Even though all chiropractic doctorate degrees are earned through the stringent studies of chiropractic education, the actual license to practice chiropractic is another story. Nearly all chiropractors are governed by requirements for keeping the ability to practice their trade, if you will. These requirements are not in place for the purpose of annoying the doctors, or for giving them a reason to take time off to attend seminars with attached family vacations.
These requirements are in place exactly for what they are named: For continuing your education. It is not that you did not receive an adequate education; it’s that times change, and so do laws, rules, standards of care, documentation requirements, public health issues, and, believe it or not, there are advancements in the profession! We can always learn more in order to enhance ourselves as well as our practices. Just as an eye surgeon needs to continue his or her education in order to keep up with the latest laser surgery technology, so must we, as chiropractors continue to learn. We must remain on the cutting edge of any changes that are taking place and, at the very least, be aware of them. It is no different in the orthopedic medicine arena, as patients would rather have today’s computerized imaging and latest surgical techniques for knee surgery as opposed to the methods used in the 1970’s.
As another example, vitamins and herbal medicine have arrived in today’s society. The average patient knows more than ever regarding supplements, and why and when to use them. Why not have, at least, a basic understanding of the most recent developments in nutraceuticals? Patients will ask for your opinion; and, in order to give one, you must have at least some education in nutrition.
Also, today’s chiropractic patients are computer savvy and have become quite familiar with the Internet. They have the ability to research any and all medical issues, including chiropractic treatment methods, techniques, and therapies. Patient education has changed forever, because the patients are so much more informed. Your patients know, in advance, that there are new therapeutic cold laser therapies available that have been proven to alleviate TMJ and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome without surgical involvement. They will know that rehabilitative measures are important for effective recovery from soft tissue injury. They will know that there are alternatives to manual chiropractic treatment with instruments like the Pro-Adjuster and the Activator. Your patients may know that there are ways of balancing the body with orthotics. Shouldn’t you at least have knowledge and an opinion regarding these issues?
Nothing is more important to your image as a chiropractor than furthering your education. Becoming a specialist in a certain technique will set you apart in the public eye and make you an opinion leader. Becoming knowledgeable regarding risk management may save you from a potential lawsuit. Knowing the importance of insurance compliance may cause you to avoid a post payment audit of your practice. There are countless ways to achieve your continuing education requirements. Why not consider this requirement to be a benefit to you, your image, your patients, and your practice. By bettering yourself professionally, everybody wins!
Dr. Maurice A. Pisciottano, Executive Director of Pro-Solutions for Chiropractic, is a practicing chiropractor, noted lecturer, author, researcher and teacher. He has devoted the past 14 years to the development of the instrumentation and the computerization of chiropractic treatment and documentation. He can be reached at Pro-Solutions for Chiropractic in Pittsburgh, PA, at 1-877-942-4284.