Perman, D.C. & Larry Markson, D.C.   
Monday, 27 March 2006 02:16

Only 5 years ago, three friends, from completely ­different ­backgrounds, decided to join ­forces in a new business ­venture to help chiropractors achieve the same kind of ­success they had. Today, their ­supporters keep growing in number at a staggering rate. This “Identity-Based” ­program has helped ­thousands discover the value in understanding that

"Your Practice is You"

The Masters Circle was founded in 2001 by Drs. Larry Markson, Dennis Perman and Bob Hoffman.  Dr. Markson was, formerly, the founder of Markson Management Services, the largest chiropractic consulting firm in history.  Dr. Perman had been one of his consultants who branched off to create a new company, Consultant On Call, which emphasized the identity-based approach.  Dr. Hoffman was a well-known figure in international chiropractic politics, and the owner of a chiropractic products company named Power Practice.  The three agreed, there was a need for an identity-based practice management and personal growth company for chiropractors with outstanding products and services, so these three entities came together to form The Masters Circle.

In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Drs. Markson, Perman and Hoffman of The Masters Circle (TMC) discuss the success principles they teach, which are responsible for having transformed the lives and practices of their many members as well as shaping the future of the chiropractic profession.

TAC: Tell us about the services and products you offer chiropractors and how or why you offer them.

TMC: Our program is, in essence, a post-doctoral program for doctors who aspire to greatness in their practices and their lives. Through a custom-tailored process, which includes seminars, coaching, teleclasses and related study groups, printed and audiovisual materials, and more, each member is guided toward those aspects of personal development and professional excellence that need attention, all evaluated and planned on an individual case basis.  Members follow a course of study consistent with their needs, as determined by the coaching team through analysis of the member’s practice and specific intervention designed to address the challenges of that particular chiropractor and practice.

In addition to our seminars, members participate in POD’s (practical open discussions), where a coach or facilitator presents valuable practice building, practice management or identity-based subject matter, and then members get to discuss and mastermind together, streamlining the learning process and accelerating the learning curve.  Our methods of teaching, consulting and coaching are at the cutting edge of current technology, using advanced online services, identity-based coaching and top shelf teaching materials, digitally recorded and mastered and edited to museum quality.  As such, no matter what the member’s experience in practice so far, new practitioner, underachieving veteran, or happy thriving doctor who wonders if there’s more, we can create a program that suits the chiropractor’s needs and provides inspiration, motivation and education.

TAC: Dr. Hoffman gave a great speech at your Las Vegas seminar last fall in which he shared your vision for chiropractic in the future. Can you please share this vision with our readers?

TMC: The vision of The Masters Circle is a worldwide, quality-of-life-driven health care delivery system with chiropractic in the leading role. The Age of Wellness is upon us, and people will no longer settle for just feeling okay.  Today’s health care consumer is better informed than many doctors, and they have made their desires clear—they want wellness and quality of life issues addressed, not just treatment for their conditions.  They want a more natural, less invasive approach to living longer and better, and we believe that it is the responsibility of the chiropractor to spearhead this movement in the marketplace and offer this kind of service to our communities.  Each member plays a role in the development of this vision, through clinical applications, philosophical orientation, and practice management methodology, building the image of the chiropractor as health care leader and wellness pioneer, and delivering the finest and most complete health and wellness service possible to their constituencies.

Since the bulk of the important decision-making in our society is handled by the Baby Boomer Generation, whose key values are quality of life and longevity, this theme of wellness is consistent with the needs and wants of the dominant segment of our population, and paves the way for wellness companies to lead the field and influence the public to assume responsibility and develop a more healthful lifestyle.  Members are encouraged to enroll their patients in this way of thinking, so the chiropractic wellness lifestyle becomes the norm, and the need for invasive treatment, dangerous drugs and surgeries, and other emergency procedures, becomes less prevalent as the reason for them naturally declines.

The Masters Circle aims to be a clearinghouse for wellness information for doctors of all kinds, and to serve as guides for chiropractors, wellness practitioners and health care consumers, to help them get the latest and most pertinent information on success and fulfillment, and the most contemporary viewpoints on health.

