Great Technique Plus Great Nutrition Program Leads to Outstanding Results: Interview with Peter Heffernan, D.C.

Dr. Peter Heffernan has been in practice 37 years in the same location in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He built a 100-patient-per-day practice within one year of graduating from Logan College of Chiropractic in September of 1975. By the end of his second year in practice, he had built a 500-patient-per-week practice. “We did a 90-minute pre-care class educating patients and families as to what chiropractic was. It was very successful. We started with 100 new patients a month with no outside advertising,” Dr. Heffernan explained. “I hired many associates over the years, and I was fortunate to have a partner for over two decades. We sustained a practice that saw between 20,000 and 30,000 patient visits a year,” he concluded.
 
heffernanAs a chiropractic educator, Dr. Heffernan taught the 90-minute chart presentation for Renaissance International from 1978 through 1980. He has a Fellowship in Applied Spinal Biomechanical Engineering (ASBE) and served as its executive director from 1985 to 1992. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association for six years. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Life University.
 
“I’m 60 years old this year, and I’m still very excited about being in practice. For me, it’s always been about long-term involvement, planning a career that will last well over 50 years. I’ve enjoyed refreshing myself when I’m not in the office. You have to take time off and enjoy things.”
 
To that end, Dr. Heffernan was a competitive windsurfer and still windsurfs recreationally. He began windsurfing in 1985 and has won several trophies.  When he sailed long boards, some races were 14 to 15 miles long. He also surfed with short boards, which are high speed and have a smaller sail and board for faster winds.
 
“One of my favorite spots is Padre Island near Corpus Christi, Texas, where we sail in Laguna Madre, a beautiful 80-mile-long body of water about two-and-a-half miles wide. Padre Island lies off the coast of Texas, and if you sail the water between Padre Island and the mainland, it’s only about four-and-a-half to five-and-a-half feet deep. So, if you fall off your board, you can touch bottom. You’re getting more chop than you are getting big swells, so it’s a great place to learn how to become a better windsurfer.”
 
Relating windsurfing tech to chiropractic tech, Dr. Heffernan says, “Windsurfing is all about physics: how you stand, where your weight is, your foot positioning. If you’re biomechanical oriented, if you’re into sheer force, velocity and gravity—all the basic principles of physics—it’s really, really fun.”
 
The  American  Chiropractor (TAC): You are a proponent of Applied Spinal Biomechanical Engineering (ASBE). What should readers know about this adjusting technique?
Heffernan: The fundamental is that kinesiopathology, which is the motion component of the subluxation complex, is also the most objectively assessed component of the subluxation complex. When we adjust vertebrae, we want to know which vertebrae are hyper-mobile, which ones are hypo-mobile and what direction the vertebra has failed. ASBE quantifies the motion component of the subluxation and also the direction of failure.
 
We use the XYZ three-dimensional coordinate system that was originally developed by White and Panjabi in their book Clinical Biomechanics of the Spine back in 1978. And Harrison’s work in biophysics also incorporates the three-dimensional coordinate system. Specific segmental adjusting is done along the architecture of the facet-joint plane.
 
The work was originally developed by Dr. Ronald Aragona from Manchester, New Hampshire. There are over 5,000 isometric, isotonic and isokinetic-coupled maneuvers. It’s a very specific, easy system to use and practice.
 
TAC: What are the primary principles of ASBE?
Heffernan: One of the primary principles of ASBE is that you’re trying to restore the spine to bilateral symmetry of function. If the spine is more efficient or stronger on one side than the other, the patient does bilateral exercise like walking or riding a bicycle or anything that is repetitive and bilateral.
 
When a person who has an asymmetry in their spine (where one set of muscles is tighter and thicker or one set of muscles is more efficient than the other) does bilateral exercise, the efficient side becomes rapidly more efficient than the inefficient side, and the gain or the net result of bilateral exercise is more imbalance. So we assign exercises where a patient would do much higher repetitions of exercises on the inefficient side, and over time this would result in an improvement in bilateral symmetry.
 
The adjustment itself will help, but the patient has to be involved in the rehabilitative process in order to get the spectacular gains. Otherwise, you are often just managing instead of correcting. And these days you must also be mindful of the key factors of nutrition.
 
TAC: That is an interesting comment given that you have considerable chiropractic tech. Why do you feel it is important to add a nutritional component?
Heffernan: “I was actually resistant to the whole area of nutrition for years because I just wanted to stay a biomechanically based, subluxation-correcting chiropractor. But I think it’s obvious to anyone who’s observing the world that we live in that the country is morbidly obese; people are highly inflamed.
 
heffernan2It’s just been well documented over and over that when you’re dealing with nutrition, there is a condition that has been termed “post-prandial dysmetabolic syndrome,” which is eating hollow calories and the body treating it as a poison. When we’re consuming non-nutritive, hollow calories, the body interprets it as a poison, and it creates an inflammatory response.
 
All the chronic diseases that our country is suffering with—arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune illnesses, Alzheimer’s —all the diseases that we see that are so prevalent in our society are all different forms of chronic inflammation.
 
Chiropractic is based on the principle of addressing stress, toxins and traumas as the cause of subluxation, and so it should become absolutely obvious to any chiropractor who’s serious about helping patients get better that patients are just not holding their adjustments. It’s becoming difficult to even give them an adjustment. You have to use a lot more effort. It’s just a lot more difficult to give a spinal adjustment to a highly inflamed, morbidly obese patient. So you have to address nutrition in order to get subluxations correctable, or in order for people to hold their adjustments.
 
TAC: How did you begin?
Heffernan: It became clear that I had to address nutrition. I started to talk to patients about hollow calories and how they need to eat more nutritive foods, and I started to think in terms of providing fish oil as an antioxidant, as an anti-inflammatory, and also Vitamin D3, which was the “sunshine vitamin,” and general multiple vitamins.
 
We started to do some nutrition, but we didn’t know how to do it. The time component with a patient is critical, so how do you engage them on nutrition in a few minutes and still give them an adjustment and still make a living?
 
TAC: So how did you overcome that dilemma?
Heffernan: I was fortunate to discover Dr. Freddie Ulan’s Nutrition Response Testing to use as a nutrition system in the office.
 
This came about because my youngest daughter became very ill. She had been receiving chiropractic care her whole life. She was born at home without drugs and vaccinations. As she got older, she had to have an emergency appendectomy when she was in graduate school. After that she started to get sick; her digestive system started to fail her. It got worse and worse, and over a five-year period it threatened her job, and she’s the primary breadwinner in her family.
 
We had already sent her to other chiropractors, acupuncturists and gastroenterologists to try and help her, and she just got progressively worse. But when she was tested with Nutrition Response Testing and given a program of nutrition, within a few weeks she was feeling amazingly better, and over a period of months she totally regained her health.
 
I started to send some of my tough patients with autoimmune illnesses and other problems for Nutrition Response Testing, and they, too, were getting excellent results. That certainly got my attention, and my daughter, Amy, and I (she is a chiropractor and my partner in my practice) decided to pursue training in Nutrition Response Testing.
 
We were initially exposed to Applied Kinesiology and the use of whole food nutrition (Standard Process), and we started to incorporate this in our practice. It was exactly what we were looking for. Ulan Nutritional Systems also has a practice and patient management component to its training that is easy to implement and highly effective.
 
So with Nutrition Response Testing, rehab and specific chiropractic, we regained our ability to really help people in this modern world where people are so sick.

TAC: Tell me about whole food nutrition. Why Standard Process?
Heffernan: Well, that’s something I didn’t understand until I started to study it. The body has electromagnetic fields. You have the nervous system that carries electrical energy, multiple redundant energy fields that carry information and energy throughout the body. Even on the surface of the skin, you have electromagnetic energy. And people have a field of energy around their body. So the body is exquisitely intelligent in its ability to interpret the environment, and it can tell the difference between a synthetic vitamin and an organic nutrient.

When you make synthetic vitamins from coal tar, even when you have the amino acid sequence in the vitamin correct, the body still knows it’s coal tar.

 
When you make synthetic vitamins from coal tar, even when you have the amino acid sequence in the vitamin correct, the body still knows it’s coal tar. It knows the electromagnetic signature of things that are toxic, and this is why, as an example, synthetically made ascorbic acid doesn’t work as well as vitamin C with all of its bioflavonoids and its cofactors.
 
If you have nutrients that are put together in whole food supplements, it’s actually food, concentrated food. It has the electromagnetic signature of natural plants, and the body recognizes that on an electromagnetic level.
 
TAC: Can you coordinate for our readers the nutrition viewpoint with the fundamental philosophy of chiropractic?
Heffernan: Yes, certainly. Being 60 years old, I lived through a long period where science kept gaining more and more dominance, and we almost turned science into a dogma or a religion. 
 
We went through a long period of mechanistic reductionism and materialism—not giving any credence to energy. But we’re living in a quantum world. We understand now that all matter is collapsed energy, so chiropractic aligns itself with that idea that there’s a life energy, a life force.  And Nutrition Response Testing is highly congruent with basic chiropractic philosophy, utilizing the same intelligence and working with it—whether it’s with a chiropractic adjustment to remove interference from the nervous system, or if you’re supporting the nutrition that the body needs to rebuild itself and to maintain health.

TAC: I know you have varied interests and hobbies besides windsurfing. What are they?
Heffernan: In the late 70s, I had a patient of mine who was a machinist, and he could do virtually anything. He had an engine machining shop, and he’d rebuild cars. I always had a fascination with trying to understand how an automobile motor or engine worked, how the spark plugs create an explosion, push the pistons down, moving in a sequence, turning the crankshaft.

I bought a 1965 convertible Corvette, a red one with black interior. It was already missing the original motor. I took that car completely apart, re-machined it and welded the frame. I actually took the frame out and had it acid-dipped, took all the bad metal out of it, wire-welded in all new metal, rebuilt the internal and external gusset plates and put the frame back exactly the way it was.
 
heffernan3I learned how to paint, and we did zinc-chromate priming and Imron painting so it will last forever. I put in stainless steel brake lines, stainless steel gas lines, stainless steel exhaust, stainless steel sleeves in the exhaust ports—everything to last for a long, long time. I put a blueprinted 350-horse power motor in the car, all re-machined, with a Mallory ignition system, poly carburetors, dual-plated Edelbrock manifold, and Hurst four-speed shifter. The car would go 140 mph. It was a phenomenal experience.
 
I’ve applied that same attitude and philosophy with almost everything I’ve done in life: Determine an area that you’re incompetent in, then work your way into competency, and then unconscious competency. And then just keep doing that over and over and over with many different things in one’s life.
 
