Interviews


Perspective From the Outside In: Interview with Andrew Cheesman
Interviews
Written by TAC Staff   
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 16:58
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ndrew Cheesman, who has been with NAOMI/RF System Lab since 2007, is Sr. VP of Marketing and Sales for North America. Having an extensive background in merchant banking, Cheesman has lived in eight countries and has done business with 52 various countries over the years. Born and raised in the UK – and now residing in Lincoln, NE – you will see him at all major trade shows for chiropractic, including the Parker show in Las Vegas and the FCA show in Orlando. Having had in-depth conservations with over 2,000 chiropractors, Cheesman has some unique perspectives on where the profession is and, perhaps, where it is going.
 
TAC: What is the most common problem you see among chiropractors today?  
Cheesman: The most common problem chiropractors face is perception; I am still not convinced that people really understand what a chiropractor can offer to the average patient. We are so used to instant gratification in the US today - for everything - that the steady, consistent approach that chiropractors take seems like too much work to the average person living in this era. In a world of Twitter, Internet, Email, On Demand T.V. programming, consumers are just so “want it right now” in nature that the message of chiropractic doesn’t reverberate with most people. I am not saying that it shouldn’t, but, regretfully, it just doesn’t. 
 
TAC: What is the biggest problem or challenge you see in the chiropractic profession today?
Cheesman: I really hope that the biggest problems are behind us; the latest report on chiropractic income levels show growth of around 20% per annum. The fact is that we have a population that desperately needs chiropractors. They can offer the average person relief from pain, and an understanding of how their body works and how their lives can be improved. It is a truly astonishing profession with so much to offer. The biggest challenge is to make sure that everyone understands exactly what they can do for you. 
 
The central message of treating the root cause of a problem instead of just treating the symptom, as allopathic medicine tends to focus on, is just right on so many levels. But, as stated earlier, in this day of instant gratification, the message of pre-emptive wellness is hard to sell. That being said, I do believe – even while a DC is operating on long-term health care – it is critical that patients feel better when they walk out the door than the way they felt entering the practice. 
 
I know that is not always possible, but a doctor should always keep in mind that if you want that patient coming back with his $35, or whatever they pay, it is imperative that the patient feels better when they leave. If not, the odds are they won’t be coming back for very long. And if they genuinely feel good when leaving the practice, not only will they return, but they are apt to mention their improved condition to their family and friends.  

TAC: Can you think of one change that a chiropractor can do to significantly impact his/her practice’s growth immediately?
Cheesman: There is a great e-book that I just read that talks about the three ways to grow a business:  1.) add new clients, 2.) increase the average value of each visit, and 3.) increase the number of visits. Everyone focuses on new clients and yet they are the most difficult, and most expensive, to attain. The ability of each chiropractor to analyze frequency and revenue is the key to improved bottom lines and customer satisfaction. Yes, you always need new patients to some degree, but keeping the ones you have, and increasing the case fee – by providing more services – has to be part of the picture of success. Also, if you speak to the leading coaches and management groups, they will tell you that a doctor must make protocol decisions based on the well being of the patient, and not on what revenues it brings to the practice. Many docs who “lost their way” fall into the trap of adding products and services based on profit first and benefit to the patient second. This is a way to falling out of “purpose.”  I would say that a DC who has his head space in order finds success almost instantly.
 
TAC: Do you have any recommended marketing strategies that chiropractors can do to attract new patients?  And to keep current patients?
Cheesman: I do believe that chiropractors need to understand their own client base better. Focus on finding techniques or technologies that compliment who and where they are. Not all technologies will increase your client base if they don’t apply socioeconomically. Only buy technologies that apply and then focus on referrals. If the growth is inexpensive and organic, you will be more likely to retain the new patient and therefore increase your income.
 
TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Cheesman: I see continued growth with the focus on the core values of chiropractic medicine. The economy is improving, more disposable income will be available and now is the time to blow the horn; now is the time to make chiropractic medicine relevant to each and every American.
 
TAC: Who is Naomi by RF System Lab and why do they matter to DCs? 
Cheesman: Naomi by RF System Lab offers chiropractors a diagnostic digital retrofit x-ray system at an affordable cost. We lead the market, not only in quality, but in the fact that we are the only x-ray company in the US that continues to support our doctors at no cost. We offer free lifetime technical support, upgrades to our computer programs (ensuring that each and every doctor continues to benefit from RF’s development programs), and lastly, we offer radiographic assistance in building technique charts, to maximize the doctor's digital experience, again at absolutely no cost to the doctor. The cost of ownership is so important to our clinics, as it enables them to focus their resources on other aspects of the clinic and not be paying for something that they already own.
 
TAC: What are your goals for the chiropractic profession?  
Cheesman: Our goals for the chiropractic profession: allow chiropractors who can benefit from a DXR unit to do so on an affordable level. Realistically, as a company that only succeeds when the profession succeeds, we want to see chiropractors continue to educate the public about the positive benefits of seeing a practitioner regularly. I truly believe that we are very fortunate to be able to go to a trade show like Parker and see the energy, enthusiasm and the commitment to excellence that the profession possesses.
 
