Educating practice members


It’s clear that the schools are not teaching students how to educate their practice members when they get into practice. Practice management consultants cannot teach you either. TheY have a few recipe programs in which they tell their “students” to recite a few words but that is too little in accomplishing the objective. There are few state and national organizations presentenced seminars but most put their efforts into teaching continuing education seminars which tend to be more lucrative to the organizations because everyone needs the seminars to meet mandatory requirements set up by licensing. They rarely are helpful in practice member education. The first thing that must be understood is that everything is different today than it was 25 to 30 years ago. So when a Jim Sigafoose or Joe Donofrio or someone like me says “this is what I did or how I did it”, take that in context. That is not to say that there are not certain standards or principles that stand the test of time and are just as valid today as they were years ago. But things are different today. A good example of this difference is the lay lecture. 30 years ago people were more authority oriented. You could stand up in front of people for an hour and tell them to come for life. It made sense that is, it was a logical presentation. If you come across as an authoritaritative, or you are an articulate person and you seem sincere and honest, people would accept your idea of lifetime care bring in the family. That was then, it’s now a whole new ballgame. The 60s generation began to question authority. Can you imagine the World War II generation saying, “Hell no we won’t go!” Now we have the children of the 60s generation coming into the office. I saw cartoon some years back. It was two obviously hippie looking parents looking at their conservative appearing children and saying, “where did we go wrong?” Unfortunately it has not worked that way. Today’s generation did not become authority oriented in rebellion to their parents. They did rebel is not a matter of rejecting everything but it is a matter of accepting everything without internalizing anything. Today’s generation does not accept absolutes does not accept truth. They consider it “your truth” not truth of an absolute nature. College professors, PhD’s are contradicting our parents, our pastors and the principles taught from childhood, the authorities that we thought were teaching us truth. Even the guy giving us the news on television lies to us. So what’s the answer? If there is one, in my opinion it is to make the message we have so logical, so reasonable that it is irrefutable. That was the thrust of Reggie in in
Making the
Message Simple
. That should be the thrust of our practice member education. I never heard Reggie unable to answer a question. Why was that? Because, the philosophy was so much a part of him. Unless you heard him speak or teach for a long period of time, you would not realize what an excellent student of the philosophy he wants. He knew it backward and forward and never hesitated to share the truth that was in him. That should be our goal.

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Posted in: Thinking Straight

This article has 12 comments

  1. Steve 03/04/2015, 2:04 pm:

    This is exactly why COTB is so important.

    • Tom 03/04/2015, 4:17 pm:

      Totally agree Steve! All one needs to do is go up above to the “Categories” tab and see an unequalled education in articles on all aspects of chiropractic including, but not limmited to, patient education and practice building. ALL FOR FREE!!!!!
      Everyone, please share this site with one (more if you’re so inclined!) colleague today that does not know about it. Thank you.

  2. Joe Donofrio 03/04/2015, 6:05 pm:

    I disagree Joseph. The Truth of what Chiropractic IS, explained well, in a therough and well thought out way still sets the stage for a successful member experience. The world is still the same, as are people. I continue to practice and give Orientations, unlike some others, and it continues to build long term family members. However, what has changed is the “back-up”, extensions of the Oriantations. That is, the office procedures that validate the “words spoken” in the lecture. Todays DC’s talk of regular care and then close the office for vacations frequently, allow folks to come in on any schedual their whims dictate and stop and start as symptoms dictate ( while declairing that TIC is the correction and maintence of the VS). Others subvert their words by createing elaborate fee structures that the people of thier area cannot afford for a long period of time, or worse, accept insurence which is only supportive of symptom care. Further, office hours are limited to the doctors schedual/needs, rather than those of the members. A simple lack of availability in response to the need for weekly maintenence care demonstrates to the member a lack of validation of the doctors words. What some/ most Chiropractors are speaks so loudly that nobody can hear what they say!!! Most are not obsessed with service, but rather with student loans and thus, practice with expedience rather than purpose.

    • Claude 03/04/2015, 11:56 pm:

      Joe D.,

      What you so well expressed in your post, consists of a “vocation” and not a profession. It is a call that goes way beyond a health profession. Chiropractic is about life and life does not need validation. It just “IS” as you said. Now, today, young chiropractors are coming out with $200,000. in debts, then they have to start an office, incurring more expenses, a place to live, etc… You know as well as I do that when we started (of course, you and Strauss, are from the sixties), the standard of living was more “reasonable” than today and will continue to go up. So, in your opinion, what is the way out of this “expedience”, that so many practice?

    • Joe Strauss 03/05/2015, 3:31 pm:

      Joe, this blog welcomes disagreement with me, even if it’s wrong and comes from a dinosaur :-). I know people refer to you as a dinosaur because they refer to me the same way and we both came from the same (Jurassic) period. The problem with the dinosaurs was that they were not able to adapt to the changing environment. Granted, it would be easier for you, a “meat eating” T. Rex to adapt than a “vegetarian browser” brontosaurus (me). But eventually, without adapting, both became extinct. The purpose of my post was to try to help readers to adapt and not become, or have our approach to chiropractic become, extinct. I think you brought out what I referred to as “timeless principles “ and I thank you for that. As I said, those principles need to be applied today just as they were 40 years ago by Reggie, Sigafoose, and you. I appreciate you shedding light on them. They include as you wrote:
      1. The importance of the lay lecture/orientation. Your consistency in doing it is or should be a model for every chiropractor. I remember standing near Reggie when a chiropractor said to him, “I used to do lay lectures but I’ve become so busy I don’t have time to do them any more”. Reggie responded, “don’t worry, you will.” You have never become too busy even when having one of the worlds busiest practices.
      2. The need to present chiropractic in a thorough well thought out way. I believe that most chiropractors are unable to do that today because they have been taught that chiropractic addresses medical conditions or their cause and “gets sick people well”. You have not succumbed to that model and that (and your charming personality) is the reason for your continued success.
      3. “The ‘backup ‘extensions of the orientation.” You most clearly point out failures “of those “backup extensions”. I personally think the greatest one is the failure to be consistent, on a day-to-day basis, with what we say in our lay lecture. We cannot say that we don’t treat medical conditions or their symptoms in our lay lecture and then ask them on subsequent visits if their headaches are any better.
      Joe, I know we kid each other, long-standing friends are prone to do that and you are my longest standing and oldest friend (still living) in chiropractic. I have been standing in your very large shadow since those hot, sunny, student days at Columbia. I have to tell you it is literally and figuratively a very cool place to be. May God continue to bless you,Joe Donofrio, and your family.