Accordingly, what is so remarkable about the Advanced Clinical Training with Ulan Nutritional Systems is that it’s the only fully integrated, methodical teaching system of theory and practical work I’ve ever been exposed to in chiropractic. It eliminates all the confusions. There’s a lot of drilling, there’s a lot of partnering and learning the fundamentals such as how to rule out “blocking” and “switching,” where the autonomic nervous system is not in a position to be tested.
 
Dr. Ulan’s system makes applied kinesiology very duplicatable and very predictable in its outcome. It’s exciting to see one practitioner after another get the same results and the same findings, and my patients get the ultimate benefit.
  
 
Peter Heffernan, DC, is currently enrolled in the Advanced Clinical Training program at Ulan Nutritional Systems, Inc. He practices in Wisconsin and can be reached at [email protected] or his office at (262) 549-4555. 

 

Orthopedic Surgeon’s Alternative Care to Back Surgery: Interview with Arieh Grober,M.D.

Graduated in 1977 from Haifa-University Technion Medical School, Israel. Dr. Grober assumed Post-Graduate studies at Tel-Aviv University and worked for many years as an Orthopedic Surgeon in the Beilinson Campus, Rabin Medical-Center where he specialized in Orthopedic Surgery. In 1999, he invented and registered the patent on Cervico 2000 – a cervical traction unit. 
 
agrobermdHe became the owner and manager of two orthopedic clinics in Israel specializing in Spine Disorders and Lower Back Pain. Professional memberships include: A member and active participant in the American Back Society, a member of the World Chiropractic Federation and a member of the Israeli Orthopedic Association.

TAC: Tell us more in depth about the services and products you offer chiropractors and how or why you offer them.
AG: Meditrac’s unique proprietary treatment concept – “Traction on the Move” was developed by a team of orthopedic surgeons. In effect it transforms conservative traction methods, promoting rapid healing and rehabilitation. It combines the benefits of traction therapy for the cervical or lumbar spine with an innovative physical therapy program during treatment. As a result the patients improve their blood circulation, regain flexibility and experience an improvement in their psychological well-being.
 
Meditrac’s products are used to treat a wide range of spinal disorders including; sciatica, herniated disc, whiplash injury, degenerative changes and spinal stenosis caused by disc herniation.
 
Meditrac products include the Vertetrac – a lumber ambulatory traction system, Cervico 2000 – an ambulatory traction device for the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain and the Dynamic Brace System (DBS) – a patented system for treating idiopathic juvenile, adolescent and adult scoliosis. 
 
As staying in the forefront of therapy innovation is one of my goals, my medical staff and I are continuously conducting research, to further improve our proprietary traction devices. Currently, we are conducting research on the effectiveness of traction on muscle tension together with Prof. Staderini from the Western Switzerland University of Applied Sciences.
 
TAC: How do Chiropractic and Orthopedic treatments differ when treating spinal disorders? 
AG: Most Orthopedic surgeons are not aware or even ignore the preventive care aspect and are usually very eager and willing to perform an invasive procedure. In most cases they do not adequately clarify the possible outcomes of such a procedure, nor the possible complications. As opposed to Chiropractors, they are less open to alternative methods and less willing to use non-invasive treatment such as traction, manipulation, ice etc.
 
Personally, a very poor outcome from spinal surgery led me to the conclusion that surgery should always be the last resort for spine problems and should be performed only after other conservative treatments failed.
 

TAC: Compare between invasive and non-invasive treatments.
AG: I would love to answer the question with the following table:
 
treatmenttableTAC: Can you think of one change that a chiropractor can do to significantly impact his/her practice’s growth immediately? 

AG: One change for example, is treating more patients without adding extra human resources. This can be done when treating several patients simultaneously with compact and portable traction devices, as opposed to a one-by-one method. Another way to increase their income can be achieved by renting out or selling devices to chronic patients for home use.
 
TAC: Any final words for our readers?
AG: Make all the efforts you can to put your patients ‘back on the track’ as quickly as possible without any invasive procedure. Happy patients like to regain their sense of control. Allowing them the freedom of movement even during treatment is key to assuring their satisfaction and happiness.
You can contact Dr. Grober at: [email protected], Meditrac Ltd. 1-866-732-0170, +972-3-5467828. http://meditrac.co.il

Reflecting on the Past and Focused on the Future: Interview with Dr. Patrick Gentempo

Dr. Patrick Gentempo is the CEO of Action Potential Holdings, Inc. and is arguably one of the best-known figures in the chiropractic profession today. He has acted as cofounder and chief executive of well-known entities within the profession. These include the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance (CLA), Creating Wellness Alliance (CWA), and Chiro Finishing School. CLA has brought critical technology to the profession, namely the Insight Subluxation Station which boasts over 9000 DCs who have bought the product on six continents. In addition, through CLA Dr. Gentempo (with Dr. Christopher Kent) designed the highly lauded boot camp training program, Total Solution. Nearly 7000 chiropractors have participated in the Total Solution program. Another very popular product that Dr. Gentempo co-developed with Dr. Kent is the On Purpose audio subscription service for the chiropractic profession. On Purpose has been producing monthly audio content for chiropractors since 1994 and has thousands of subscribers worldwide. 
 
patrickgentempodcLast year in a surprise move, Dr. Gentempo sold all of his interest in CLA and a controlling interest in CWA. When asked why he did this his response was,  “I had a growing sense, based on certain trends, that action is needed in a new way on a larger scale.  Chiropractic and health care in general are changing rapidly leaving us with both challenges and opportunities that I feel compelled to address. Act 1 in my career was practice, which I loved and I succeeded at that. Act 2 in my career was CLA and its derivative initiatives and the impact of that has been fulfilling and significant. After some soul-searching, I decided it was time for Act 3 and in Act 3 I’m going to deliberately address some important issues in chiropractic and healthcare, not the least of which is chiropractic insurance dependency in the United States.”

In an interview with The American Chiropractor Magazine (TAC), Dr.  Patrick Gentempo (PG) shares what life will be like after CLA (Chiropractic Leadership Alliance).
 
TAC: Can you tell our readers about how you view the current political landscape of the profession?
PG: I  have significant concerns about the political landscape of our profession. I  know this sounds trite, sort of like when someone starts a sentence saying, “in times like these”.  There are always some sort of challenges, aren’t there? However, the challenges we face today are to a large degree qualitatively different than the challenges of the past. An example of this is the prescription drug issue in chiropractic. This is a deeply polarizing issue that addresses the very soul of the profession. I  have yet to hear anyone make a moral argument for drugs in chiropractic, i.e. “there are not enough points of distribution for pharmaceuticals in the United States. People  need expanded access to drugs and the chiropractic profession needs to fill that void.” I have been deep into this debate and there is no sound moral premise that justifies drugs being incorporated into chiropractic practice. So from there the debate moves toward practical issues. Somehow people think that if chiropractors were to obtain pharmaceutical rights, it would translate into them getting more patients and increasing market share. The fact is it would have the exact opposite effect. Any business expert will tell you that you don’t increase market share by professing your sameness. You increase the success of your business by differentiating yourself in the marketplace. The problem here is lack of clarity of purpose, no sense of identity, and the corollary to these: scarcity mentality. I am 100% certain that if chiropractors start prescribing medications the result will be a tragic demise of the profession.  Ironically, I am observing that what many of the big, million dollar plus practices have in common are niche natural or ‘drugless’ solutions to particular challenges that chiropractic can measurably support. For example, I cofounded S.H.I.N.E., Special Help Integrating Neurological Experience, with famed psychiatrist and former Harvard Medical School faculty member, Dr. Ned Hallowell.  Many consider Dr. Hallowell the number one expert in the world on ADHD.  Many of his core premises are shared by traditional chiropractic principles and he knows first-hand that millions of people are seeking a non-drug approach to addressing ADHD. Strategically, this places the chiropractor in a position to provide a very needed in-demand service to people who don’t expect their insurance to pay for it.  The profession needs to start ‘getting this’ and understand that being drugless is massive leverage in the marketplace, not a handicap. 
 
Another major political issue is chiropractic education and the CCE. To address this in a meaningful way would require a comprehensive multipart article. But to summarize, the CCE’s behaviors and actions, in my opinion, are misguided and destructive to our profession. CCE enjoys a monopolistic stranglehold on chiropractic education which I believe a growing coalition in the field is finding to be intolerable. Anti-CCE sentiment is on the rise and its resultant polarity is palpable. The politics relative to this are pretty complicated and one has to dedicate a significant amount of time to understand the full nature of the CCE issue. I remain hopeful that the field will force positive change in this realm.
 
On the positive side of things I am observing some growing trends politically and publicly that make me very optimistic.  I have been invited to speak to state associations around the US that have unified.  Yes, unification is a trend on the state level!  The atmosphere has been live and let live.  I am in New Jersey and we had 6 different state associations consolidate into one. Michigan, Virginia and other states are also doing this and the results have been very positive. Chiropractors are politically being tolerant of diverse practice orientations, from lifetime wellness care to limited low back pain services. On the public arena, we have seen Dr. Mancini of Parker University on the Dr. Phil Show and The Doctors.  Audiences of millions watching one of our best representatives tell them about chiropractic. As well, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has been getting us great exposure and celebrity endorsement.  I am especially excited about the documentary Medical, Inc.  I was interviewed extensively for it as well as many others and there is a real shot that this becomes a film that will be seen by the masses.  In summary, as it always is in life and history, we have many challenges and many opportunities.  I am a firm believer that we as a profession are poised for some major breakthroughs.
 
TAC: You mentioned in an October, 2006 interview with The American Chiropractor that your goal for the chiropractic profession is “World Domination of Healthcare in a Chiropractic Model”…is that still your goal?
PG: Ahhh yes. I remember that interview. And yes, this is still my goal. I should probably clarify my terms. When I say “healthcare”, what I mean is “well-care”. I am not talking about chiropractic dominating disease treatment and emergency care. The world is seriously recognizing that medicine is really emergency treatment and disease care. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. It is a very necessary service to our culture. But it is not healthcare. Hence, leadership in true lifestyle healthcare must emerge and chiropractic should rightly dominate the market space.
 
TAC: So, you will be continuing on with On Purpose, can you tell  our readers in what way you will be growing in that direction?
PG: On Purpose is owned and operated by Dr. Christopher Kent. I do still appear on the program every month and I love it! I have to say that On Purpose is one of the best bargains in the whole profession. For $50 a month, a chiropractor gets a comprehensive review of the new and emerging scientific literature that supports chiropractic. A review of what’s going on politically within the profession. Also an interview with a chiropractic thought leader that can’t help but develop and grow your practice. Without exaggerating I would say it would take the average chiropractor at least 100 to 150 hours per month to try to process all this information and boil it down to what’s important. With On Purpose, for less than the cost of a single adjustment they get three hours of programming that is very entertaining and brings them all this information. Let me state that I have no financial interest in On Purpose. I’m simply sharing a best practice with my colleagues that would help them.
 