TAC: Any final words for our readers?
Cheesman: We at Naomi are proud to be part of the chiropractic family of medical manufacturers. We believe that we are the chiropractor’s choice for digital x-ray and will continue to strive to get better to maintain our position.

Andrew Cheesman is Sr. VP Marketing and Sales for RF System Lab North America, based in Lincoln, Nebraska. Their head office is based in Nagano, Japan. They are now the largest digital retrofit company in the world. You can reach them at 800-905-1554 or visit www.rfamerica.com or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
President of ChiroTouch™ Robert Moberg on Recent Success
Interviews
Written by TAC Staff   
Saturday, 28 January 2012 03:19

Integrated Practice Solutions, Inc., creator of ChiroTouch™, has been named as one of America’s fastest growing companies by Inc. Magazine.

 

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othing succeeds like success.  It’s as true today as it was when Sir Arthur Helps of England first printed it in 1868.  And even in the face of a badgered economy it has been just as true for Integrated Practice Solutions (IPS), which has seen phenomenal growth in the past three years.  Inc. Magazine has just named IPS the 105th fastest growing company in the health sector, and the 25th fastest growing company in all of San Diego.  Robert Moberg, sat down with The American Chiropractor to talk about the rapid growth they are experiencing.

 

chirotouchsuccessTAC:  Can you tell us a little bit about that and the process to get qualified?

RM: Sure.  We were invited to submit our company’s performances.  In the last couple of years we’ve been recognized in our own city, San Diego, as one of the fastest growing companies in San Diego, and as a result of that we were invited to submit our results to Inc. Magazine to see how we would rank nationally.  They put out a list every year of how the top 500 to 5000 companies are doing, based on growth over a 2-year period.  We submitted our numbers and we were pleased to see we were around 1300th out of the 5000 fastest-growing companies, and the 105th company in the health care industry.

 

TAC:  Congratulations!  So that’s a chiropractic company that’s achieving very explosive growth.  What would you attribute this growth to?

RM: You know, I’ve been asked that question a lot.  Since we’ve been in the article folks have come back and said, “What is it you’re doing now that has created that growth?”  And what I try to make them realize is that it has very little to do with what we’re doing now – it really has to do with what we’ve done in the last 2 or 3 years that’s been consistent.   In a staid or trying economy, we’ve continued to be visible in the marketplace and continue to keep ourselves in publication, and continue to keep ourselves in front of events and tried to do the best we could to maintain an active presence.  So we really just try to do what we’ve consistently done for a while, and as a result of that last 2 or 3 years of being consistent I think we’re experiencing those results now.  As others tended to fade away, we chose not to, and it’s put us in a position where we can experience growth.  With the stimulus package out there, and the move to an EHR system being mandated, chiropractors are trying to become more progressive, and are seeing us as a company that is giving them a fully-certified solution that makes a lot of sense.

 

TAC:  Considering the current economic environment, how do you see ChiroTouch progressing with regard to Medicare and the moving target that health care reform has for the future?  Is that going to change how ChiroTouch works?  Are you going to be able to provide service to those that need it should anything happen at the federal level?

RM: Yeah, I think it’s really important for us, and we’re staying very much in tune to it so we know what’s going to be necessary, and we feel it’s our responsibility.  We believe that where Medicare has created a footprint, other insurance companies have tended to follow.  We believe the mandates Medicare is making today will transcend into other environments.  It’s very important for us to prepare the doctors. On the adoption scale, Medicare didn’t feel that most of the doctors would adopt the software till the third year, so we still feel there’s a great 2 or 3 years of growth for both us and also the doctors in chiropractic.

 

TAC: Is there any advice you’d like to give a chiropractor out there who is considering purchasing a note system?  Maybe they’ve used hand-written notes their entire life and they’re intimidated by using a touch screen or by saving information and the IT costs associated with it…could you talk about that a little bit?

RM: Sure.  We recognize and know there is a fear, but at the end of the day what we’re trying to give the doctors back is time.  If you can save them time, you’re going to save them money, and the time saved can be spent on more aggressive patient care and more aggressive marketing, both of which helps them really grow their practice.  Ultimately, doctors that transition from a paper-based practice to an EHR system will find an eased burden in running their practice.  What I’d suggest to them: Get a software that fits you from a company you know has been around, and will be around, for a long time.  The best software will make the biggest difference, and where many of the software systems have the right features, not all of them have the features right.   It’s a key distinction, and we’ve taken a lot of time in the last 10 years to understand what helps make chiropractic software right, so that when they’re using our software they can practice with confidence.

 

TAC:  Thanks for your time.  Is there anything else you’d like to add?

RM: I just appreciate it and we just enjoy being part of this profession.

 

TAC: Thank you.


 
The Scoop on Postural Adjusting: Interview with Burl R. Pettibon, DC, FABCS, FRCCM, PhD (Hon.)
Interviews
Written by TAC Staff   
Sunday, 18 December 2011 00:44
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fter receiving an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force Burl Pettibon attended Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, MO.  He graduated in 1956 and practiced in Tacoma Washington while developing clinics in other locations.  Dr. Pettibon was a department head for two years in the college that is now Palmer West.  He has guided The Pettibon Institute’s direction, continuing education offerings, and research since its inception as the Pettibon Spinal Bio-Mechanics Institute in 1981.
 
pettibondcAs a teacher, inventor, and researcher, Dr. Pettibon’s influence and contributions to the science of chiropractic are legendary.

