When do you ASK for the referral?
When speaking with lawyers it is important to NEVER ask for the referral, but when you talk to the MDs, you MUST, MUST, MUST ask that is how they are trained. HOWEVER, you should never ever do it at the first meeting. I learned this during one of my trainings in the Royal College of Physicians Program, we were sitting at a small table and everyone (an OB, Neurologist, PCP, neurosurgeon, general surgeon and a ER Psychiatrist) said YOU MUST ASK FOR THE REFERRAL. We were talking about what patient’s a chiropractor sees, then mentioned they have tons of those types of patients but don’t know what to do with them. They said, “To act like a specialist is to ASK FOR THE REFERRAL”. The one caveat they provided was to do that only when they (the MDs) trust you and your personality. That is exactly what this program is all about. So…when do you ask?
You ask at the second visit to the Primary MD office. The first visit is your introduction, I have written about that before. That is to set yourself up as an ACADEMIC and not a SOLICITOR. It is that first meeting that sets the stage. After that your next step (after you meet the front desk people) is to ask to be introduced to the office manager. Your words are “I only have another quick second, would it be a problem if I quickly introduced myself to your office manager”. You are saying that on the SECOND visit and using those words helps to reassure the front desk staff that you are not going to waste anyone’s time. One of two things are going to happen, either they will say YES or they will say NO (the manager is in a meeting (yeah right) or they are out of the office). Here are your responses:
YES – you meeting the office manager, you MUST look professional. You introduce yourself as Dr. ______ and your clinic specializes in the diagnosis and management of mechanical spine pain. We handle work excuses, disability paperwork and if the patient needs additional medical management we have a network of medical providers that I can get them into within 48-72 hours. I have some postcards here for you to make it easy and I was wondering how we could work together at a higher level. THEN SHUT UP AND LISTEN…