TAC:  Any other new ventures you’ve been working on?
PG: After I sold CLA I formed a holding company called Action Potential Holdings, Inc. (APH). The purpose of this holding company was to help manage and develop the existing business interests I held when I formed it, incubate and deploy new product and service initiatives into the profession, and invest in ventures that are aligned with our core values. APH has a very ambitious agenda. One of the new businesses we have been working very hard on and are launching this fall is called Free Form (www.FreeFormchiro.com). The catalyzing statement for Free Form is: End insurance dependency in chiropractic. Period. We are very serious about this. Our guiding premise is that there is no future for chiropractic or individual chiropractors in insurance dependency. I am not saying that chiropractors will take zero insurance. What I am saying is that as a business strategy they need to be what we refer to as non-insurance dependent. We have identified a seven-step process to create non-insurance dependency. My partner in this venture is Dr. Troy Dukowitz and both of us have a lot of experience helping chiropractors transition from insurance dependency to non-insurance dependency. This is a big one. It will change the destiny of this profession. Needless to say, it is a very ambitious project but I have no doubt that we will succeed because the process works. There are other projects that I am working on but I am not ready to talk about them at this point.
 
TAC: How has Rick Sapio’s influence impacted some of the chiropractors you’ve worked with?
PG: Rick Sapio has been a godsend to this profession. He and I have been meeting in a weekly accountability group for over three years now. He has become an important business mentor to me. As fate would have it, he introduced me to game-changing business principles and I introduced him to chiropractic and health principles. Rick is an extremely successful businessperson. Because chiropractic had such a significant impact on his health and the health of his family, I was able to convince him to partner with me and come into this profession and teach chiropractors the foundational principles of business. One of the greatest weaknesses in this profession is lack of business skills and training. When I say business principles, I am not talking about practice procedures. Your practice procedures, i.e. consultation, report of findings, patient education, are all things that sit on top of the foundation which are your business principles. Rick and I cofounded and launched Chiro Finishing School a little over a year ago and we have already had several hundred chiropractors through the program and the results have way outpaced our expectations. Because the training is online, we were able to offer it to chiropractors throughout the world and I believe at this point we have chiropractors on four continents who are training in the program.
 
TAC: Is this method of business management something that chiropractors can grasp easily?
PG: For sure. Just like there are foundational principles of health, there are foundational principles of business. Chiropractors already know how to think in a principle-based manner. They just need to be taught these business principles and at that point it’s just add water. I have built a couple of multi-million dollar businesses from the ground up and operated them for many years. I felt I had a pretty good grasp on business and understood it. After meeting Rick Sapio, I recognized that I had a lot of blind spots. Nobody ever taught me these types of principles before. It is the opposite of complicated. As a matter fact three of the cardinal values of Chiro Finishing School are: simplicity, probability, and leverage.
 
TAC: Do you ever see yourself having a leadership role in CLA again?
PG: I still enthusiastically act in the capacity of a consultant for CLA. CLA’s new chairman, Dr. David Fletcher, is a very capable man with a solid vision. So I don’t see myself having a leadership role in CLA, but I always will love and support it.
 
TAC: Where will readers be able to catch up with you for the remainder of 2012, and 2013?
PG: I am still traveling the world and presenting on a pretty regular basis. This year I will be at several major venues in the United States and Canada. As well I will be speaking in Europe and Asia. I am doing a series of high impact programs with Dr. Brad Glowaki and you will see me on the main stage at Parker Seminars.  I passionately invite your readers to join my mailing list by going to www.ActionPotentialHoldings.com. As well they can ‘like’ my Facebook fan page which is, ‘Align with Dr. Gentempo’.  And of course there’s always Twitter. I routinely post things and write about topics that I find to be of significance for chiropractors. You won’t find me posting about going to the store or Starbucks or something like that. But when there is something important for chiropractors to know, whether it be a new practice strategy that is working or an inspirational quote, you can be sure that I will be sharing it with my audience.
 
TAC: Any final words for our readers?
PG: Yes. I have done a lot of reflecting about what it takes to create success in chiropractic. One conclusion I have drawn is that chiropractors underestimate what is possible for their practice and their community. The consequence of this is that many chiropractors are underperforming. In the quest to understand the meaning of life as a chiropractor, we must come to face some fundamental facts. These include that a living body is self-healing and self-regulating, that the nervous system is the master system and controller of that body, and that lifestyle stress disturbs the function of the nervous system and the ability for the body to regulate properly. Morally, the proper action available to the chiropractor is to take these facts and, through what could be considered heroic action, bring them to life in a robust way in an effort to heal and lead their community. There is no doubt that the chiropractor holds the ability to change the course of people’s lives for the better and in some cases even save people’s lives. When one is cognizant of such facts, underperformance is not an option. I hope your readers will reflect upon these thoughts and succeed on the highest possible levels in their practices. Chiropractic is the greatest profession in the world and we should never lose sight of that.

Be sure to contact Dr. Patrick Gentempo at Action Potential Holdings, Inc., by e-mail through his Executive Assistant, Lisa Marie Vasquez, [email protected], 201-345-3370. www.ActionPotentialHoldings.com

Also for more information about the products and services that Dr. Gentempo describes see below a list of companies and contact information for your easy reference.

Action Potential Holdings 201-345-3370, email: [email protected], www.ActionPotentialHoldings.com

Free Form at: www.freeformchiro.com

Chiro Business Finishing School: www.ChiroBusinessFinishingSchool.com, 214-954-0302; [email protected]

Chiropractic Leadership Alliance (CLA): [email protected] & Creating Wellness Alliance (CWA): [email protected], 800-285-2001

SHINE for Doctors: www.shinefordoctors.com; Email to: [email protected] 800-285-2001, ext. 118 or 973-998-8670, ext. 118

On Purpose Monthly Audio News Program: http://chiroonpurpose.com 800-892-6463, ext. 211, [email protected]

Humble D.C. to Lead Team U.S.A.

In 1900, men’s water polo became the first team sport introduced at the modern Olympic Games. The rules of the game were different in Europe, so in the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis the Europeans refused to participate. As a result, the USA won the gold, silver and the bronze. Ironically, this is the only gold medal that the US has won in Olympic water polo competition. Historically, the sport has been dominated by the Europeans. Hungary leads all nations with nine Olympic gold medals. 

schroederterrydcThe USA won bronze medals in the Olympic Games in 1924, 1932 and 1972. The US team was one of the best in the world in the 80s. With Terry Schroeder as the team captain, the USA won silver medals in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. In 1991, Schroeder led Team USA to the World Cup title in Barcelona, Spain.

After the 1988 Olympic Games, Team USA spent the next 20 years struggling to get back to the medal podium. In June of 2007, with the team ranked 9th in the world, USA water polo hired Dr. Terry Schroeder to be the head coach.

Schroeder led the Men’s National Team through a resurgence in 2008, garnering silver medals at the FINA World League Super Final and Beijing Olympic Games. The team’s success in Beijing was one of the great stories of the 2008 games.

Dr. Schroeder is considered one of water polo’s all-time standout players. He captained the National Team from 1983-1992 and coached Pepperdine University’s men’s team for 20 years. Under Dr. Schroeder’s leadership, the Pepperdine Waves had a record of 307-195 (.612), attended the NCAA Championships eight times, and claimed the NCAA championship in 1997. Schroeder was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1998 and was recently inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

A graduate of San Marcos High in Santa Barbara, CA, Schroeder earned All-American honors at Pepperdine in 1977, 1978 and 1980. He graduated with honors in 1981 and then completed his doctorate studies at Palmer-West Chiropractic School. Schroeder and his wife Lori (who celebrate 25 years of marriage in 2012) reside in Westlake Village, CA, with their daughters, Leanna and Sheridan.

TAC: How do you see the U.S. Water Polo Team developing this year? 

Dr. Schroeder:
Since January 2012, we have been training full-time. All the players agreed to stay at home this year and give up their opportunity to play professionally overseas. Each and every player realized the potential benefit of training together full-time for 7 months (January – July). We began the year with a trip to Australia for training and to compete in the Pan Pacific tournament. The training went well and we ended up beating Australia in the finals to win the gold at the tournament. After returning home, we have been training nine times per week.

summerolympicsWe train Monday through Saturday. A typical week looks like this: Monday – 8 am – 9:45 weights/cardio in the gym, 10 – 12 noon swim/legs conditioning in the pool at CLU, 7 – 9:30 pm tactics in the pool at Oaks. Tuesday – 8:30 am to 11:45 am in the pool at CLU for swim/legs/tactics. Wednesday – 8 am – 9:45 weights/cardio in the gym, 10 – 12 noon swim/legs conditioning in the pool at CLU, 7 – 9:30 pm tactics in the pool at Oaks. Thursday – 8:30 am to 11:45 am in the pool at CLU for swim/legs/tactics. Friday – 8 am – 9:45 weights/cardio in the gym, 10 – 12 noon swim/legs conditioning in the pool at CLU, 7 – 9:30 pm tactics in the pool at Oaks. Saturday 9 am – 11:30 am in the pool at Oaks/CLU or Pepperdine. Obviously, this is all the players do right now. They are not working and they are sacrificing a great deal of time with their families to make this dream a reality. Some are living with “host families” in the Conejo Valley and others have rented apartments. We have six married players and three of those have kids. Our team is really a large family. Mixed in with the training has been common training with other teams. We hosted Germany, Italy and Montenegro in March and then recently went to Serbia and Italy for training. Later this month we will host the World League Prelims with Canada and Brazil and then in late May Croatia and Hungary are here for a series of games and training. In June, we will travel to Kazakhstan for the World League Super Finals before we return home for our final preparations. The Olympic Games opening ceremonies is July 27, 2012. The training has been going very well and we are improving every day and becoming a better team.

TAC: Has there been an increase in the use of chiropractors at the Olympic level that you’ve noticed as a result of some of your past successes? 

Dr. Schroeder:
I do believe that chiropractors have continued to become more and more popular with Olympic athletes and teams. I would like to say that I had some small part of that increase; however, it is chiropractic itself that deserves all the credit. Athletes are looking for anything to give them an edge and more and more they are realizing that when your body is finely tuned and aligned you have the best chance to perform at your best. Only chiropractic offers the athletes a “hands on” natural approach to maximizing their potential. This is, after all, what the Olympic Games are all about – reaching your human potential, and what better way to do that than with chiropractic!

TAC: Is this specifically only within the U.S. or more with international teams and competitors as well? 

Dr. Schroeder:
The popularity of chiropractic has grown throughout the world. Through my travels at various international competitions (Pan American Games, World Championships, etc.), I have met chiropractors who are working with many different countries and most all sports. It has been a joy to see this profession receive the attention and credit it deserves.