Dr. Pettibon has been an extension faculty member and lecturer at Palmer College of Chiropractic for more than 35 years. He is also an extension faculty member at Life University, Logan College of Chiropractic, Parker College of Chiropractic, and Cleveland Chiropractic College, where he received his degree in 1956. Dr. Pettibon has written more than 65 papers and books on chiropractic care and research. Over the course of his career, he has developed 25 clinics. At the present time, the profession is using the more than 40 products that he has invented to make the detection and correction of vertebral displacements both easier and more accurate. He currently holds three patents and has another two pending approval.
 
In 1988, Dr. Pettibon received the Daniel David Palmer Chiropractic Scientific Award. In 2005, Dr. Pettibon was certified as a Fellow of the American Board of Chiropractic Specialists and inducted as a Fellow into the Royal College of Chiropractic Medicine. In April 2007, Dr. Pettibon was awarded an honorary PhD from American International University, an affiliate of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United States of America, a sister college of the Royal College in England, which in 1645 founded what is now the world’s oldest medical educational institution. 
 
TAC: What is it that led you to get into postural rehabilitation, versus traditional subluxation-based Chiropractic?   
DR. PETTIBON: In Chiropractic College I was taught that chiropractic is a philosophy, science and art that corrects spinal deviations, the cause of neural impedances and dis-ease, rather than just treating symptoms.   I had friends that were graduate chiropractors practicing near the college and persuaded them to allow me to use their clinics and x-ray facilities to take pre and post adjustment x-rays of people.  I and several other chiropractors adjusted these people for free and took post x-rays to see our results. When we compared pre and post adjustment x-ray readings and laid them on top of each other we found that the patients’ displacement subluxations were more displaced than before we adjusted them.  We were obviously disturbed and confronted our clinic instructors at the college with our findings.  
 
They admitted that they had never checked their results but they were not surprised or concerned.  After graduation, I took a class in the Grostic procedures from Dr. Grostic.  His post x-rays showed that he could correct upper cervical displacement subluxations.  However, I took a second and third set of post x-rays two and five days after they had been corrected.  In all instances the displacement subluxations measurements proved that the displacements had returned to their original pre adjustment positions.  
 
This made me realize that there was much more to spinal displacement form and function than just the hard tissues involved.  Therefore, I began to read research articles published by others in the healing arts and took a closer look at physiological and neural responses to the applications of external mechanical forces applied to the spine we chiropractors call an adjustment.  
 
neckstrengtheningTAC: How did your peers view the changes that you were making to the delivery of chiropractic?  
DR. PETTIBON: I was interested in results, not being popular. It is interesting that many of my peers brought their families to me and came to me for their own care. I received hate mail and was threatened. People don’t like their religion questioned. It was not my intent to incense anyone. It was purely a quest for truth. 
 
TAC: Was there anyone in chiropractic that was doing similar things to what you were doing when you began to adopt these new procedures?  
DR. PETTIBON: There were people with questions and who were willing to look for answers, such as Roy Sweat, who took my class and later developed his own technique. I developed many relationships through the years with people who had questions. They are listed in the dedication to my latest book, which is soon to be released.                                                         
 
TAC: How many chiropractors are using this in the field currently?  Are only chiropractors doing it? 
DR. PETTIBON: I began teaching upon request from my peers and went on to develop the Pettibon Biomechanics Institute, Inc. as a nonprofit teaching institute that has literally held classes all over the world. Myself and others have taught the Pettibon Technique initially and in the last ten years, the entire Pettibon System to approximately 6000 varied health care professionals, to include 300 Korean M.D.’s at Yonsei Medical University in Seoul, Korea as well as Russian M.D.’s in Vladivostok.
 
Approximately seven years ago we realized that the wave of the future will dictate that people would prefer not to travel and would prefer to learn online. We were the first technique to be approved by P.A.C.E. with the relationship continuing to this day. We are also approved online by Palmer College. We have three comprehensive programs online at this time and are launching a NEW five part series throughout Fall/Winter of 2011. They will be affordable and simple to navigate and understand, covering every possible topic a professional needs to understand how to achieve predictable and long-lasting results. 
 
TAC: How important is it to warm up the discs and soft tissues prior to administering the adjustments you deliver?  
DR. PETTIBON: Discs have viscoelastic properties, plasticity, hysteresis and they creep as they lose their hydration and height daily while under load.  The loss of disc height closes down on the IVF with the potential for causing as much or more neural impedance as any lateral or rotatory subluxation.  Further, if the disc is not rehabbed daily it and the spinal joints that are normally protected by normal disc height can become pathological.  
 
therapeuticchairThe soft tissue component is so critical to long-term results that we pre check our patients for their ability to respond to adjusting / mobilization / manipulation before ever putting any force into the spine. If the soft tissues are weak and unresponsive our first job is to strengthen them prior to any type of manipulation / adjustment / mobilization. I am excited to introduce a new paradigm shift Fall 2011 that I believe will revolutionize how the spine is viewed and the correction of spine problems. 
 