TAC: What are your goals for TMC in the chiropractic profession?

TMC: Our mission is to help as many chiropractors as possible to build the practice of their dreams and the best lifestyle they can imagine.  Some may mistake this for being driven by money, but it really isn’t that for us or for most of our members.  We do teach about success and profitability, as any company of our type would, but always presented in an atmosphere of fairness, ethics, and integrity.  Our members write a description of their dream practice, and then work conscientiously to develop themselves into the kind of chiropractor who could actually create that dream in reality.  They are trained to work on their weaker areas, to refine their personalities and grow themselves in key aspects, like confidence, communication skills, confrontational tolerance, focus and motivation, which helps them to perform better and take more action.
By our helping members grow from the inside out, they truly become better versions of themselves, and their results reflect that growth.

TAC: What is the most common problem you see among chiropractors today?

TMC: Many chiropractors would admit that, while they work hard, they don’t feel that they get the return from their hard work they expect. Most blame this on the marketplace, on the legislature, on insurance companies, and other misguided thoughts. While these elements may have some impact, they can’t be the determining factors, because some people are very successful even with those factors active.  So, then, it must be something unique to each chiropractor, and that’s why we concentrate on our members’ identities, instead of just their practices, which are reflections of their identities.

So, the number one problem we see in chiropractors today is poor self esteem, an unwillingness to invest in themselves and in their practices because, deep down, they just don’t feel worthy.  It’s a terrible situation; but the good news is that there is a way to build self esteem, personal power, and loving relationships and, typically, when a chiropractor cracks the code of his or her own self-image, new opportunities for growth and success appear as if by magic.  Just like health and wellness, success is an inside-out process, and we focus on the tools and techniques for creating it.

TAC: What is the biggest problem or challenge you see in the chiropractic profession today?

TMC: The biggest challenge our profession faces today is the balance of power. Only a small percentage of chiropractors are represented by the national and local organizations and, until someone develops a consistent message of leadership and commonality, this balance of power will continue to be distorted. This interferes with public awareness and acceptance of chiropractic care, since we lack a consistent and congruent message to the marketplace. The Masters Circle is committed to unifying this message so the public can truly capitalize on the miraculous healing benefits for which chiropractic is famous.

TAC: Can you think of one change that a chiropractor can do to significantly impact his/her practice’s growth immediately?

TMC: The simplest thing any chiropractor can do to significantly impact his or her practice immediately is to identify a key weak area that is holding him or her back and strengthen it.  If a doctor is sloppy with paperwork, clean it up.  If a doctor is chronically late, raise the standard and show up on time.  If the doctor doesn’t confront patients well in asking for money or referrals, build confrontational tolerance to handle the issue.

That’s the point of an identity-based process—there isn’t one magic formula for success, each of us has our own, and cracking the code of that formula is the basis of The Masters Circle’s approach—to custom-tailor a program to the needs of each member, to address the unique configuration of strengths and weaker areas, and to invest energy where it belongs to make things better.  Much like finding and reducing a subluxation, it eliminates interference to what should be a normal flow toward success and fulfillment.

TAC: Do you have any recommended marketing strategies that chiropractors can do to attract new patients and/or to keep current patients?

TMC: Marketing strategies fall into two basic categories—inside the office and outside the office.  Inside the office, you can ask for referrals, teach health care classes, tell stories-of-the-day, hand out patient literature, or discuss family health history.  You can also sponsor promotions like Patient Appreciation Days, Patient Dinners, and holiday events, or support a worthy cause.

Outside the office, you can speak to groups, develop strategic alliances with local professionals or vendors, perform screenings, write columns for the newspaper, or provide hazard-risk analyses for local companies and become their company chiropractor.

There is a simple five-step format for aiming at ideal patients: identify the patients you like, locate them where they’re likely to be found, increase your visibility in those locations, learn to close this kind of patient effectively by learning their values and how your services meet their needs and, then, shape your office procedures around serving this type of patient.