TAC: Do you feel like a chiropractor without advanced preparation specific to the sports world is at a disadvantage, or not equipped to treat Olympic athletes? 

Dr. Schroeder:
While it is true that many Olympic athletes are looking for a chiropractor that does some soft tissue work (ART, Graston, etc.) the adjustment is still our most powerful tool. I would certainly recommend to any chiropractor who desires to treat Olympic athletes to develop as many adjunct skills/tools as you can to help your athletes; however, first and foremost become the best adjuster you can be.

TAC: Are there certain training programs that you’d recommend chiropractors pursue to become equipped to treat athletes at this level?

Dr. Schroeder
: To become an official chiropractor for the USA Olympic Team one must follow the criteria that is outlined by the USOC medical staff. You must be in practice for at least 5 years, must have experience working with a national team and must go through a two-week program at the Olympic training center. As I said, if your desire is to work with Olympic athletes, I would recommend learning some soft tissue techniques to add to your skills.

Currently, we have a new chiropractic graduate working with our team who came from an athletic training background. Her name is Karen Bloch and she is doing a wonderful job with our team. If you are just going to be working with a specific team then it would also be a good idea to learn as much as you can about that specific sport. You must know how the body is stressed and the potential injuries to look for in each different sport.

TAC: Have you treated any of the athletes that you are currently coaching?  Explain please. 

Dr. Schroeder:
When I started coaching this team in 2007, there were two or three guys that were familiar with and utilized chiropractic care. At this time, I have treated each one of our athletes. Every member of our Olympic water polo team is a regular chiropractic patient. They know the benefits and I am convinced that it is a part of our success. I have also been asked on numerous occasions to treat an athlete from one of the teams that we have been competing against. On our most recent trip to Italy, we were training against a club team called Pro Recco. This team is like a world all-star team.

They have players from Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, Hungary and Spain. Two of the very best players in the world, Andrija Prlainovic from Serbia and Thomas Kasas from Hungary, asked me to adjust them. Of course, I did and they too were introduced to the benefits of chiropractic care. One of our players, Merrill Moses, who is considered by many the best goalie in the world, is planning on going to chiropractic school and becoming a chiropractor when he is done playing.

TAC: Thank you and good luck Dr. Schroeder.

One Doctor’s Solution to the Insurance Problem

Increase Your Practice by Expanding Your Focus from the 7% to 12% of Your Town Who Seek Chiropractic Care, to the 66% to 86% of Your Town Who Are Seeking This…   

toddsingletondcTodd Singleton, D.C., is an author, speaker, consultant and a practicing doctor.  He graduated from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in 1990.  For many years he ran the largest MD/DC/PT clinics in the state of Utah, until he switched to an all-cash, nutrition model in 2006.  Dr. Singleton has a busy nutrition practice in Salt Lake City, Utah where he specializes in Weight Loss, Neuropathy, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes and other nutritional problems.  He also speaks around the country and holds a monthly seminar in his office teaching other chiropractors how to add Weight Loss, Neuropathy and other nutritional programs into their offices. In an interview with The American Chiropractor, Dr. Singleton shares some of the perspective he has gained over the years, working within his own clinic, as well as consulting others on theirs.


T
AC: Can you explain why you have set up a practice that doesn’t utilize insurance?

Dr. Singleton: Well, my experience has been that insurance companies don’t always play fair.   So after years of dealing with the headaches that come along with an insurance-based practice, I became passionate about practicing without insurance. I decided I wanted to develop my dream cash practice.  In order to do that, I knew I’d need to help more people than just the patients who seek chiropractic care.  We know that only 7% to 12% of the population utilize chiropractic, and I wanted to attract the rest.    My real passion has always been nutrition, but I had never really made great money doing it.  It was actually my wife who suggested that I take the things I loved about nutrition and help patients with specific conditions like weight loss.
 

I spent several years putting together a weight loss system.   Once I opened up a weight loss business, I immediately saw people coming in who would have never come to me for chiropractic, but were thrilled to come to me to lose weight.  Of course, weight loss is just one of the many nutritional things we as chiropractors can help our patients with.  Offering life-changing nutritional programs to help patients with weight loss, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, diabetes and more can transform a practice.   This gives the chiropractor the freedom to practice without relying solely on insurance…in fact, you can practice this way without utilizing any insurance.  The interesting thing I have found is that once I gain patients’ confidence helping them nutritionally, they are also interested in how I could help other things…like their back pain, neck pain, etc.  

TAC:  When did you start sharing this with other chiropractors?

Dr. Singleton:   I opened up a weight loss practice in 2006.  I made terrific profits from the very first month and had overwhelming success with my patients.  I knew right off the bat I had to share this discovery.  So I did my first weight loss presentation at a Parker Seminar in 2008.   I was surprised to see how receptive doctors were to adding additional services to help their patients.  Doctors said things like, “My patients have been asking me how to lose weight for years, but I haven’t had anything organized to give them.”  That is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome…having a system that works.  It seems so easy, right?   Just eat less and exercise more.  But if it were that easy, we wouldn’t have 66% to 86% of our country that is overweight.   Patients need help!   They need a system that works.  There are many things that need to be addressed in a weight loss program, like finding the cause of their weight gain, what foods should they eat, what supplements should they take, the services we perform to aid in the process, how they can overcome their emotional eating, and the best exercises for them.  

Some chiropractors say they are afraid to do anything but adjust, feeling that they’ll lose credibility. [/pullquote]
All of these things need to be addressed, and if something gets left out, the program probably won’t be effective.   The work and effort that would be required for a doctor to set up comprehensive nutritional programs and systems by himself or herself would be very overwhelming and time consuming.   That is probably the reason most doctors don’t do it.  They think it is too much work.  The good news is it isn’t impossible.  Chiropractors know how the body works and they can help these patients.  Some doctors will do this on their own.  But there are a lot of doctors that are looking for a system that is already proven to work.  Those are the doctors that come to me for help.  I would advise all chiropractors to seriously consider adding weight loss, because 66% to 86% of their current patients want it now. 

TAC:  What is the common problem you see among chiropractors today?  

Dr. Singleton:  I’m on the phone daily with chiropractors and there are definitely two camps out there…those who are thriving and those who are really struggling.   The good news is that many chiropractors have figured out a way to serve more people, and that has caused their practices to expand.  Some chiropractors say they are afraid to do anything but adjust, feeling that they’ll lose credibility.  My experience has been that you actually become much more credible as a doctor when you can solve the health problems your patients have in addition to their back or neck pain.   In fact, I am making a much bigger impact on my patients’ lives now treating patients nutritionally than I ever did in the past.  

TAC:  How is a busy chiropractor supposed to add something new into his or her practice?

Dr. Singleton:  Some doctors are very intimidated by the work they think they’ll have to do or everything they’ll have to learn or relearn by adding a weight loss program, neuropathy program or some other nutritional program.   The ironic part is that they’ve already spent many, many years to become a doctor, and they already know how the body works.   Anything new they add will be easy compared to what they’ve already done.  

The great thing about the way I practice is that I developed computer programs and procedural systems that allow me to delegate the bulk of things I do to my staff.  It’s possible to delegate all of the weight loss.  I do stay involved in neuropathy and some tougher nutritional cases.   I do know that a lot of doctors who have learned my system have delegated the weight loss portion 100% to their staff.  We have reports back from staff members who are bringing in from $40,000 to $90,000 a month doing weight loss for their doctors.

TAC:   It doesn’t seem like weight loss and neuropathy would be practiced out of the same office.  Why that combination?

Dr. Singleton:  Actually, I just wanted to help patients nutritionally.   Initially, I just wanted to help people who weren’t healthy, to get healthy.  But patients are driven by their conditions or symptoms.   So I initially targeted weight loss and that was a slam dunk.   Then, we actually started helping so many overweight patients get relief from their neuropathy problems, that it was a natural market to help.  The bottom line is, as chiropractors, we know that the body will heal itself given the proper environment.   So helping people nutritionally gives you the opportunity to help all types of people…those suffering from obesity, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, diabetes…and the list goes on!   Adding nutritional systems into the chiropractic office just expands the people in the community that can be helped.

TAC: Aren’t there already a lot of weight loss programs out there?  Why weight loss in a chiropractic office?

Dr. Singleton: I agree that you’ll see a lot of ideas about losing weight out there.  The reason for all the weight loss hype is that currently 66% to 86% of the population needs to lose weight.   The number increases year after year.  It’s a huge problem for the majority of Americans.   

The reason for all the weight loss hype is that currently 66% to 86% of the population needs to lose weight.

This is a terrific business to be in, so of course, there are others doing this.  However, we do weight loss very differently than anyone else does.  Nobody is out there doing what we are doing, so that sets us apart.   We offer hands-on, effective weight loss services, pure supplementation, eating programs, emotional eating help, and complete patient systems and tools.   You see, our main goal is to get people HEALTHY.   

You get someone healthy, and they absolutely lose their weight.  We aren’t about some quick fix, like a 500 calorie diet, or magic drops that will get the weight off.  We are helping people to change their lives, helping them get over problems, get their energy back, and making lifestyle changes so they become healthy, happy and have a new outlook on life.   I’ve never felt so fulfilled as a doctor.  My patients think I am a genius, yet it’s really just that their bodies are getting healthy and working properly.   Quite frankly it’s very basic, but patients just don’t know what to do unless you teach them.

TAC: What advice would you give doctors who want to start doing nutrition out of their office?

Dr. Singleton: I would advise them to go on a nutritional program themselves.  They need to find out if something really works.  Unfortunately some doctors use products simply because they can make money on a down line.  It seems wrong to me that a doctor would be selling something in his or her office that a patient can get from their neighbor who also sells Tupperware and Avon out of their garage.  I am very careful to sell only supplements that are pure and available to doctors only.   I use one line more than any other because it is made according to Japanese standards. 

I am very careful to sell only supplements that are pure and available to doctors only.[/pullquote]
In the USA, the supplement industry is not regulated.  While that is good because it keeps the costs down, the consumer doesn’t really know what they are getting.  The difference in Japan is that they don’t allow fillers and things in their supplements that don’t actually benefit the consumer.  I would suggest doctors try things out on themselves and their families.  If something is good enough to give to your mother, your spouse, your children, your staff, then it’s good enough to give to your patients.

TAC: Can you think of one change that a chiropractor can do to significantly impact his or her practice’s growth immediately?

Dr. Singleton:  Absolutely, there is a goldmine in every doctor’s practice!  That is, almost all patients have additional conditions chiropractors could and should help them with such as; weight loss, insomnia, depression, fibromyalgia, diabetes, neuropathy, skin problems, low energy…the list goes on and on.   There are nutritional systems for all of these things already available for chiropractors so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  Chiropractors can help all of their patients with so much more than just back and neck pain!   Patients want help, they just don’t know where to turn.  

