Are you the most closely kept secret in your community? How many people do you really think know who you are, where you are, and what you do? Not just that you are a chiropractor and you "snap" necks and "pop" people to "fix" their backs—I mean really know your ideals, your philosophy on health and healing, the high ethics and values that dictate your policies and procedures, know and/or have experienced the incredible life changing events that happen in your practice everyday. How many people walking or driving past your office even recognize that you are there? Of those that do realize your presence in some far reaching corner of their consciousness, how many do you think have, at most, a minimal understanding of your worth and value in their lives and the lives of their families? The answer, at least statistically, is that most people have very little idea how valuable you can be in their lives.
When I took an honest, somewhat self-critical, and professional evaluation of the role I have in my community’s level of awareness of the importance of chiropractic as part of their health care plans, I realized that I felt a sense of absolute responsibility. I’m not saying that I am responsible for every person’s story, or every person’s health paradigm. I’m saying that I feel, in my community, I am responsible for providing opportunities for people to learn the truth about health and well-being and the role a balanced spine and nervous system play in the development of those states. I decided that it was my responsibility to act with consistent and persistent action to share my story and the story of the thousands of people who have benefited from chiropractic in my office. I decided that it was important to get out of the four walls of my practice and begin to become a more valuable resource to my community as a leader, to get involved with civic organizations, schools, churches, Scouting organizations, private businesses and corporations as well as contribute meaningful information to the local press.
What I found was consistent across the board—the people in my community are looking for information that makes sense. They are skeptical of the information they get from television, magazines, and radio advertising. They don’t trust the medical model and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to most. When someone sees their loved ones relying on the medical system, only to witness their deteriorating quality of life and health, it leads to confusion, fear, and discouragement. The other thing I consistently found was that, when I present chiropractic to the general public—true chiropractic—it just makes sense to most and that leads to clarity, hope, and encouragement.
Getting "out" and building relationships through service is the best way to create value and trust in your community. When you show people that you care enough to be interested in them and that you are interested in serving their needs, they begin to want to serve your needs. If one of your needs is to share the story of chiropractic and to serve more people with your skill, compassion, and love, then that is what you will get.
Let me end this segment with the following story. About two years ago, my partner went to the local fire department to give our "Neurology of the Subluxation" PowerPoint, only to find an empty meeting hall, except for one 16-year-old nursing student from the local high school vocational nursing program. Many would have left, feeling as though the program was a bust, expecting an audience of twenty and not wanting to waste the time talking to one 16-year-old girl. Why waste the time talking to her when she can’t legally make health care decisions without consent anyway.
I am glad to say that was not Dr. Rok’s attitude. He spent the next forty-five minutes teaching this young lady about the physiological effects of the subluxation complex. Long story short—she went back to the teacher at the vocational center and shared her story.
In the last two years, we have given more than twenty programs from our PowerPoint library to every high school and adult education nursing class in our community. We are currently helping them change the curriculum from a purely disease-based curriculum to one balanced with wellness education. Until next time, I leave you with this statement and the following question. Your community is looking for its leader to show up. Are you that leader?
Dr. Slocum and his partner, Rok A. Morin, D.C., are co-creators of Learning Curves™, a three-tier community education and marketing program for the chiropractic profession. Drs. Slocum and Morin lecture on a national basis to chiropractors encouraging them to spread awareness of chiropractic in their communities. Go to www.learningcurves.us, e-mail
or call 1-800- 613-2528 for more information.