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October 2009 Archives
As I was flying home after presenting New Patientology in Calgary last weekend, I reflected on my recent experiences speaking to chiropractic audiences. Why do chiropractors go to seminars? And what are they expecting from doing so?
Some who claim to be self-professed seminar “junkies” have stacks of notes they’ve collected from attending a career’s-worth of weekend programs. Yet, their practices hardly match the vast knowledge and wisdom to which they’ve been exposed. Others seem to have no interest in seminars, turning out only for required continuing education programs.
There seems to be a disconnect between knowing and doing. (Which isn’t specifically a chiropractic problem!) It seems many seminars compound the problem by piling on still more things to “do” to make your practice successful. I’m guessing that a passive, sit-there-taking-notes-beside-your-staff-seminar is unlikely to produce the needed personal or practice breakthroughs.
Are seminars worth the trouble?
Continue reading "The End of Seminars As We Know It?" »
Are some of your adjustments better than others?
In far too many practices, the first patient or two of the day receive inferior care. Like an undisciplined basketball player who resents having to do the drills, the wind sprints and the free-throw practice, many chiropractors just want to play. They arrive at the practice mere minutes before their first patient. They're not warmed up. They haven't visualized the day. And they're little more than human pneumatic devices.
This can be costly. Besides reducing the adjustment to a soulless mechanical thrust, the accompanying lack of presence obscures opportunities for more profound listening and the insights that have are the trademark of legendary healers.
This week, get to the practice earlier. Prepare for every patient. Rehearse conversations. Show up alert, intuitive and ready to serve. Then you'll know what they need besides an adjustment, whether it's information, encouragement, hope or merely a willing ear.
Q: What is the difference between us mortal chiropractors and the few who see between 2,500 to 3,000 a WEEK in a single doctor office? While I have NO desire to try to duplicate that, I’m nonetheless fascinated by it. What makes them able to create this kind of demand for chiropractic?
A: Granted, I’ve never actually met these chiropractic superstars who are able to help large numbers of people, but I’m guessing that there are a couple of profound differences between them and the typical chiropractor.
While it’s tempting to look at a single dimension of these individuals (patient volume) and overlook the impact it may have on their marriages, relationships with their children, the overall sense of peace and other emotional and spiritual issues, I would assume such chiropractors would have at least made the following distinctions:
Continue reading "Dear Bill" »
Soon after writing The End of Seminars As We Know It? which suggested that gathering electronically to get new information typically disseminated at seminars, I was due to do a webinar with my good friend Dr. Sig Miller of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors.
One reason why I like working with Sig is that he’ll often stop me and we’ll discuss some of the nuances or implications of something I say in passing. I bring the patient’s point of view. He brings the audience’s point of view. It’s a lot of fun.
Here’s the most recent installment. It explores one of the important, yet overlooked aspects of the doctor/patient relationship: the ending. Leave a comment!
Is your objective to treat the patient's pain, restore motion or eradicate subluxations? If so, that's the practice of medicine. This is a distinction lost on patients, ignored by insurance companies, missed by licensing bodies and overlooked by many chiropractors.
So, it's no surprise that those chiropractors who haven't made this distinction often have a constant need for new patients.
If you've found yourself in the business of "fixing" spines or relieving aches and pains (what patients want) rather than helping invoke their inborn ability to self-heal (and explaining the difference), it's only natural to expect patients to leave when their symptoms are gone. After all, they think you're a back doctor.
Thus, the notion of regularly seeing a chiropractor to be their best for the rest of their lives to maximize their well-being or enhance their ability to accommodate the stresses of daily living seem like a needless and expensive self-indulgent luxury!
I thought you’d enjoy last night’s interview. Reserve 22 minutes and take a listen. Turns out, that among other things, I’m the “next best thing to being a chiropractor.” Who knew?
Yesterday I spoke at the New Beginnings seminar in New Jersey. Since this philosophy weekend hosted by Dr. Jim Dubel began back in 1991, I’ve probably accepted the invitation to speak upwards to a dozen times. And while this time the feedback was generously positive, I left thinking that I didn’t give the talk I should have.
The 150 or so who attended represented the more philosophical faction of chiropractic in the tri-state area. They gather to be reminded of chiropractic principles and to rub shoulders with like-minded chiropractors and paraprofessionals. Instead of the “tough love” content I should have delivered, I took a safer path, squandering my 50-minute opportunity. Thus my regret.