Chiropractors can help them, and in turn, they’ll have the practice they’ve always wanted.  Like Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.”  And one thing is for sure, almost 86% of our country wants to lose weight.  If a chiropractor doesn’t offer a healthy weight loss plan, their patients will most likely do an unhealthy plan someplace else.  There is no reason to not service these patients, and in fact, I personally think it’s my responsibility as a doctor to provide this healthy and life-changing option.

TAC: Do you have any recommended marketing strategies that chiropractors can do to attract new patients? 

Dr. Singleton: Because 66% to 86% of Americans are overweight, I thought weight loss would be ideal to market.  And I was right!   Every year, the percentage of states where the obesity increases goes up.  People get busier and busier, so they eat more food from boxes, bags and cans…and they just don’t get the nutrition their bodies need.  People feel nutritionally starved and eat more and more.   The problem affects all age groups…from children all the way to senior citizens.   Most of the solutions available don’t work, so while there is other competition, the competition is typically not the answer.  The best thing is that patients already trust their doctors

That means in addition to adjusting the spine we need to be paying attention to what our patients do nutritionally.

 
So when a doctor starts to offer a nutritionally sound and effective weight loss program, the patients already trust their doctor and they are happy to get the help. Adding weight loss will get old patients reactivated, existing patients buying more and people who aren’t patients yet into the office.  In fact, most chiropractors who offer weight loss report that weight loss is one of the best ways they’ve ever discovered to get new chiropractic patients.  Again, that’s because for weight loss you’ll attract the masses that haven’t ever been to a chiropractor.  Once the chiropractor helps the patient lose weight, the patient will have confidence in them and want to know about the additional chiropractic services they offer.  I’ve seen this happen over and over and over again.

TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?

Dr. Singleton:  I’ve never been more encouraged about chiropractic!  As chiropractors our belief system is that the body can heal itself given the proper environment.  Our job is to help patients get healthy and stay healthy.  That means in addition to adjusting the spine we need to be paying attention to what our patients do nutritionally.  Patients are looking to their chiropractors for the help they need.  I see this role that we have keeps expanding.  It’s an exciting time to be practicing!   I don’t ever wake up dreading to go into the clinic to see my patients.
 

In fact, I’ve never felt as fulfilled in practice as I do now.  There is something very rewarding and satisfying that comes from having people tell you all day long what a difference you are making in their lives.   The chiropractic profession can do so much to help patients.  Our day has come.  Patients are turning to us as their primary care providers, and we are making an impact for good on the people across the country.  We are making a difference!

TAC:  Any final words for our readers?

Dr. Singleton:  Yes, if you are in practice and you are not passionate about what you are doing, stop and re-evaluate.   There are so many wonderful ways you can help your patients; and in helping them, you will find fulfillment in your work, and you’ll be well compensated for it.  Don’t settle for a practice that doesn’t motivate you and your patients.  Your patients are looking for direction and advice that will change their lives, and you can give it to them!

He and his staff can be reached at (801) 916-9532 or for additional information visit www.CashInWeightLoss.com or www.SupportNeuro.com


Perspective From the Outside In: Interview with Andrew Cheesman

cheesmanandrewAndrew Cheesman, who has been with NAOMI/RF System Lab since 2007, is Sr. VP of Marketing and Sales for North America. Having an extensive background in merchant banking, Cheesman has lived in eight countries and has done business with 52 various countries over the years. Born and raised in the UK – and now residing in Lincoln, NE – you will see him at all major trade shows for chiropractic, including the Parker show in Las Vegas and the FCA show in Orlando. Having had in-depth conservations with over 2,000 chiropractors, Cheesman has some unique perspectives on where the profession is and, perhaps, where it is going.
 
TAC: What is the most common problem you see among chiropractors today?  
Cheesman: The most common problem chiropractors face is perception; I am still not convinced that people really understand what a chiropractor can offer to the average patient. We are so used to instant gratification in the US today – for everything – that the steady, consistent approach that chiropractors take seems like too much work to the average person living in this era. In a world of Twitter, Internet, Email, On Demand T.V. programming, consumers are just so “want it right now” in nature that the message of chiropractic doesn’t reverberate with most people. I am not saying that it shouldn’t, but, regretfully, it just doesn’t. 
 
TAC: What is the biggest problem or challenge you see in the chiropractic profession today?
Cheesman: I really hope that the biggest problems are behind us; the latest report on chiropractic income levels show growth of around 20% per annum. The fact is that we have a population that desperately needs chiropractors. They can offer the average person relief from pain, and an understanding of how their body works and how their lives can be improved. It is a truly astonishing profession with so much to offer. The biggest challenge is to make sure that everyone understands exactly what they can do for you. 
 
The central message of treating the root cause of a problem instead of just treating the symptom, as allopathic medicine tends to focus on, is just right on so many levels. But, as stated earlier, in this day of instant gratification, the message of pre-emptive wellness is hard to sell. That being said, I do believe – even while a DC is operating on long-term health care – it is critical that patients feel better when they walk out the door than the way they felt entering the practice. 
 
I know that is not always possible, but a doctor should always keep in mind that if you want that patient coming back with his $35, or whatever they pay, it is imperative that the patient feels better when they leave. If not, the odds are they won’t be coming back for very long. And if they genuinely feel good when leaving the practice, not only will they return, but they are apt to mention their improved condition to their family and friends.  
TAC: Can you think of one change that a chiropractor can do to significantly impact his/her practice’s growth immediately?
Cheesman: There is a great e-book that I just read that talks about the three ways to grow a business:  1.) add new clients, 2.) increase the average value of each visit, and 3.) increase the number of visits. Everyone focuses on new clients and yet they are the most difficult, and most expensive, to attain. The ability of each chiropractor to analyze frequency and revenue is the key to improved bottom lines and customer satisfaction. Yes, you always need new patients to some degree, but keeping the ones you have, and increasing the case fee – by providing more services – has to be part of the picture of success. Also, if you speak to the leading coaches and management groups, they will tell you that a doctor must make protocol decisions based on the well being of the patient, and not on what revenues it brings to the practice. Many docs who “lost their way” fall into the trap of adding products and services based on profit first and benefit to the patient second. This is a way to falling out of “purpose.”  I would say that a DC who has his head space in order finds success almost instantly.
 
TAC: Do you have any recommended marketing strategies that chiropractors can do to attract new patients?  And to keep current patients?
Cheesman: I do believe that chiropractors need to understand their own client base better. Focus on finding techniques or technologies that compliment who and where they are. Not all technologies will increase your client base if they don’t apply socioeconomically. Only buy technologies that apply and then focus on referrals. If the growth is inexpensive and organic, you will be more likely to retain the new patient and therefore increase your income.
 
TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Cheesman: I see continued growth with the focus on the core values of chiropractic medicine. The economy is improving, more disposable income will be available and now is the time to blow the horn; now is the time to make chiropractic medicine relevant to each and every American.
 
TAC: Who is Naomi by RF System Lab and why do they matter to DCs? 
Cheesman: Naomi by RF System Lab offers chiropractors a diagnostic digital retrofit x-ray system at an affordable cost. We lead the market, not only in quality, but in the fact that we are the only x-ray company in the US that continues to support our doctors at no cost. We offer free lifetime technical support, upgrades to our computer programs (ensuring that each and every doctor continues to benefit from RF’s development programs), and lastly, we offer radiographic assistance in building technique charts, to maximize the doctor’s digital experience, again at absolutely no cost to the doctor. The cost of ownership is so important to our clinics, as it enables them to focus their resources on other aspects of the clinic and not be paying for something that they already own.
 
TAC: What are your goals for the chiropractic profession?  
Cheesman: Our goals for the chiropractic profession: allow chiropractors who can benefit from a DXR unit to do so on an affordable level. Realistically, as a company that only succeeds when the profession succeeds, we want to see chiropractors continue to educate the public about the positive benefits of seeing a practitioner regularly. I truly believe that we are very fortunate to be able to go to a trade show like Parker and see the energy, enthusiasm and the commitment to excellence that the profession possesses.
 
TAC: Any final words for our readers?
Cheesman: We at Naomi are proud to be part of the chiropractic family of medical manufacturers. We believe that we are the chiropractor’s choice for digital x-ray and will continue to strive to get better to maintain our position.

Andrew Cheesman is Sr. VP Marketing and Sales for RF System Lab North America, based in Lincoln, Nebraska. Their head office is based in Nagano, Japan. They are now the largest digital retrofit company in the world. You can reach them at 800-905-1554 or visit www.rfamerica.com or email [email protected]

President of ChiroTouch™ Robert Moberg on Recent Success

Integrated Practice Solutions, Inc., creator of ChiroTouch™, has been named as one of America’s fastest growing companies by Inc. Magazine.

 

Nothing succeeds like success.  It’s as true today as it was when Sir Arthur Helps of England first printed it in 1868.  And even in the face of a badgered economy it has been just as true for Integrated Practice Solutions (IPS), which has seen phenomenal growth in the past three years.  Inc. Magazine has just named IPS the 105th fastest growing company in the health sector, and the 25th fastest growing company in all of San Diego.  Robert Moberg, sat down with The American Chiropractor to talk about the rapid growth they are experiencing.

 

chirotouchsuccessTAC:  Can you tell us a little bit about that and the process to get qualified?

RM: Sure.  We were invited to submit our company’s performances.  In the last couple of years we’ve been recognized in our own city, San Diego, as one of the fastest growing companies in San Diego, and as a result of that we were invited to submit our results to Inc. Magazine to see how we would rank nationally.  They put out a list every year of how the top 500 to 5000 companies are doing, based on growth over a 2-year period.  We submitted our numbers and we were pleased to see we were around 1300th out of the 5000 fastest-growing companies, and the 105th company in the health care industry.

 

TAC:  Congratulations!  So that’s a chiropractic company that’s achieving very explosive growth.  What would you attribute this growth to?

RM: You know, I’ve been asked that question a lot.  Since we’ve been in the article folks have come back and said, “What is it you’re doing now that has created that growth?”  And what I try to make them realize is that it has very little to do with what we’re doing now – it really has to do with what we’ve done in the last 2 or 3 years that’s been consistent.   In a staid or trying economy, we’ve continued to be visible in the marketplace and continue to keep ourselves in publication, and continue to keep ourselves in front of events and tried to do the best we could to maintain an active presence.  So we really just try to do what we’ve consistently done for a while, and as a result of that last 2 or 3 years of being consistent I think we’re experiencing those results now.  As others tended to fade away, we chose not to, and it’s put us in a position where we can experience growth.  With the stimulus package out there, and the move to an EHR system being mandated, chiropractors are trying to become more progressive, and are seeing us as a company that is giving them a fully-certified solution that makes a lot of sense.