TAC: Where do you see the Pettibon (technique) system going in the future?  
DR. PETTIBON: The Pettibon System will challenge the result-oriented practitioner to think out of the box. We will continue to educate health care practitioners in such a manner to seek answers for questions that prevent them from the results they want to deliver. We have focused on delivering the promise of chiropractic through scientific inquiry and delivery of methodologies that validate the care we provide. Our pre and post x-rays do not look alike and the patients continue to make significant gains after they are no longer under active care and are following our simple protocols the rest of their lives. I think it is important to differentiate a system from a technique.  
 
TAC: What is the most important aspect to success in care through the Pettibon System?   
DR. PETTIBON: As in all things, it is following the step-by-step process of the Pettibon System, which will give the result the patient and the clinician seek. When a patient is educated to follow in-home procedures and perform preparatory warm ups and traction before their postural evaluation they come to understand the value of participation. Success in care is only as good as the dedication of the doctor and staff. We have a proven model of success with training for implementation and clinical outcomes that are objective and documented. It is everything I went to school to learn and did not. It is the reason I got up in the morning all of those years; to solve problems I had no solutions for at the time.
 
President of David Singer Enterprises: Interview with Dr. David Singer
Interviews
Written by TAC Staff   
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 21:39
D
r. Singer received his undergraduate degree from Rutger’s University, his M.S. degree in nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and his Doctorate from the New York College of Chiropractic. Graduating with honors as the salutatorian of his class, he was inducted into Phi Chi Omega, the International Chiropractic Honor Society. 
 
singerdavidIn his first year of practice, Dr. Singer was seeing more than 100 patients per day. Within the first eight years of practice, he was dubbed “Master of New Patients” by his peers, and was averaging more than 50 new patients per week despite the advertising limitations in his state. 
 
His transition from private practice to practice management consultant came about due to the fact that he was constantly being asked to show his colleagues how to reach his level of success. In 1981, Dr. Singer founded his consulting company and since that time, his company has twice won the prestigious INC. Magazine’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies award. 
 
Dr. Singer was a major supporter and contributor to the chiropractic anti-trust suit against the AMA, spearheaded by Dr. Chester Wilk, who, after 12 years, defeated the AMA. 
 
In 2008 Dr. Singer was asked to sit on the Advisory Board for the Chiropractic Legal Action Fund.  This organization helps provide the finances for the legal battles of the chiropractic profession. He also sits alongside the presidents of the ACA, ICA and numerous chiropractic institutes, at what is called the Chiropractic Summit.  This organization was created to help ensure the future of the profession. 
 
TAC: Here I am with Dr. David Singer, chiropractor, practice coaching expert—specifically to ask him questions about collecting cash as insurance reimbursement become less and less.  Dr. Singer, could you tell our readers a little bit about your background, getting started, right up to today?
DR. SINGER:  Well, first of all I’ve been a chiropractor for thirty  nine years.  I started my practice in 1972 and ’73 so there was nothing other than a cash practice.  I started my practice at seven dollars a visit, and it was all cash—there was no Medicare coverage, there was no auto coverage, there was just no coverage.  Many of you who are reading this who have been in practice only the last twenty years never experienced what it’s like to be in a practice that’s all cash, and it probably sounds intimidating, frightening, and fearful—and you ask, “what am I going to do if insurance stops?”  How am I going to survive living without insurance?”  The fact of the matter is, for those of us who practiced in the early days, every one of us will tell you it was a lot more fun, a lot easier, and you went home at the end of every day and knew how much money you made.  You didn’t have to fight for every dollar you earned.  

In his first year of practice, Dr. Singer was seeing more than 100 patients per day.

Your overhead was a heck of a lot lower.  For those of you who are reading this, this is not a discussion about whether you should stop billing insurance, that’s not the issue.  Obviously, if you’re in a state where you have great coverage, you ought to take advantage of the insurance that’s available.  I just met with a Medicare representative and here are some of the numbers for you who are reading this to be aware of. 
 
Our profession ten years ago was paid nine hundred and eighty million dollars by Medicare.  Last year, Medicare paid the entire chiropractic profession a little over five hundred million.  In that period of time we’ve had hundreds if not thousands more chiropractors.  You would think that the amount of money we would be getting from Medicare would go up, given the fact we have so many more chiropractors practicing.  I don’t think I’m telling you any secret you don’t know, but the amount of reimbursement that the profession of chiropractic is getting from federal and state programs is going down and down and down, so the subject of cash practice is not a discussion of, “should I quit billing insurance,” but rather it’s a discussion of, “How do I actually collect what insurance companies are not paying?”
 
TAC: Now, for someone out there that’s been in the field filing insurance for years, and all of a sudden that well seems to be going dry for them, I’m sure they’re looking at you right now saying, “So how should I adapt to these current market trends”?
singerdavid2DR. SINGER: Well, here’s how I feel it goes.  You’ve got to take a look at the consumer.  When they come to see you at your practice, their goal—they have a goal—is to get rid of their pain, their suffering, and to do that in the least expensive way possible.  
 
