(Originally posted on January 16, 2013 by Dr. Bill Koch)
We humans have a natural desire for instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it now! If we have a problem we want a quick, easy solution, a universal solution that will fix all our problems — a magic bullet. Unfortunately, in real life there are no magic bullets. And there is no magic bullet in chiropractic.
Recently I received the following email from one of my readers:
Dr. Koch, I am looking into purchasing Dr. Gonzales ”Basics” Quantum Neurology® DVD and LITE program. Is this technique really the magic bullet we have been looking for in chiropractic? I have felt let down by all the stories we have heard in chiropractic school. And after 12 years in practice and about 20 additional technique courses, besides the ones I learned in school, I feel let down with chiropractic and its effectiveness. On your home page of your website you talk about ways to simplify practice and perform more cash services. Do you have anymore advice on this? And your thoughts on the Quantum Neurology.
It made me sad to hear how disillusioned and discouraged he is. After 12 years in practice and having studied 20 post graduate techniques, he should be riding the crest of his personal wave of professional success. The question is, why is this not happening for him? Why is he not getting the kind of results he is seeking?
This young doctor is not alone. There are many chiropractors who are equally unhappy with the profession and unfulfilled in their practices. It is for this reason that I decided to answer him in the public forum of my blog, because I hope that my answer will help others as well.
No Magic Bullet in Chiropractic
Perhaps a clue can be found where he expressed his interest in Dr. George Gonzales Quantum Neurology® instructional DVDs and Lite program. He asks: “Is this the magic bullet we have been looking for in chiropractic?”
The cold hard fact is that there is no magic bullet in chiropractic. There are no magic bullets in any profession. There are none in the practice of law, accounting, engineering or dentistry and certainly not in medicine. Why should there be a “magic bullet” in chiropractic?
The Chiropractic Tool Chest
Dr. George Gonzalez’s Quantum Neurology® (click here to visit website) is without a doubt the greatest innovation I have seen in my almost 50 years of experience in chiropractic. I am proficient in most of the notable chiropractic techniques. I use elements of many of them each day in my practice. I view each of them as having a place in my tool chest. They are all there for me to draw upon, and I select one or more to use depending upon the the specific situation and patient. It is important to recognize that no technique can realistically be expected to be 100% effective, 100% of the time.
I wrote Conversations With the Chiropractic Technique Masters to present to my readers a cross section of what I consider to be some of the best contemporary techniques. I consider each of them to be important in their own right and worthy of serious consideration and study. I also know that each of us are individuals who look at life and practice through the unique perspective of our own lens. Some doctors will be drawn to one technique, while others will be more comfortable with another.
Hopefully, each of us finds a technique or group of techniques that we can use with a high level of proficiency, which gives us the confidence to be able to take command of the situations and conditions we are likely to encounter in practice.
In my interview with Applied Kinesiologist, Dr. Eugene Charles, one of the doctors featured in Conversations With Chiropractic Technique Masters, he said that he wants his students to study, learn and become proficient in A.K. The one thing that he doesn’t want them to do is dabble in A.K. To dabble in a technique is a disservice to the technique, its developer, the patient and yourself.
If you think enough of a technique pay for a seminar and all associated expenses, give it a fair chance by studying it thoroughly, and then practice it until you are proficient in it. Anything else is dabbling and doomed to failure. This applies to any and all techniques. It’s the old story of “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” PRACTICE-PRACTICE-PRACTICE. That is why we say that we practice chiropractic.
For me, Quantum Neurology® has provided an important “missing link” in chiropractic. It has allowed me to analyze and treat the nervous system more efficiently and effectively than ever before. It has allowed me to make corrections and solve difficult health issues more rapidly and completely than in the past. This is because it addresses a wide variety of problems directly at the neurological level.
Working from the neurological down through the structural provides the most efficient, speedy and long lasting results I have ever seen. Because of my overwhelmingly positive experience with it, I recommend it without reservation.
It is important to note here, that the doctor who posed the aforementioned question to me gave me very little information about himself and his practice.
He did not tell me where he trained or where he practices. Nor did he tell me if he has a cash, insurance or PIP/ worker’s compensation practice. He also did not tell me what technique he uses and which ones he studied but found to be disappointing.
These are very important questions; if I had the answers to them I would be able to provide a better, more specific response. But because I was not able to access his e-mail address to ask for additional information, I must read between the lines and formulate my answer to his questions based upon what I have heard from other doctors with similar complaints.
Chiropractic — The Most Interactive of The Healing Arts
There are a number of factors that interact to create success, mediocrity or outright failure in a chiropractic practice. Chiropractic is the most interactive of the healing arts, in that there is constant contact and interaction between the doctor and patient.
This interaction registers with the patient on several levels, the sum total of which gives an impression of the doctor’s competence, confidence and intention.The initial consultation and examination, is very important in building a positive relationship between doctor and patient.