 

TAC:  Considering the current economic environment, how do you see ChiroTouch progressing with regard to Medicare and the moving target that health care reform has for the future?  Is that going to change how ChiroTouch works?  Are you going to be able to provide service to those that need it should anything happen at the federal level?

RM: Yeah, I think it’s really important for us, and we’re staying very much in tune to it so we know what’s going to be necessary, and we feel it’s our responsibility.  We believe that where Medicare has created a footprint, other insurance companies have tended to follow.  We believe the mandates Medicare is making today will transcend into other environments.  It’s very important for us to prepare the doctors. On the adoption scale, Medicare didn’t feel that most of the doctors would adopt the software till the third year, so we still feel there’s a great 2 or 3 years of growth for both us and also the doctors in chiropractic.

 

TAC: Is there any advice you’d like to give a chiropractor out there who is considering purchasing a note system?  Maybe they’ve used hand-written notes their entire life and they’re intimidated by using a touch screen or by saving information and the IT costs associated with it…could you talk about that a little bit?

RM: Sure.  We recognize and know there is a fear, but at the end of the day what we’re trying to give the doctors back is time.  If you can save them time, you’re going to save them money, and the time saved can be spent on more aggressive patient care and more aggressive marketing, both of which helps them really grow their practice.  Ultimately, doctors that transition from a paper-based practice to an EHR system will find an eased burden in running their practice.  What I’d suggest to them: Get a software that fits you from a company you know has been around, and will be around, for a long time.  The best software will make the biggest difference, and where many of the software systems have the right features, not all of them have the features right.   It’s a key distinction, and we’ve taken a lot of time in the last 10 years to understand what helps make chiropractic software right, so that when they’re using our software they can practice with confidence.

 

TAC:  Thanks for your time.  Is there anything else you’d like to add?

RM: I just appreciate it and we just enjoy being part of this profession.

 

TAC: Thank you.


The Scoop on Postural Adjusting: Interview with Burl R. Pettibon, DC, FABCS, FRCCM, PhD (Hon.)

After receiving an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force Burl Pettibon attended Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, MO.  He graduated in 1956 and practiced in Tacoma Washington while developing clinics in other locations.  Dr. Pettibon was a department head for two years in the college that is now Palmer West.  He has guided The Pettibon Institute’s direction, continuing education offerings, and research since its inception as the Pettibon Spinal Bio-Mechanics Institute in 1981.
 
pettibondcAs a teacher, inventor, and researcher, Dr. Pettibon’s influence and contributions to the science of chiropractic are legendary.

Dr. Pettibon has been an extension faculty member and lecturer at Palmer College of Chiropractic for more than 35 years. He is also an extension faculty member at Life University, Logan College of Chiropractic, Parker College of Chiropractic, and Cleveland Chiropractic College, where he received his degree in 1956. Dr. Pettibon has written more than 65 papers and books on chiropractic care and research. Over the course of his career, he has developed 25 clinics. At the present time, the profession is using the more than 40 products that he has invented to make the detection and correction of vertebral displacements both easier and more accurate. He currently holds three patents and has another two pending approval.
 
In 1988, Dr. Pettibon received the Daniel David Palmer Chiropractic Scientific Award. In 2005, Dr. Pettibon was certified as a Fellow of the American Board of Chiropractic Specialists and inducted as a Fellow into the Royal College of Chiropractic Medicine. In April 2007, Dr. Pettibon was awarded an honorary PhD from American International University, an affiliate of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United States of America, a sister college of the Royal College in England, which in 1645 founded what is now the world’s oldest medical educational institution. 
 
TAC: What is it that led you to get into postural rehabilitation, versus traditional subluxation-based Chiropractic?   
DR. PETTIBON: In Chiropractic College I was taught that chiropractic is a philosophy, science and art that corrects spinal deviations, the cause of neural impedances and dis-ease, rather than just treating symptoms.   I had friends that were graduate chiropractors practicing near the college and persuaded them to allow me to use their clinics and x-ray facilities to take pre and post adjustment x-rays of people.  I and several other chiropractors adjusted these people for free and took post x-rays to see our results. When we compared pre and post adjustment x-ray readings and laid them on top of each other we found that the patients’ displacement subluxations were more displaced than before we adjusted them.  We were obviously disturbed and confronted our clinic instructors at the college with our findings.  
 
They admitted that they had never checked their results but they were not surprised or concerned.  After graduation, I took a class in the Grostic procedures from Dr. Grostic.  His post x-rays showed that he could correct upper cervical displacement subluxations.  However, I took a second and third set of post x-rays two and five days after they had been corrected.  In all instances the displacement subluxations measurements proved that the displacements had returned to their original pre adjustment positions.  
 
This made me realize that there was much more to spinal displacement form and function than just the hard tissues involved.  Therefore, I began to read research articles published by others in the healing arts and took a closer look at physiological and neural responses to the applications of external mechanical forces applied to the spine we chiropractors call an adjustment.  
 
neckstrengtheningTAC: How did your peers view the changes that you were making to the delivery of chiropractic?  
DR. PETTIBON: I was interested in results, not being popular. It is interesting that many of my peers brought their families to me and came to me for their own care. I received hate mail and was threatened. People don’t like their religion questioned. It was not my intent to incense anyone. It was purely a quest for truth. 
 
TAC: Was there anyone in chiropractic that was doing similar things to what you were doing when you began to adopt these new procedures?  
DR. PETTIBON: There were people with questions and who were willing to look for answers, such as Roy Sweat, who took my class and later developed his own technique. I developed many relationships through the years with people who had questions. They are listed in the dedication to my latest book, which is soon to be released.                                                         
 
TAC: How many chiropractors are using this in the field currently?  Are only chiropractors doing it? 
DR. PETTIBON: I began teaching upon request from my peers and went on to develop the Pettibon Biomechanics Institute, Inc. as a nonprofit teaching institute that has literally held classes all over the world. Myself and others have taught the Pettibon Technique initially and in the last ten years, the entire Pettibon System to approximately 6000 varied health care professionals, to include 300 Korean M.D.’s at Yonsei Medical University in Seoul, Korea as well as Russian M.D.’s in Vladivostok.
 
Approximately seven years ago we realized that the wave of the future will dictate that people would prefer not to travel and would prefer to learn online. We were the first technique to be approved by P.A.C.E. with the relationship continuing to this day. We are also approved online by Palmer College. We have three comprehensive programs online at this time and are launching a NEW five part series throughout Fall/Winter of 2011. They will be affordable and simple to navigate and understand, covering every possible topic a professional needs to understand how to achieve predictable and long-lasting results. 
 
TAC: How important is it to warm up the discs and soft tissues prior to administering the adjustments you deliver?  
DR. PETTIBON: Discs have viscoelastic properties, plasticity, hysteresis and they creep as they lose their hydration and height daily while under load.  The loss of disc height closes down on the IVF with the potential for causing as much or more neural impedance as any lateral or rotatory subluxation.  Further, if the disc is not rehabbed daily it and the spinal joints that are normally protected by normal disc height can become pathological.  
 
therapeuticchairThe soft tissue component is so critical to long-term results that we pre check our patients for their ability to respond to adjusting / mobilization / manipulation before ever putting any force into the spine. If the soft tissues are weak and unresponsive our first job is to strengthen them prior to any type of manipulation / adjustment / mobilization. I am excited to introduce a new paradigm shift Fall 2011 that I believe will revolutionize how the spine is viewed and the correction of spine problems. 
 
TAC: Where do you see the Pettibon (technique) system going in the future?  
DR. PETTIBON: The Pettibon System will challenge the result-oriented practitioner to think out of the box. We will continue to educate health care practitioners in such a manner to seek answers for questions that prevent them from the results they want to deliver. We have focused on delivering the promise of chiropractic through scientific inquiry and delivery of methodologies that validate the care we provide. Our pre and post x-rays do not look alike and the patients continue to make significant gains after they are no longer under active care and are following our simple protocols the rest of their lives. I think it is important to differentiate a system from a technique.  
 
TAC: What is the most important aspect to success in care through the Pettibon System?   
DR. PETTIBON: As in all things, it is following the step-by-step process of the Pettibon System, which will give the result the patient and the clinician seek. When a patient is educated to follow in-home procedures and perform preparatory warm ups and traction before their postural evaluation they come to understand the value of participation. Success in care is only as good as the dedication of the doctor and staff. We have a proven model of success with training for implementation and clinical outcomes that are objective and documented. It is everything I went to school to learn and did not. It is the reason I got up in the morning all of those years; to solve problems I had no solutions for at the time.

President of David Singer Enterprises: Interview with Dr. David Singer

Dr. Singer received his undergraduate degree from Rutger’s University, his M.S. degree in nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and his Doctorate from the New York College of Chiropractic. Graduating with honors as the salutatorian of his class, he was inducted into Phi Chi Omega, the International Chiropractic Honor Society. 
 
singerdavidIn his first year of practice, Dr. Singer was seeing more than 100 patients per day. Within the first eight years of practice, he was dubbed “Master of New Patients” by his peers, and was averaging more than 50 new patients per week despite the advertising limitations in his state. 
 
His transition from private practice to practice management consultant came about due to the fact that he was constantly being asked to show his colleagues how to reach his level of success. In 1981, Dr. Singer founded his consulting company and since that time, his company has twice won the prestigious INC. Magazine’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies award. 
 
Dr. Singer was a major supporter and contributor to the chiropractic anti-trust suit against the AMA, spearheaded by Dr. Chester Wilk, who, after 12 years, defeated the AMA. 
 
In 2008 Dr. Singer was asked to sit on the Advisory Board for the Chiropractic Legal Action Fund.  This organization helps provide the finances for the legal battles of the chiropractic profession. He also sits alongside the presidents of the ACA, ICA and numerous chiropractic institutes, at what is called the Chiropractic Summit.  This organization was created to help ensure the future of the profession. 
 
TAC: Here I am with Dr. David Singer, chiropractor, practice coaching expert—specifically to ask him questions about collecting cash as insurance reimbursement become less and less.  Dr. Singer, could you tell our readers a little bit about your background, getting started, right up to today?
DR. SINGER:  Well, first of all I’ve been a chiropractor for thirty  nine years.  I started my practice in 1972 and ’73 so there was nothing other than a cash practice.  I started my practice at seven dollars a visit, and it was all cash—there was no Medicare coverage, there was no auto coverage, there was just no coverage.  Many of you who are reading this who have been in practice only the last twenty years never experienced what it’s like to be in a practice that’s all cash, and it probably sounds intimidating, frightening, and fearful—and you ask, “what am I going to do if insurance stops?”  How am I going to survive living without insurance?”  The fact of the matter is, for those of us who practiced in the early days, every one of us will tell you it was a lot more fun, a lot easier, and you went home at the end of every day and knew how much money you made.  You didn’t have to fight for every dollar you earned.  