There’s nobody who walks into your clinic who has the goal in mind to spend as much money as possible, to go to you as long as they can.  Their goal is a quick fix.  We live in a society where everybody’s looking for a quick solution to every problem they’ve got.  There’s no difference in our profession.  In a cash-oriented practice, the solution is knowing how to communicate more effectively with the people you see.  
 
Here’s how it goes: the less money that you are asking people to pay you, the less skill you need to have in knowing how to handle people.  If you are asking for a lot of money, you have to have greater skill in the area of communication in order to get the person you’re talking to to feel that paying you would be worth the money.  The consumer must feel what you’re offering them is of great value to get them to spend a lot in a tough economy.  If you want me to make more comments on this, just ask me.
 
TAC: Please do.  Do you mean speaking in scientific terms, representing studies, or are you talking about building a relationship with the patient?
DR. SINGER: So here it goes: I come to see you and I’ve got lower back pain, and I’m willing to pay to get out of that pain, that’s why I’m in your office.  If I can only afford forty dollars a week and you’re charging me one hundred and eighty dollars for the first visit, sixty-five dollars for each visit thereafter,  I will make a judgment call. If I feel you can help me, I might put this onto a credit card, take some of my savings, or do whatever I need to do to get out of that pain. 
 
If you’ve convinced me that you can help me, I will go and I will do that, but I can assure you the minute I feel free from that pain I will feel that going to you and paying you is more painful than my back pain, because my back pain is gone.  So there’s two ways to look at how to move into a cash-oriented practice.  One can look at it and say, “Okay, I’m going to try to convince this person that they really need a lot of visits, 30, 40 or 50 visits to get rid of that back pain.”  
 

We all believe in that concept—and what’s the concept of wellness?

I could sit there and lay out a program for you and say how severe your back is, how bad your discs are, how bad this is and that. I could sincerely tell you that it is really going to take those visits and it’s going to cost you, at sixty-five dollars a visit, over three thousand dollars, etc.  
 
Or there’s another approach to this, which most people don’t even think of, and that is to sit down when a patient comes to us and expand what their goals are.  In other words, their goal as we all know is to get out of pain as quickly as possible, but can you, through your communication with them, hold out to them a bigger picture, a bigger goal? 
 
You go into a shop to buy a tie, and they show you a shirt that would go really good with the tie. Then you go, “well I really only wanted to buy that tie, but that shirt looks really great on me.”  I mean, all of you reading this have had an experience during the holidays—which are coming up soon—where you go to buy someone else a gift but you see something you really want, well, you buy that for yourself also.  I mean, you weren’t really planning on that, but it looked so good and it’s on sale and you buy it.  Well, what we as a profession have to learn how to do is take the consumer and make available to them a goal—more than just getting rid of pain—that would excite them, motivate them, and that you could deliver, that they feel would be worth a lot more than simply getting rid of that pain.
 
TAC:  You’ve been doing this for thirty years and you currently consult one thousand clinics a year, that's quite a busy schedule then.  Could you comment on trends in the healthcare market going forward?
singerdavid3DR. SINGER:  Here’s my advice to the reader: we’re moving into this wellness revolution, everybody’s talking wellness. We all believe in that concept—and what’s the concept of wellness? That you can live longer, you can have your youth, your vitality, your energy. You can even look younger to other people.  So, if I was to sit down with you and I said, “Listen, I know you’re coming here today looking for help to get rid of your back pain, and I certainly want to help you with that, but I want you to know, because we have more of a wellness-oriented practice, we actually have a larger goal for the people we meet, and that goal is to help our patients not only get free from pain, but live longer.  
 
I mean I actually feel I could put ten years on your life if I was to have your body functioning the way it should, if we get you on to a better nutritional program, and we actually show you how to take care of yourself.  I mean, you have to ask yourself this question: Do you think ten years from now you’re going to be healthier, or do you feel ten years from now you’re going to be in worse shape?  So the point I’m making is if you feel that, given your lifestyle and how you take care of yourself, ten years from now you’ll probably be in worse shape than you are now, then I just want to let you know that we can reverse that process. 
 
We have a wellness center, we know how to help people live longer, feel younger, and actually have a better functioning body.  But listen, you’re here for your first visit, and I just met you, let’s take a look at what we can do to help you with your back problems, and as you get to know me I’ll tell you more about what I do.  If living longer and being healthier is something you have an interest in then I’d obviously like to help you more than just get rid of pain.”  In other words, what I’m saying is you don’t have to sell it, you don’t have to force it down people’s throats, what we can offer people is so wonderful…all you’ve got to do is let them know it’s there. 
 
Now, a major issue in your practice really does come down to knowing how to handle money.  It’s not just about how to handle the patient, but it’s also about how to handle money.  If you were to offer people options regarding being as healthy as possible and you know how to explain what we can do to help them become healthy, people will want it. How to do that is a longer discussion than what we have time for in this article.  
 
