“Thursday’s MD Meeting”
On Thursday, I had a meeting with another MD office. This office was smaller with 2 internal medicine MDs and about 6 support staff. They were a small satellite of a large medical group and were located down the street from my office. I drove past them for years without reaching out. I didn’t have any of their patients under care and they were not really on my radar. In March, yes, that is March of 2011, I had a patient with a subluxated rib and the beginnings of costochondritis that was a patient of one of the doctors there. I did write a previous consultation on the phone call and the results of the adjustment. If you remember, this was the MD that had the DO intern in her office. The best part of this lunch meeting was I found out that the DO “manipulated” her thoracic spine and rib, but it was the chiropractic adjustment in my office that actually got her better! If you have not read Consultation #42, “’Rib-Out’ Referral,” please go back and read that so you get the lead in to this meeting.
It is VERY common for medical offices to run behind, so the first point is to make sure that you have plenty of time. Don’t be there all day, but don’t diminish your return on the meeting by just meeting the staff. When I arrived at 12:15 PM (the lunch was scheduled for 12:30 PM), I walked in and said to the front desk, “Good afternoon, I am Dr. Owens and I’m here for lunch.” I was taken back to the lunch room and a few minutes later the food was delivered. At about 12:30 PM, the admin staff and 2 registered nurses came in, made up their plates and sat at the table to talk. We made a lot of small talk, it was funny, and I didn’t know what the MD actually looked like, so the entire time I was trying to see whether one of them was the MD without asking! Anyway, we talked for about 40 minutes until the MD came in. It was a GREAT opportunity to educate the nurses on chiropractic care and how the adjustment is different than spinal manipulation. THEY REALLY HAD NO CLUE. Guys, this is the most important part of this consultation. IT IS UP TO YOU TO EDUCATE THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY. They do not get their information from anywhere but the patient and YOU. The last MD lunch that I had put it all in perspective when the MD said that the successful chiropractic cases don’t come back to see him; the ones that chiropractic don’t help come back looking for more options. What does the MD think when the last 10 patients he had all came back to say chiropractic didn’t help? What he doesn’t realize is that there were 100 that had success and feel better than they have ever felt in their lives. How do we communicate the successful cases to the MDs when the patients don’t return to them? REPORTING! How do we communicate lack of success and the need for additional help in treating a patient? REPORTING! See, this is easy once you understand the WHY.
This MD office was the first office where I tried a new thing. I am always experimenting on new ways to get the MDs’ attention. In this case, as you read in Consultation #42, when I sent the report over via fax, I also included my CV for her to read. I never did this before, but I really wanted her to get to know me and my credentials as quickly as possible and thought this would do it. Well, she noticed alright. When she finally came into the office the first thing she said was, “Dr. Owens, you must be the guy with the 48 page CV!” She started laughing and came over to shake my hand and said, “There was so many credentials on there I thought you’d be an old fart!” That really made me laugh, so I said, “I am really 65 years old, I just take a lot of vitamins.” That started a great lunch and conversation.
I had the last 3 bimonthly fliers in my binder for her with my updated CV. We discussed the results of spinal manipulation versus microdiscetomy and chiropractic side effects. We discussed the idea of vertebrobasilar stroke and cervical spine care and her exact words were, “That is all a bunch of political hype.” She agreed with the latest research that there is no correlation. Now, when was the last time you sat next to an MD in his/her office over lunch and discussed the research? THE RESEARCH SUPPORTS WHAT YOU DO! We discussed the CNS benefits to the chiropractic adjustment and why the chiropractic adjustment can affect mood and balance. This really led to a talk on geriatric care and that she has a lot of patients that need that kind of help.
We will be doing a lot of work together and this was a very good meeting. The effort that I put into this relationship will be more than the meeting on Tuesday. There is only so much time and I want to spend it building relationships that I know can be built BIG. I am stopping by in a week to drop off more research to keep my face in front of the staff. I am actually doing this one myself, as it is a good opportunity and I think it will add a significant amount of patients to my practice in the very short term. I will keep you posted on this practice and how we build our relationship.