Some would argue that gaining acceptance by the medical community is not the goal and I wholeheartedly agree. However, acknowledging the generally accepted statistic that chiropractic cares for 5% of the population, while medicine cares for 95% of the population, makes me pause to think about my strategy to accomplish my goal of having 100% of all Americans under chiropractic care.
I have been in chiropractic for 31 years and 30 years ago my biggest challenge was to neutralize the MD’s who did their best to prevent my patients from receiving a chiropractic adjustment. Today the pendulum has shifted and MD’s, both primary and specialists, are embracing chiropractic; the new goal is to get them to embrace the chiropracTOR, so that chiropracTIC wins.
Last month, in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, after a presentation to lawyers on spinal injuries and spinal care, a neurosurgeon came up to me and 4 other chiropractors and solicited our opinion on patient care. He went on to state that he would like to continue the relationship with the local DC’s as part of his team when caring for his patients.
Two weeks ago, after another lecture in Chicago, 2 anesthesiologists and a physical medicine specialist who were in attendance approached me and wanted to know about protocols in utilizing chiropractic with their patients. The same situation occurred with a NY-based orthopedic surgeon on Long Island.
Recently, an internist inquired about sub-leasing to a chiropractor, as he felt that an in-house chiropractor was a good team solution to the non-surgical back cases that were clogging up his office.
In every scenario, these MD’s had seen the chiropractors’ curriculum vitae through attending lectures or having them as “ice breakers” for the relationships. These MD’s have also experienced the level of clinical excellence of the chiropractors through dialogue and treated them as colleagues instead of second class citizens.
This is the bridge to the 95% of the population. We, as a profession, have been going to the public for well over a millennium and have succeeded in reaching that 5% of the population, but the door was shut to organized medicine. Understand that organized medicine does not mean the doctor next door; it is the political and legislative machine that drives the laws and research dollars in our country. It is those two things that bring medicine the other 95% of the population by organized medicine’s lobbying efforts to secure public and private funding on issues like cancer and tooth decay, alike.
Can you imagine the government sponsoring a $10,000,000 research grant to the chiropractic profession on fighting “spinal decay through regular chiropractic adjustments?”
It starts by being on the “inside looking out” vs. being on the “outside looking in.”
If you are the “real deal through clinical excellence,” the medical community will embrace you. However, you must meet them on common ground, so they have a real concept of your level of excellence. It starts with a correctly formatted curriculum vitae (CV) displaying your level of education and knowledge through citations on the document. There are many avenues to get that into the hands of the MD’s and the easiest way is to send an evaluation report to every primary care physician of each of your patients and include a copy of your CV. This CV will also follow you to court on personal injury cases and in the insurance industry through managed care.
If you do not have a CV in admissible format, there is a free service at www.uschirodirectory.com that will walk you through the process of creating one. It is a five-minute process and you can print it out when it is completed.
Your CV is often the ice-breaker to relationships. However, if your knowledge base doesn’t reflect your CV, be prepared to be a “one-and-done.”
The common ground with the MD is knowledge of the spine (neuromuscular) and imaging (primarily, MRI). Those are the two areas in which you need to become expert.
Do not talk technique, because the MD could care less; they only care that you are the best at what you do and have the knowledge base and credentials to back it up. With today’s technology and our level of quality professional education, we must continually go beyond the subluxation in our desire to treat subluxation, and that journey must continue well beyond our professional diploma. It is solely our responsibility.
It is this type of clinical excellence and verification on our CV’s that will create that paradigm shift and have the medical profession running after us for solutions to their problems. Once that occurs, the population shift to chiropractic will gain momentum and start moving towards that 95% of the population, because we are the solution and no longer the problem.
In each instance I discussed, the MD’s reached out to the chiropractors because of their knowledge based on our common issues. Once there is a greater need for utilization nationally and we are on the “inside” of organized medicine, research grants, laws and public awareness will come much easier and with support.
Your job is to become clinically excellent beyond the adjustment and have it reflected in your CV.
Dr. Mark Studin is the President of CMCS Management which offers the Lawyers Marketing Program, Family/MD Marketing Program and Compliance Auditing services. He can be contacted at www.TeachChiros.com or call 1-631-786-4253.