The way to get people under your care is to simply ask them one question, after a thorough, honest explanation of how you truly can help them be healthier and live longer: If you could afford it, what kind of care would you want? Would you want the care to just get out of pain, or would you want to have the care that could actually make you a truly healthier person?  If we could help you have more energy, youth, and vitality, if we could add a few years to your life, if you could afford it, what would you want? And I’m going to tell you, with proper patient education everybody says, “If I could afford it, of course I’d want to be as healthy as possible.”  Now, obviously you’ve got to lay down principles and concepts that get them to understand that you can help them to that goal, but then you got to be able to say to them, “If you could afford it, what would you want?”  And I’m going to tell you, if somebody came in to buy a tie and you show them this beautiful shirt, then you show them a beautiful suit, and you said to them, “Listen, take a look at that.  If you could afford this, not just the tie but the shirt and the suit, would you want them?” I’m telling you, most people, if they liked how they looked in that suit—and here’s the truth of the cash game—if they wanted it they will purchase it.  You see, the art of patient management is to get people to want what you’re offering before you ever try to sell it to them.  

In other words, what I’m saying is you don’t have to sell it, you don’t have to force it down people’s throats, what we can offer people is so wonderful…

What I believe is wrong with a lot of doctors is they try to sell things to people, as opposed to getting them to want it.  If somebody wants something, then it’s the patient and you on the same team, you understand?  You want the care, or you want the suit, I want to have you get the suit, I want you to get the care.  You want it, I want you to have it, all you’ve got to do now is work out the economics–we’re on the same team.  But if I’m trying to convince you, if I’m trying to sell you something, then I’m trying to talk you into something, and what you’re going to hear a lot in your practice are the following words, which you’ll hate to hear: “I want to go home and think about this.  Let me go home and think about it.” Which, by the way, means, “I’m not coming back.”  
 
To educate people properly takes more than one visit. We believe you should start taking care of people as soon as you feel it is right. If your style of practice is you adjust them on the first day or the second day, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is before you ever try to get them to agree on a program, you've got to first get them to want it.  That’s the art.  Getting them to want what your goal is, not getting them out of pain.  
 
We already know they want to do that, that’s why they’re in your clinic—but you need to learn how to get them to want a broader picture for themselves and their future.  You also need to learn the art of handling money, which is knowing how to work out budgets.  Getting people to be able to pay you what they can afford, as opposed to getting them to build up a debt on a credit card.  When I say ask people, “if you could afford it, what would you want to do?” And they go, “I want to be healthy if I can afford it,” then it’s your job to figure out a budget that would allow that to happen. Again we teach our clients how to do this, but we don't have time to do that here.
 
TAC:  Thank you for being so forthcoming and sharing with the readers here.  How would a chiropractor at home right now get in touch with you, learn more about what it is that you offer?
DR. SINGER: The answer to that question would be: call our office, 1-800-326-1797, and ask for Taylor or Michelle, and let them know you’d like to join me on a teleconference.  We hold two-hour teleconferences three times a week.  We charge nineteen dollars, and that money goes to the Chiropractic Legal Action Fund.  In other words, we raise money to help our profession get better reimbursement.  
 
The money is donated to the Chiropractic Legal Action Fund that is currently in litigation to fight for better reimbursement for chiropractic.  I do this to help my profession; I do it to help you.  Call in and join us in one of our conferences at 1-800-326-1797 and I can assure you those two hours will be the best two hours that you  have ever spent on new patient marketing and patient management.
 
TAC: Thanks for your time, Dr. Singer.  Look for future issues of The American Chiropractor online with video content as well.  Have a great day.
 
 
Dr. David M. Brady Breaks the Glass Ceiling in Academia: Interview with David M. Brady, D.C., N.D., C.C.N., D.A.C.B.N.
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Written by TAC Staff   
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 14:43

 

davidmbrady

D
r. David Brady, a 1991 Texas Chiropractic College (TCC) graduate, is the first DC worldwide to break the "glass ceiling" within academia by being conferred vice provost of the health science division at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He is the first and only chiropractor to attain that elevated status worldwide in a major university and, because of his extensive training in chiropractic, nutrition and naturopathic medicine, is now in a position to influence the educational direction of scores of minds, young and old, for years to come.

Chiropractors have broken into the politics, forensics, law enforcement, finance and academia, to name a few, and every time an individual chiropractor rises in the ranks of a specific field, it clears the path for others to follow. It also offers our profession a multitude of new opportunities to educate the public about chiropractic and, in the case with Dr. Brady, to create collaborative programs with various healthcare professionals offering greater avenues for access to chiropractic care.

The American Chiropractor salutes the great accomplishment of Dr. David Brady. 

Interview with Dr. David M. Brady, Vice Provost for Health Sciences at the University of Bridgeport

 

TAC: Dr. Brady, can you tell us what your title is at the University of Bridgeport  (UB)?

Brady: Well, it is quite a mouthful, but I am currently the Vice Provost for the Health Sciences Division, the Director of the Human Nutrition Institute, and an Associate Professor of Clinical Science.

TAC: What exactly is a Vice Provost?