In his first year of practice, Dr. Singer was seeing more than 100 patients per day.[/pullquote]
Your overhead was a heck of a lot lower.  For those of you who are reading this, this is not a discussion about whether you should stop billing insurance, that’s not the issue.  Obviously, if you’re in a state where you have great coverage, you ought to take advantage of the insurance that’s available.  I just met with a Medicare representative and here are some of the numbers for you who are reading this to be aware of. 
 
Our profession ten years ago was paid nine hundred and eighty million dollars by Medicare.  Last year, Medicare paid the entire chiropractic profession a little over five hundred million.  In that period of time we’ve had hundreds if not thousands more chiropractors.  You would think that the amount of money we would be getting from Medicare would go up, given the fact we have so many more chiropractors practicing.  I don’t think I’m telling you any secret you don’t know, but the amount of reimbursement that the profession of chiropractic is getting from federal and state programs is going down and down and down, so the subject of cash practice is not a discussion of, “should I quit billing insurance,” but rather it’s a discussion of, “How do I actually collect what insurance companies are not paying?”
 
TAC: Now, for someone out there that’s been in the field filing insurance for years, and all of a sudden that well seems to be going dry for them, I’m sure they’re looking at you right now saying, “So how should I adapt to these current market trends”?
singerdavid2DR. SINGER: Well, here’s how I feel it goes.  You’ve got to take a look at the consumer.  When they come to see you at your practice, their goal—they have a goal—is to get rid of their pain, their suffering, and to do that in the least expensive way possible.  
 
There’s nobody who walks into your clinic who has the goal in mind to spend as much money as possible, to go to you as long as they can.  Their goal is a quick fix.  We live in a society where everybody’s looking for a quick solution to every problem they’ve got.  There’s no difference in our profession.  In a cash-oriented practice, the solution is knowing how to communicate more effectively with the people you see.  
 
Here’s how it goes: the less money that you are asking people to pay you, the less skill you need to have in knowing how to handle people.  If you are asking for a lot of money, you have to have greater skill in the area of communication in order to get the person you’re talking to to feel that paying you would be worth the money.  The consumer must feel what you’re offering them is of great value to get them to spend a lot in a tough economy.  If you want me to make more comments on this, just ask me.
 
TAC: Please do.  Do you mean speaking in scientific terms, representing studies, or are you talking about building a relationship with the patient?
DR. SINGER: So here it goes: I come to see you and I’ve got lower back pain, and I’m willing to pay to get out of that pain, that’s why I’m in your office.  If I can only afford forty dollars a week and you’re charging me one hundred and eighty dollars for the first visit, sixty-five dollars for each visit thereafter,  I will make a judgment call. If I feel you can help me, I might put this onto a credit card, take some of my savings, or do whatever I need to do to get out of that pain. 
 
If you’ve convinced me that you can help me, I will go and I will do that, but I can assure you the minute I feel free from that pain I will feel that going to you and paying you is more painful than my back pain, because my back pain is gone.  So there’s two ways to look at how to move into a cash-oriented practice.  One can look at it and say, “Okay, I’m going to try to convince this person that they really need a lot of visits, 30, 40 or 50 visits to get rid of that back pain.”  
 We all believe in that concept—and what’s the concept of wellness?[/pullquote]
I could sit there and lay out a program for you and say how severe your back is, how bad your discs are, how bad this is and that. I could sincerely tell you that it is really going to take those visits and it’s going to cost you, at sixty-five dollars a visit, over three thousand dollars, etc.  
 
Or there’s another approach to this, which most people don’t even think of, and that is to sit down when a patient comes to us and expand what their goals are.  In other words, their goal as we all know is to get out of pain as quickly as possible, but can you, through your communication with them, hold out to them a bigger picture, a bigger goal? 
 
You go into a shop to buy a tie, and they show you a shirt that would go really good with the tie. Then you go, “well I really only wanted to buy that tie, but that shirt looks really great on me.”  I mean, all of you reading this have had an experience during the holidays—which are coming up soon—where you go to buy someone else a gift but you see something you really want, well, you buy that for yourself also.  I mean, you weren’t really planning on that, but it looked so good and it’s on sale and you buy it.  Well, what we as a profession have to learn how to do is take the consumer and make available to them a goal—more than just getting rid of pain—that would excite them, motivate them, and that you could deliver, that they feel would be worth a lot more than simply getting rid of that pain.
 
TAC:  You’ve been doing this for thirty years and you currently consult one thousand clinics a year, that’s quite a busy schedule then.  Could you comment on trends in the healthcare market going forward?
singerdavid3DR. SINGER:  Here’s my advice to the reader: we’re moving into this wellness revolution, everybody’s talking wellness. We all believe in that concept—and what’s the concept of wellness? That you can live longer, you can have your youth, your vitality, your energy. You can even look younger to other people.  So, if I was to sit down with you and I said, “Listen, I know you’re coming here today looking for help to get rid of your back pain, and I certainly want to help you with that, but I want you to know, because we have more of a wellness-oriented practice, we actually have a larger goal for the people we meet, and that goal is to help our patients not only get free from pain, but live longer.  
 
I mean I actually feel I could put ten years on your life if I was to have your body functioning the way it should, if we get you on to a better nutritional program, and we actually show you how to take care of yourself.  I mean, you have to ask yourself this question: Do you think ten years from now you’re going to be healthier, or do you feel ten years from now you’re going to be in worse shape?  So the point I’m making is if you feel that, given your lifestyle and how you take care of yourself, ten years from now you’ll probably be in worse shape than you are now, then I just want to let you know that we can reverse that process. 
 
We have a wellness center, we know how to help people live longer, feel younger, and actually have a better functioning body.  But listen, you’re here for your first visit, and I just met you, let’s take a look at what we can do to help you with your back problems, and as you get to know me I’ll tell you more about what I do.  If living longer and being healthier is something you have an interest in then I’d obviously like to help you more than just get rid of pain.”  In other words, what I’m saying is you don’t have to sell it, you don’t have to force it down people’s throats, what we can offer people is so wonderful…all you’ve got to do is let them know it’s there. 
 
Now, a major issue in your practice really does come down to knowing how to handle money.  It’s not just about how to handle the patient, but it’s also about how to handle money.  If you were to offer people options regarding being as healthy as possible and you know how to explain what we can do to help them become healthy, people will want it. How to do that is a longer discussion than what we have time for in this article.  
 
The way to get people under your care is to simply ask them one question, after a thorough, honest explanation of how you truly can help them be healthier and live longer: If you could afford it, what kind of care would you want? Would you want the care to just get out of pain, or would you want to have the care that could actually make you a truly healthier person?  If we could help you have more energy, youth, and vitality, if we could add a few years to your life, if you could afford it, what would you want? And I’m going to tell you, with proper patient education everybody says, “If I could afford it, of course I’d want to be as healthy as possible.”  Now, obviously you’ve got to lay down principles and concepts that get them to understand that you can help them to that goal, but then you got to be able to say to them, “If you could afford it, what would you want?”  And I’m going to tell you, if somebody came in to buy a tie and you show them this beautiful shirt, then you show them a beautiful suit, and you said to them, “Listen, take a look at that.  If you could afford this, not just the tie but the shirt and the suit, would you want them?” I’m telling you, most people, if they liked how they looked in that suit—and here’s the truth of the cash game—if they wanted it they will purchase it.  You see, the art of patient management is to get people to want what you’re offering before you ever try to sell it to them.  

In other words, what I’m saying is you don’t have to sell it, you don’t have to force it down people’s throats, what we can offer people is so wonderful…[/pullquote]
What I believe is wrong with a lot of doctors is they try to sell things to people, as opposed to getting them to want it.  If somebody wants something, then it’s the patient and you on the same team, you understand?  You want the care, or you want the suit, I want to have you get the suit, I want you to get the care.  You want it, I want you to have it, all you’ve got to do now is work out the economics–we’re on the same team.  But if I’m trying to convince you, if I’m trying to sell you something, then I’m trying to talk you into something, and what you’re going to hear a lot in your practice are the following words, which you’ll hate to hear: “I want to go home and think about this.  Let me go home and think about it.” Which, by the way, means, “I’m not coming back.”  
 
To educate people properly takes more than one visit. We believe you should start taking care of people as soon as you feel it is right. If your style of practice is you adjust them on the first day or the second day, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is before you ever try to get them to agree on a program, you’ve got to first get them to want it.  That’s the art.  Getting them to want what your goal is, not getting them out of pain.  
 
We already know they want to do that, that’s why they’re in your clinic—but you need to learn how to get them to want a broader picture for themselves and their future.  You also need to learn the art of handling money, which is knowing how to work out budgets.  Getting people to be able to pay you what they can afford, as opposed to getting them to build up a debt on a credit card.  When I say ask people, “if you could afford it, what would you want to do?” And they go, “I want to be healthy if I can afford it,” then it’s your job to figure out a budget that would allow that to happen. Again we teach our clients how to do this, but we don’t have time to do that here.
 
TAC:  Thank you for being so forthcoming and sharing with the readers here.  How would a chiropractor at home right now get in touch with you, learn more about what it is that you offer?
DR. SINGER: The answer to that question would be: call our office, 1-800-326-1797, and ask for Taylor or Michelle, and let them know you’d like to join me on a teleconference.  We hold two-hour teleconferences three times a week.  We charge nineteen dollars, and that money goes to the Chiropractic Legal Action Fund.  In other words, we raise money to help our profession get better reimbursement.  
 
The money is donated to the Chiropractic Legal Action Fund that is currently in litigation to fight for better reimbursement for chiropractic.  I do this to help my profession; I do it to help you.  Call in and join us in one of our conferences at 1-800-326-1797 and I can assure you those two hours will be the best two hours that you  have ever spent on new patient marketing and patient management.
 
TAC: Thanks for your time, Dr. Singer.  Look for future issues of The American Chiropractor online with video content as well.  Have a great day.
 

Dr. David M. Brady Breaks the Glass Ceiling in Academia: Interview with David M. Brady, D.C., N.D., C.C.N., D.A.C.B.N.

 

davidmbradyDr. David Brady, a 1991 Texas Chiropractic College (TCC) graduate, is the first DC worldwide to break the “glass ceiling” within academia by being conferred vice provost of the health science division at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He is the first and only chiropractor to attain that elevated status worldwide in a major university and, because of his extensive training in chiropractic, nutrition and naturopathic medicine, is now in a position to influence the educational direction of scores of minds, young and old, for years to come.

Chiropractors have broken into the politics, forensics, law enforcement, finance and academia, to name a few, and every time an individual chiropractor rises in the ranks of a specific field, it clears the path for others to follow. It also offers our profession a multitude of new opportunities to educate the public about chiropractic and, in the case with Dr. Brady, to create collaborative programs with various healthcare professionals offering greater avenues for access to chiropractic care.