As far as keeping current patients happy and satisfied, nothing works like great, loving service; but there are a few pointers that help this process along.  Once you’ve established rapport, use patient compliance skills, like a great entry procedure and report of findings, consistent patient education, effective re-examination and progress reports, and a solid recall system. By managing the case from beginning to end, you encourage patients to follow through and get full value from your services.
These are tried and true techniques, yet they only work up to the level of the actions taken by the individual chiropractor.  Your identity determines your capacity, and your capacity determines your results.  If you’ve done lots of marketing events like the ones mentioned here, and they haven’t worked out well, maybe it isn’t the technique—it’s you.  Once again, that’s why we concentrate on building inner qualities as well as outer behaviors—it increases your sense of self, which leads to better results in everything you do.

TAC: What single piece of advice would you give a new chiropractor just starting out?

TMC: Get help. Don’t try to do this alone. No matter your experiences in business, in school or in life, opening, running and building a chiropractic practice is like nothing you’ve ever done before.  Not everyone is willing to commit to a full scale seminar, coaching and support process like The Masters Circle, but you will need some guidance and input to avoid common pitfalls and move yourself in the right direction with as few unnecessary mistakes as possible.  Also, watch for the launch of our online New Practitioners program, sometime this spring—it will provide many of the services start-up chiropractors need, online 24/7 and for a reasonable price.   It’s our way of reaching out to the new practitioner who may not yet be ready to be a full member, for whatever reasons.

TAC: What general advice would you give an established chiropractor whose practice might be struggling?

TMC: Your practice is you. If you are struggling in practice, it is because some aspect of your self image and the behaviors that stem from it are not serving you.  Begin a program of self-empowerment, with affirmations and visualization of what you really want, and get yourself into the physical and mental condition where you have the energy to push harder and take massive action.  Getting yourself into action is one of the most powerful things you can do to change your current situation—even if you don’t know the exact right things to do, do something, and keep doing something until it starts to work.  Also, obviously, getting help from The Masters Circle will make it happen faster and better; but looking inside and seeing where you are stuck, based on fear, anger, self-absorption and self-indulgence, unwillingness to confront, lack of confidence or self-esteem, or something like that—that’s the real key to growth, no matter what your past has been like, and no matter what else you do.  Everyone has better raw materials than they think, and everyone is fully equipped to make a good life and practice—you just have to know where to invest your time, energy and capital, and then, miracles can happen.

TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?

TMC: Chiropractic is headed in the right direction overall—toward wellness, quality of life and longevity—rather than fighting a futile battle against disease.  As more professionals understand and embrace the concepts of the chiropractic wellness lifestyle, chiropractors will emerge as leaders of the wellness movement, and providers of natural healing services, coordinating not only spinal adjustment but other wellness modalities, like nutrition, exercise, psychology, massage, bodywork and other energy techniques.

The quicker we see each other as allies and colleagues, instead of adversaries, the sooner the public will appreciate all we have to offer, and seek us out as advisors and guides to a better quality of life.

TAC: Any final words for our readers?

TMC: One of the most important core ideologies of The Masters Circle is that “success comes from you, not to you.”  That means that it’s who you are that determines how well what you do works.

That’s why I can’t just tell you how to build a great practice—at least not without knowing who you are, what you’re willing and not willing to do, where you are stuck and what it will take to unstick you from that place.  Just like adjusting the spine, where each patient is unique, but there are patterns we can pick up on and address, it’s the same thing with chiropractors and their practices. There are patterns that indicate what is holding you back and what you need to do to get the help you need.  Come to one of our outstanding events, and experience it for yourself. Talk to our faculty, our members and to us, personally, and discover what thousands of chiropractors already know about The Masters Circle.

If you are the kind of chiropractor who wants to serve more people, make more money, reduce stress and create more balance, then The Masters Circle Chiropractic Success Formula can help you do it. For more information, call Dr. Robert Kleinwaks at 1-800-451-4514, Ext. 114, or visit www.themasterscircle.com.

 
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