  3. David Suskin 03/05/2015, 2:51 pm:

    It’s all about perceived value. Yes yes of course you can present hypocracy or incongruency and taints the message, the result, the success.
    100% of the population(s) of the world (I’m generalizing), have cell phones, cars, televisions(is that what they still call them?), etc.
    Radios? Tape players? Ice boxes??? Extinct or going extinct.
    Chiropractic has never hit the 100th monkey (I’m sure you like that one Joe, but the meaning is there).
    Yes, vocation is a competitive game, at least succeeding in numbers, volume, or whatever level of busyness you desire.
    But Perceived Value!
    And what is Chiropractics’ perceived value? If the Chiropractic Objective is truly an Immaterial one and Not within the culture, like for example another immaterial vocation-item Religion IS a cultural standard! Religion! People are introduced to Religion from Birth, and is totally embedded, immeshed in the culture (not that that is a bad thing), just a fact! No No No. OIBU Is the way of the world, from health to wealth, excluding perhaps religious belief. ADIO fringes in health food stores, and new age isms, but an Immaterial Product? Like Chiropractic?
    It’s the ole 80 10 & 10 rule (80/20). We sell dreams based on logic. It’s a very cerebral sell, when most things of perceived value you can either touch (car), or have a high emotional leverage quotient (symptoms, pain, life/death, pleasure, etc.)
    That’s why the successful chiropractor has to have some major attribute, some gift. Whether it’s Charisma, or Big Ego, or Good Communicator, or Good Salesman, or Very Very dedicated, on a mission, owning a principle. That’s tough. Selling, owning this immaterial concept and objective called chiropractic. It has been and might always remain a usage of 4% In the world we live in today. whatever. A low number. And mostly for the wrong material reason
    Joe, you mentioned about this 60s generation, and their moral relativism and their non-authority orientation. That’s very insightful and I agree (so I agree, big deal). And the gift Reggie had of always being able to answer a question, always directing back to chiropractic and/or at least his own success, while I agree it had a lot to do with his understanding of principles, that too was HIS gift. He probabably was always a talker, from when he was a little kid. So we all have our gifts, and yes, 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration is a valid concept when it comes to success.
    So in the end, get the big idea and the rest follows, but to truly get the big idea for some, or for many takes a lot of work, continuous mental weed pulling, tell the story or read the story over and over and over, acknowledge your gifts and the gifts of others (FCB in self and in MTD of PMs and LLL (Parker) and KISS (keep it simple stupid).
    Focus focus focus!

    • Joe Strauss 03/05/2015, 8:06 pm:

      David, Re: your attached video. From a chiropractic perspective, is not a fetus at the least the same as a chicken, pig or cow? The animals have at most, only an innate intelligence. The fetus has at the least, only an innate intelligence and the potential to be a human being with a soul and or an educated intelligence. Are the animal rights activists also pro-life? Perhaps some as individuals are but the organizations do not take a position against abortion. Which would lead one to conclude that they see animal innate life as more important than fetus innate life. Isn’t the innate life of a carrot the same as that of a pig, chew on that you vegetarians while you’re eating your next carrot? While all of this is not a chiropractic issue, it does involve an ADIO world and life viewpoint. Just my thoughts since you brought it up.

  4. David Suskin 03/05/2015, 9:36 pm:

    I didn’t attach a video??
    Malware on your computer perhaps?
    Now I’m not going to eat carrots anymore 🙂
    Reminds me of an ole cartoon:
    Baby bird says to mommy bird. I’m not going to eat the worm.
    Mommy bird says why? Baby bird says at it turns the worms face to see. Cause cause the worm looks like Frankee Sinatra. There he is. Ole blue eyes, bow tie, big ears on the Woim!! Always remembered that one!
    Anyway, Joseph. I think its important to know how to effectively educate yourself. Educating the Chiropractor. Now there’s a conundrum.

    • Joe Strauss 03/07/2015, 9:41 pm:

      Oh no, one just popped up on a comment that I wrote! I think you are right Dave, the fault is in my computer. Sorry I blamed you.

      • Claude 03/07/2015, 10:30 pm:


        Case in point from the educated intelligence of the administrator of COTB! Joseph, addressed the video on this blog and we ALL benefited from it, did we not? And it was in error!!! You see, there’s something much BIGGER at work here. It is you WHO can choose to have the 33 principles of chiropractic’s basic science make sense to you. Otherwise it is as you said a classic “paralysis of analysis”.

        • David Suskin 03/07/2015, 11:03 pm:

          Interesting… Lemons into lemonade
          It’s always about the WHO and that’s why I give myself such a hard time.
          I am not alone.
          That Something much Bigger requires a closer look

  5. Joe Donofrio 03/10/2015, 4:30 pm:

    Love you Joe Strauss, I have nothing more to say, be clear…..

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