While I briefly touched on some of these topics, here’s the outline of the talk I should have given:
Continue reading "The Talk I Wish I’d Given" »
The scriptures are replete with examples of the severe penalties faced by Israel for indulging in idolatry. Today, we tend to scoff at the notion of idolatry, even celebrating it in popular television programming (American Idol)!
Have you constructed idols in your practice? Some chiropractors have turned their technique, their health, their reputation and even their hands into idols.
This is dangerous territory. Besides the obvious hubris, it suggests that you're somehow responsible for the healing and the often dramatic results produced by reducing tension to the nervous system along the spinal column.
However, like your car's ignition key that activates the intelligence built into it by the engineers who designed and manufactured it, your adjustment merely invokes the intelligence built into each patient by their Maker. Claiming credit (or taking blame) is actually a form of stealing.
Give credit to the manufacturer, not the key; the Maker, not the adjustment.
There’s a lot of talk about the role of social media and chiropractic practice building these days. Some believe it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. Others are cautious and frankly a bit skeptical. I’m in that camp. Especially after reading Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. by Mitch Joel.
But this book covers much more than Twitter and Facebook! It’s really about how you manage your online identity. And while many chiropractors rarely take it further than having a chiropractic website, understanding the growing role that the Internet plays in “reputation management” and connecting your practice to your community is crucial. (If you haven’t yet experienced the helplessness of an unfair “review” by a disgruntled patient, you will. Are you prepared?)
If you’ve shunned the Internet, don’t know the lingo or simply want some levelheaded thinking about how to use it to grow your practice, you’ll find this book easy to read and very helpful.
On what assumptions have you based your practice?
Chances are that when you chose chiropractic as a career and opened your practice, you did so based on a series of assumptions. Such as, chiropractic will help get sick people well. There are enough people who want chiropractic care to have profitable practice. And of course the assumption that with sufficient research, chiropractic will be embraced by the mainstream.
More troubling are some other assumptions made by chiropractors who find themselves struggling. Such as, patients want health. Doing a great job produces referrals. If you say the right words, you can get patients to value their health. And the all too common assumption that lowering fees will increase patient volume!
Make a list of the assumptions you make. Hold them up to the light. Are they true? Remember what happens when you assume--you make an "ass" of "u" and "me."
Increasingly as I speak to chiropractic audiences, I’m noticing an alarming trend. It’s the justification that is used to get patients to do the “right” thing. It’s as if anything is fair game if it will cause patients to get under chiropractic care.
However, the “do-gooder” attitude that prompts these patient management techniques have the effect of producing some unwanted consequences that become more obvious in light of today’s practice environment. The words and actions taught to trusting chiropractors may produce the desired result in the short term, but often end up costing far more in the form of few patient referrals and even fewer reactivations.
You might consider passing every patient procedure and every word you speak through this simple filter:
Continue reading "Machiavellian Chiropractic" »
The 1990 pages of the health care reform bill, referred to as "Affordable Health Care for America Act" (which is certain not to be affordable or offer true health care) is less than spellbinding reading. I’m guessing most legislation isn’t. This may be why our elected officials haven’t even read many bills recently signed into law.
I skimmed the document. The word “chiropractic” appears once (page 1645) alongside dozens of other practitioners who are defined as a “health profession” eligible for helping Indians and Urban Indians. Seems that the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the new Health Choices Commissioner have a lot of discretionary power. Among them is to establish a program to provide grants to eligible entities (pharmacists) to implement medication management services—that, oh by the way, include dietary supplements (page 1415).
I was delighted to see that wellness plans are included (page 62) but capped at no more than a token $150 per year. Huh? And alarmed that grants (page 1391) will be available to carry out demonstration programs designed to test the feasibility of using our nation’s elementary and secondary schools as so-called “voluntary” influenza vaccination centers. Hmmm.
The best way to get people to surrender their freedom for security is to create a climate of fear. Can’t help but wonder if the current H1N1 folly is somehow related to this overture to first hijack, and then control, what can and can’t be done in the name of health care. Granted, a lot can happen between now and the presidential signature. Let’s hope that exposing this monstrosity on the Internet will hasten its rejection.
This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in October 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.
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