Brady: Thanks for asking, as people outside of academia are often confused by what the word Provost actually means. Many are familiar with a university President, but not a Provost. While a university President leads the entire institution, including overseeing the fiscal operations, community relations, and overall governance, it is the Provost that really oversees and leads the academic operations of most universities. For example, Deans of colleges within a university generally report to a Provost. At UB, as in many other universities, we are broken up into divisions related to fields of study, including our Health Sciences Division. As the Vice Provost for Health Sciences, I oversee the colleges and schools related to the health sciences and I guess you can say that I am positioned between the Deans of those programs, including Dean Frank Zolli of our College of Chiropractic, and the university Provost.

TAC: So what exactly do you do as Vice Provost of the Health Sciences at UB?

Brady: The position of Vice Provost for the Health Sciences is essentially the coordinating administrator for the College of Chiropractic, College of Naturopathic Medicine, Fones School of Dental Hygiene, Nutrition Institute, Acupuncture Institute, Physician Assistant Institute and any academic programs added subsequently to the Division of Health Sciences. I also oversee the operations of the UB Clinics, our public clinic system located within our Health Sciences Center. A big part of my job is to facilitate communication among the programs and to enhance efficiency in addressing and advocating for our needs in the Division of Health Sciences to the University as a whole, and to the President and Provost. This involves a lot of different issues, including developing new academic programs, interfacing with hospitals and medical centers where we send students and interns, developing collaborative relationships with other academic institutions, advocating for and planning facilities improvements, working with program Deans in improving academic quality and assessment, and assuring compliance with accreditation standards, and overseeing the community outreach, marketing and quality assurance for our public clinic system.

Keeping with the mission of the UB Division of Health Sciences, we now have the only PA program in the world that has an integrative medicine theme running through the entire curriculum

TAC: Can you give us some examples of some initiatives and projects at UB that would likely not have happened before you were appointed Vice Provost of Health Sciences three years ago to provide coordination amongst the programs within the division?

Brady: Well, one of the main tasks I had when taking on this role was to break down the former silo-mentality that tends to take root in an institutional setting with many different individual programs. Here, we had all of these really great programs in far ranging health-related fields but, for the most part, each of these colleges or schools was doing its own thing and trying to advocate for just its own needs within a complicated university structure and system. Once we started working much more collaboratively with a plan that harvested the inherent synergies between us and pooled our efforts and leverage within the university system, we were able to achieve many things not previously possible. These included obtaining from the University significant investments in facilities upgrades, including the updating of classrooms and teaching technology, general facelifts for buildings, and significant investment in a brand new state-of-the-art anatomy dissection lab being built this summer. We have also been able to introduce a new sophisticated clinical information system (CIS) into our UB Clinics that brings with it full electronic medical records, scheduling, billing, and clinical data mining capability for conducting interdisciplinary research. With this tool, we can seek research grants and funding to perform much needed complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research that compares different approaches, such as chiropractic, acupuncture and naturopathic medical interventions for a host of disorders and conditions seen in our clinic system. We were also able to develop new academic programs, such as our Physician Assistant program, which required reaching out to the medical community in our region and establishing relationships at almost all of the medical centers and hospitals in Connecticut. Keeping with the mission of the UB Division of Health Sciences, we now have the only PA program in the world that has an integrative medicine theme running through the entire curriculum, which will result in primary care providers who are not only extremely competent in their discipline, but also have an understanding of various complementary approaches, including chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, nutrition and acupuncture, which they can ultimately discuss with their patients as treatment choices. We have also developed new undergraduate programs in the health sciences, including a collaboration with the University of Connecticut (UConn) on pharmacy education, a medical laboratory sciences program, and we are also developing a new Masters in Public Health and a Doctorate in Health Sciences that are minimum residency programs, allowing students and health professionals from around the country and world to experience what is happening here at UB. It also allows our students to cross-train and to participate in dual programs, leaving UB with multiple degrees and career opportunities. 

bradyinterviewTAC: Wow, all of that sounds wonderful. How do you have enough time in the day?

Brady: It is sometimes not easy, but it is a labor of love, as I have gotten to see the strides we have made and what we have become over my 14 years here at UB. I also just love to see positive changes for the students that study here. We have really moved this division forward by virtue of our collaborations. One example is how we were able to open up new clinical experiences for our chiropractic and naturopathic medicine students in the form of hospital-based rotations, which were made possible by the relationships that were formed during the development of the Physician Assistant program with St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport.

TAC: How does being Vice Provost at a comprehensive university and a chiropractor at the same time help the UBCC program?

Brady: I think that my training as a DC helps me to better understand the needs of the College of Chiropractic as we devise strategies for the continued development of the Division of Health Sciences. It should be noted that I came from the ranks of the UBCC faculty and worked in that capacity for almost 10 years. My chiropractic background also helps me to articulate what chiropractic is all about to many different decision makers within and outside the University, as well. 

TAC: How is the exposure to chiropractic to UB students from all around the world affect the future of global health care?

