Academy of Chiropractic
MD Referral Progam
#1 Office and Program Infrastructure
#51 – HELP THEM Approach
PRIOR CONSULTATION – The HELP THEM approach – when meeting with medical doctors or lawyers for the first time, remember it is your “RECON” time to figure out what they are struggling with or irritated by in their practices. For instance, there is a law firm in my area that had not sent any patients to our office EVER, close to 20 years. They are a big firm and send to one other chiropractic office on a regular basis. My office outreach person had met with them and simply told them two things, 1: Dr. Owens does not charge to testify on behalf of his patients and 2: our office does not charge for a final narrative report. We received 3 new patients in 2 days from them. So you see there is always ONE or TWO things that will set you apart from the rest of the offices in your area, you have to meet their needs are. A good sales meeting should last less than 5 minutes, then you can spend the rest of the time building a personal relationship. The better you get at it, the more sales meetings you can have during the week.
CONTINUED – So here is the most important point, most chiropractors TALK TOO MUCH and oversell what we do. If you have to talk about it for more than 2 minutes you don’t understand it enough. That maybe an issue with our education process, the fact that we are always coming from a patient-centered approach (we spend time talking with patients, sometimes TOO MUCH) or the individual doctor really doesn’t truly understand what they do. Medical academia is based on learning by sound bites and I have said this many times before, trust is created with MDs by being the expert. In our case, it is chiropractic subluxation (to us) or mechanical/non-specific spine pain (to them). Why would they use you if you can’t explain it as THE expert? They might as well send to PT and take their chances. If you are deficient that is the first place to start, admit it…I was there too…I struggled to learn and put it together on my own, YOU don’t have to do that, you can be spoon fed it now. So I would suggest the following:
Begin thinking about the spine as a single organ system that works interdependently with a direct PNS and CNS feedback look TO and FROM the external environment.
Laboratory studies have demonstrated and confirmed spinal compensation exists and is based on a CNS/Ligament model. The latest studies are linking an emotional/hormonal component as well.
The spatial configuration of the spine is deliberately produced and will continue over time until it becomes disorganized and reaches end range (torsion of the intervertebral disc, locking of facet joints or reaching the elastic end point of the ligaments). That is where subtle forces, low speed impacts or reaching down to put your socks on can blow out a disc.
Currently, medicine has NO WAY to OBJECTIVELY identify the process of spinal compensation. They can only triage to medical specialists (surgeons or pain management) and hope there is some anatomical lesion such as a fracture or disc herniation that can be treated by that provider. When it comes up negative OR the anatomical findings do not correlate clinically with the patient’s condition, there is nothing they can do but prescribe medication – we know where that gets us.
Realize that if you did NOTHING else but became the EXPERT on spinal biomechanics and managing spinal compensation – you would have clinic with 10 DCs busting at the seams. Many DCs thing we need to do other things (there is nothing wrong with this however) like nutrition, sports consultations, or any combination of the many specialties in chiropractic to succeed. That is so far from the truth and the reason is less than 1% of chiropractors get referrals from MDs. The MD offices are absolutely FULL of these patients, they are ready to do something with them, YOU need to be the office they use to diagnose, manage, treat and triage to the medical specialists.
The easiest appointments with MDs are with the ones that you know OR the ones you get invited too. Use your surgeon to introduce you to the primary care doctors they work with, you can do that with a pain management MD as well. They know that YOU are a great doctor to work with because you can refer to them, keep the patient “In the LOOP” and if conservative care fails, they will get them anyway. It is a win-win situation.
Start getting the Continuing Education lunches rolling – TEACH and they will REFER. I had 8 new patients from MDs YESTERDAY in my office (Friday).