The American Chiropractor salutes the great accomplishment of Dr. David Brady. 

Interview with Dr. David M. Brady, Vice Provost for Health Sciences at the University of Bridgeport

 

TAC: Dr. Brady, can you tell us what your title is at the University of Bridgeport  (UB)?

Brady: Well, it is quite a mouthful, but I am currently the Vice Provost for the Health Sciences Division, the Director of the Human Nutrition Institute, and an Associate Professor of Clinical Science.

TAC: What exactly is a Vice Provost?

Brady: Thanks for asking, as people outside of academia are often confused by what the word Provost actually means. Many are familiar with a university President, but not a Provost. While a university President leads the entire institution, including overseeing the fiscal operations, community relations, and overall governance, it is the Provost that really oversees and leads the academic operations of most universities. For example, Deans of colleges within a university generally report to a Provost. At UB, as in many other universities, we are broken up into divisions related to fields of study, including our Health Sciences Division. As the Vice Provost for Health Sciences, I oversee the colleges and schools related to the health sciences and I guess you can say that I am positioned between the Deans of those programs, including Dean Frank Zolli of our College of Chiropractic, and the university Provost.

TAC: So what exactly do you do as Vice Provost of the Health Sciences at UB?

Brady: The position of Vice Provost for the Health Sciences is essentially the coordinating administrator for the College of Chiropractic, College of Naturopathic Medicine, Fones School of Dental Hygiene, Nutrition Institute, Acupuncture Institute, Physician Assistant Institute and any academic programs added subsequently to the Division of Health Sciences. I also oversee the operations of the UB Clinics, our public clinic system located within our Health Sciences Center. A big part of my job is to facilitate communication among the programs and to enhance efficiency in addressing and advocating for our needs in the Division of Health Sciences to the University as a whole, and to the President and Provost. This involves a lot of different issues, including developing new academic programs, interfacing with hospitals and medical centers where we send students and interns, developing collaborative relationships with other academic institutions, advocating for and planning facilities improvements, working with program Deans in improving academic quality and assessment, and assuring compliance with accreditation standards, and overseeing the community outreach, marketing and quality assurance for our public clinic system.

Keeping with the mission of the UB Division of Health Sciences, we now have the only PA program in the world that has an integrative medicine theme running through the entire curriculum[/pullquote]

TAC: Can you give us some examples of some initiatives and projects at UB that would likely not have happened before you were appointed Vice Provost of Health Sciences three years ago to provide coordination amongst the programs within the division?

Brady: Well, one of the main tasks I had when taking on this role was to break down the former silo-mentality that tends to take root in an institutional setting with many different individual programs. Here, we had all of these really great programs in far ranging health-related fields but, for the most part, each of these colleges or schools was doing its own thing and trying to advocate for just its own needs within a complicated university structure and system. Once we started working much more collaboratively with a plan that harvested the inherent synergies between us and pooled our efforts and leverage within the university system, we were able to achieve many things not previously possible. These included obtaining from the University significant investments in facilities upgrades, including the updating of classrooms and teaching technology, general facelifts for buildings, and significant investment in a brand new state-of-the-art anatomy dissection lab being built this summer. We have also been able to introduce a new sophisticated clinical information system (CIS) into our UB Clinics that brings with it full electronic medical records, scheduling, billing, and clinical data mining capability for conducting interdisciplinary research. With this tool, we can seek research grants and funding to perform much needed complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research that compares different approaches, such as chiropractic, acupuncture and naturopathic medical interventions for a host of disorders and conditions seen in our clinic system. We were also able to develop new academic programs, such as our Physician Assistant program, which required reaching out to the medical community in our region and establishing relationships at almost all of the medical centers and hospitals in Connecticut. Keeping with the mission of the UB Division of Health Sciences, we now have the only PA program in the world that has an integrative medicine theme running through the entire curriculum, which will result in primary care providers who are not only extremely competent in their discipline, but also have an understanding of various complementary approaches, including chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, nutrition and acupuncture, which they can ultimately discuss with their patients as treatment choices. We have also developed new undergraduate programs in the health sciences, including a collaboration with the University of Connecticut (UConn) on pharmacy education, a medical laboratory sciences program, and we are also developing a new Masters in Public Health and a Doctorate in Health Sciences that are minimum residency programs, allowing students and health professionals from around the country and world to experience what is happening here at UB. It also allows our students to cross-train and to participate in dual programs, leaving UB with multiple degrees and career opportunities. 

bradyinterviewTAC: Wow, all of that sounds wonderful. How do you have enough time in the day?

Brady: It is sometimes not easy, but it is a labor of love, as I have gotten to see the strides we have made and what we have become over my 14 years here at UB. I also just love to see positive changes for the students that study here. We have really moved this division forward by virtue of our collaborations. One example is how we were able to open up new clinical experiences for our chiropractic and naturopathic medicine students in the form of hospital-based rotations, which were made possible by the relationships that were formed during the development of the Physician Assistant program with St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport.

TAC: How does being Vice Provost at a comprehensive university and a chiropractor at the same time help the UBCC program?

Brady: I think that my training as a DC helps me to better understand the needs of the College of Chiropractic as we devise strategies for the continued development of the Division of Health Sciences. It should be noted that I came from the ranks of the UBCC faculty and worked in that capacity for almost 10 years. My chiropractic background also helps me to articulate what chiropractic is all about to many different decision makers within and outside the University, as well. 

TAC: How is the exposure to chiropractic to UB students from all around the world affect the future of global health care?

Brady: It definitely helps increase the awareness of chiropractic globally. Through collaboration with UB, we have seen international programs in chiropractic developed by our UBCC graduates, such as the chiropractic program at Hanseo University in Korea. We also have UBCC faculty members involved in helping chiropractic programs flourish in Spain. As more people are exposed to chiropractic from around the world, it helps raise the profile of awareness of chiropractic internationally. That is a good thing.

TAC: Do you know of any other person trained as a doctor of chiropractic that is in a position such as you? That is, overseeing an entire division of health sciences representing a multitude of health care disciplines, at a full spectrum university such as UB with programs as diverse as engineering, education, music, business, design, etc?

Brady: To my knowledge, I am the first and, at present, only. However, I believe my training in multiple disciplines, and not only chiropractic, has allowed me to prepare for this responsibility and to do a better job as a result. 

TAC: Tell us a little more about your training across these various disciplines?

Brady: Well, believe it or not, my undergraduate training was in electronics engineering technology and I worked for the computer division of the aerospace company McDonnell Douglas. I worked with computer aided design systems, including those used in the biomedical design and production of total joint replacement technologies. This brought me into contact with orthopedic surgeons and biomedical engineers at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and sparked my interest in applying my engineering knowledge to the human body. This eventually led me into chiropractic, as the biomechanical education in chiropractic training is substantial. I trained at Texas Chiropractic College in the Houston area, graduating as Valedictorian in 1991. During my time at TCC, I was able to participate in a multitude of hospital rotations in the colossal Houston Medical Center. This allowed me to learn a lot about not only chiropractic, but also allopathic medicine, from many different specialists’ perspective. I learned how to work and talk with medical doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and hospital administrators and experienced a model of collaboration and cross training that I believe helped me in creating some of what we have accomplished at UB. During these experiences, I always felt that I was able to bring a positive message about chiropractic and what it has to offer in the health care system to other medical professionals and decision makers. I was also very lucky to train at TCC, which was the only chiropractic program offering such a hospital experience at that time, and where I also picked up a passion and appreciation for the power of therapeutic nutritional, which then became my new area of interest. I subsequently went on to my nutritional training and became a diplomate and nationally board certified in nutrition. Ultimately, I went on the complete my academic and clinical training in naturopathic medicine at the University of Bridgeport.

TAC: Is that why you came to UB, to train as an ND?

Brady: I was practicing and teaching in the Houston area for about seven years after completing my chiropractic internship and diplomate programs in internal disorders and nutrition. I was then recruited to join the faculty in the College of Chiropractic at UB. I was brought in because of my training in internal diagnosis, laboratory medicine, and nutrition and quickly found myself also teaching classes for the students in the College of Naturopathic Medicine at UB. It was at that point that I knew I wanted to complete my training as an ND, as well. It took me quite a while, as I was completing this rigorous program while still teaching and practicing. 

I practice one full day a week and feel that it is really necessary to keep me connected to patient care.

TAC: Do you still practice?

Brady: I do. I have been in continuous clinical practice since 1991. I have practiced for the past 8 years or so as a licensed naturopathic physician here in Connecticut within an integrative internal medicine group that has MDs, NDs, DCs, nutritionists, and various therapists and counselors. I focus on chronic disease management using the functional medicine model, which includes the integration of nutrition and nutraceutical intervention, diet therapy, herbal medicine, physical medicine, lifestyle modification, and pharmaceutical therapy when necessary. I practice one full day a week and feel that it is really necessary to keep me connected to patient care and the issues that our students at UB will face upon graduation. I also do consulting work in the nutraceutical and nutritional supplement industry, as well as for medical laboratories, and travel quite a bit, presenting on functional medicine and nutrition around the US and internationally at various scientific symposiums and conferences.

TAC: Oh, is that all?

Brady: I forgot to mention that I also have two little guys as home: Ian, who is 5, and Owen, who is 3 and a half. You could say that they keep me quite busy as well.

TAC: In closing, do you see yourself staying at UB and what do you see UB becoming in the future?

Brady: Oh, I see myself staying at UB if they will have me. I want to see this through. It is really simple. We want UB to continue to develop into the academic center of excellence for integrative health care in the US and to provide opportunities for students to come and study in a place where there exists a pallet of health care professions and approaches to choose from where collaboration, appreciation and respect exists amongst these professions. We are all about health care choices for patients, as is evident by the approximately 20,000 patient visits that take place in the UB Clinics annually across a multitude of disciplines and approaches. In order to provide those choices to patients, we need to continue to train qualified, competent, and compassionate professionals in all of these fields. This is a commitment shared by President Neil Salonen and Provost Hans van der Giessen, as well as the entire University of Bridgeport and, without this vision and commitment to health sciences, what we have done so far would not have been possible. We also know it is working, since we have alumni doing incredible work all over the world treating patients as private clinicians, as well as former graduates in very important positions within prestigious institutions, including the medical schools and hospitals of Yale, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Vanderbilt to name a few. 

TAC: Thank you, Dr. Brady.

Brady: Thank you, for the opportunity to let the chiropractic profession know a bit more about the work we are doing here, which has had a profound positive effect on chiropractic. At UB, we have witnessed that, the more we integrate complementary healthcare disciplines in our clinics, hospitals and educational processes, the more patients have gained access to chiropractic care.