Brady: It definitely helps increase the awareness of chiropractic globally. Through collaboration with UB, we have seen international programs in chiropractic developed by our UBCC graduates, such as the chiropractic program at Hanseo University in Korea. We also have UBCC faculty members involved in helping chiropractic programs flourish in Spain. As more people are exposed to chiropractic from around the world, it helps raise the profile of awareness of chiropractic internationally. That is a good thing.

TAC: Do you know of any other person trained as a doctor of chiropractic that is in a position such as you? That is, overseeing an entire division of health sciences representing a multitude of health care disciplines, at a full spectrum university such as UB with programs as diverse as engineering, education, music, business, design, etc?

Brady: To my knowledge, I am the first and, at present, only. However, I believe my training in multiple disciplines, and not only chiropractic, has allowed me to prepare for this responsibility and to do a better job as a result. 

TAC: Tell us a little more about your training across these various disciplines?

Brady: Well, believe it or not, my undergraduate training was in electronics engineering technology and I worked for the computer division of the aerospace company McDonnell Douglas. I worked with computer aided design systems, including those used in the biomedical design and production of total joint replacement technologies. This brought me into contact with orthopedic surgeons and biomedical engineers at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and sparked my interest in applying my engineering knowledge to the human body. This eventually led me into chiropractic, as the biomechanical education in chiropractic training is substantial. I trained at Texas Chiropractic College in the Houston area, graduating as Valedictorian in 1991. During my time at TCC, I was able to participate in a multitude of hospital rotations in the colossal Houston Medical Center. This allowed me to learn a lot about not only chiropractic, but also allopathic medicine, from many different specialists' perspective. I learned how to work and talk with medical doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and hospital administrators and experienced a model of collaboration and cross training that I believe helped me in creating some of what we have accomplished at UB. During these experiences, I always felt that I was able to bring a positive message about chiropractic and what it has to offer in the health care system to other medical professionals and decision makers. I was also very lucky to train at TCC, which was the only chiropractic program offering such a hospital experience at that time, and where I also picked up a passion and appreciation for the power of therapeutic nutritional, which then became my new area of interest. I subsequently went on to my nutritional training and became a diplomate and nationally board certified in nutrition. Ultimately, I went on the complete my academic and clinical training in naturopathic medicine at the University of Bridgeport.

TAC: Is that why you came to UB, to train as an ND?

Brady: I was practicing and teaching in the Houston area for about seven years after completing my chiropractic internship and diplomate programs in internal disorders and nutrition. I was then recruited to join the faculty in the College of Chiropractic at UB. I was brought in because of my training in internal diagnosis, laboratory medicine, and nutrition and quickly found myself also teaching classes for the students in the College of Naturopathic Medicine at UB. It was at that point that I knew I wanted to complete my training as an ND, as well. It took me quite a while, as I was completing this rigorous program while still teaching and practicing. 

I practice one full day a week and feel that it is really necessary to keep me connected to patient care.

TAC: Do you still practice?

Brady: I do. I have been in continuous clinical practice since 1991. I have practiced for the past 8 years or so as a licensed naturopathic physician here in Connecticut within an integrative internal medicine group that has MDs, NDs, DCs, nutritionists, and various therapists and counselors. I focus on chronic disease management using the functional medicine model, which includes the integration of nutrition and nutraceutical intervention, diet therapy, herbal medicine, physical medicine, lifestyle modification, and pharmaceutical therapy when necessary. I practice one full day a week and feel that it is really necessary to keep me connected to patient care and the issues that our students at UB will face upon graduation. I also do consulting work in the nutraceutical and nutritional supplement industry, as well as for medical laboratories, and travel quite a bit, presenting on functional medicine and nutrition around the US and internationally at various scientific symposiums and conferences.

TAC: Oh, is that all?

Brady: I forgot to mention that I also have two little guys as home: Ian, who is 5, and Owen, who is 3 and a half. You could say that they keep me quite busy as well.

TAC: In closing, do you see yourself staying at UB and what do you see UB becoming in the future?

Brady: Oh, I see myself staying at UB if they will have me. I want to see this through. It is really simple. We want UB to continue to develop into the academic center of excellence for integrative health care in the US and to provide opportunities for students to come and study in a place where there exists a pallet of health care professions and approaches to choose from where collaboration, appreciation and respect exists amongst these professions. We are all about health care choices for patients, as is evident by the approximately 20,000 patient visits that take place in the UB Clinics annually across a multitude of disciplines and approaches. In order to provide those choices to patients, we need to continue to train qualified, competent, and compassionate professionals in all of these fields. This is a commitment shared by President Neil Salonen and Provost Hans van der Giessen, as well as the entire University of Bridgeport and, without this vision and commitment to health sciences, what we have done so far would not have been possible. We also know it is working, since we have alumni doing incredible work all over the world treating patients as private clinicians, as well as former graduates in very important positions within prestigious institutions, including the medical schools and hospitals of Yale, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Vanderbilt to name a few. 

TAC: Thank you, Dr. Brady.

Brady: Thank you, for the opportunity to let the chiropractic profession know a bit more about the work we are doing here, which has had a profound positive effect on chiropractic. At UB, we have witnessed that, the more we integrate complementary healthcare disciplines in our clinics, hospitals and educational processes, the more patients have gained access to chiropractic care.

 
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