The First Visit — You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression
At some point during the first visit, a patient will get an impression of the doctor’s intention as he asks himself: Does he care? Does he really want to take good care of me and help me to get better, or is this just business as usual for him?
Also during the first visit, the patient will get an impression of the doctor’s level of confidence and competence, as he seeks to determine “Does he really know what he is doing? Can I trust him?”
The initial consultation is a time of important communication between doctor and patient. It is a time to establish rapport and trust. This is a time in which the doctor should listen carefully to what the patient is telling him/her.
The degree to which the patient perceives that the doctor is really listening and understands their condition, concerns and fears will go a long way in setting the stage for what the patient will judge to be either a successful or an unsatisfactory experience with the doctor. Asking relevant questions and carefully listening to the answers will tell the patient that the doctor really cares, wants to understand and to help.
The examination is the next important step in the doctor/patient interaction. When the doctor actually touches the patient, he is communicating his confidence and competence both consciously and subconsciously. Many doctors do not realize that when we are in close proximity to our patient our individual energy fields intersect to produce a positive or negative impression.
In his recently released book, Holographic Healing (click here to view), Dr. George Gonzales is eloquent in his description of the energetic aspects of healing and how our personal energetic profile affects our relationship with our patients.
No amount of talking or clever sales pitching is likely to change this impression if it is negative. A positive reaction on the part of the patient will be evident in their body language and overall demeanor and degree of relaxation.
The doctor must always be aware that a patient’s first visit to any doctor is a stressful event. They are therefore very highly attuned to the doctor’s every word as well as the subtle messages that he transmits through body language and other nonverbal communications.
When the First Visit Goes Wrong — The Bad First Impression
In recent years I have had a number of unsettling personal experiences while visiting different chiropractors as a patient. These experiences have provided me with a clear insight as to why some chiropractors are more successful than others.
Very candidly, I have been appalled when I have presented myself to a colleague for personal care, only to find that they took no history of conditions, injury, surgery or medication. Most did no chiropractic examination, analysis or categorization, but immediately commenced with adjustment, as if they have magical powers of intuition telling them what was going on with me.
I and the most successful chiropractic physicians I know agree that 80% of what we do is analytical or diagnostic and 20% correction or treatment. One of the only things that chiropractic has in common with the practice of medicine is that the treatment will be only as good as the diagnosis.
On several occasions, I realized that the doctor I was seeing had a routine adjustment procedure that he probably used on every patient, when, in spite of my explaining very clearly the special needs of my damaged spine and what should not be done, the doctor went ahead, as if on cruise control, to proceed to do exactly what I had told him not to. At least he attempted to do so — until I was forced to stop him, terminating the visit.
I could attribute this cavalier attitude to the fact that as colleague I would receive a professional courtesy and would not pose a malpractice threat. I do not, however, believe this to be the underlying issue. I am, in fact, sure that this is the way many chiropractors practice.
I am sure that this is the case because in my practices in The Hamptons and Abaco, Bahamas I see patients from all over the globe. Many of them talk about their previous chiropractic experiences or about their chiropractor “back home”. While many are very positive and complimentary, a distressing number profess to be less than satisfied.
One of the comments that I often hear is that they have never had such a thorough examination and evaluation as they have with me, and that I have accomplished more in one or two visits than they have had after months or years of their previous care.
The Importance of Competence, Attitude and Intention
Does this make me a super star chiropractor? NO it does not. It simply means that I am a patient-focused chiropractor who practices state of the art chiropractic with the right attitude and intention.
I work very hard at being the best chiropractic physician that I can be. I treat every office visit with every patient as if it were my defining moment. My entire focus is on the patient and their needs. I always think of what I would want if the roles were reversed and they were the doctor and I were the patient.
I tell every new patient that my objective is to provide the results they are seeking, as quickly, economically and comfortably as I possibly can. I want them to know that my goal for them is the same as their own.
One of the great benefits of using Quantum Neurology is that it is not only exceptionally effective, it is exceptionally gentle and non threatening to even the most timid or frightened patient.
Providing exceptional care makes it easy to have a cash practice. While people are not willing to pay out of pocket for generic but not very helpful chiropractic that they can have by simply showing their insurance card in many other offices, they are willing to pay out of pocket for the right care.
Provide personalized, patient focused care that works quickly and you will be pleased with the results. For the the kind of care I encourage you to provide, most people will happily pay you — because they will perceive it to be worth what they spend and more.
Quantum Neurology provides me with the sense that I am providing my patients with the best state of the art care available. That is worth the world to me. It is my hope that the doctor who posed the question to me will find the answer he is seeking and realize that advanced technique is important, but second only to the unrelenting pursuit of excellence in service to the patient.