We were greatly saddened to hear of a chiropractor that we knew who recently took his own life. Unfortunately it has not been an uncommon occurrence within the chiropractic profession. It obviously troubles us to hear these stories and makes us ponder what kind of hopelessness drives someone to do this. This most recent loss struck us especially hard because we had a personal relationship with this doctor. We asked ourselves all the “what if” questions and agonized over whether there was something, anything, we could have done to prevent this.
This doctor would have appeared to have a fulfilling life. He had a wife and five children (and one on the way). We wondered if this unfortunate act had something to do with money (as a lack thereof) as a result of our country’s recession, but that didn’t appear to be the case. This doctor had a very stable practice. The fact is, we may never know for sure what could drive someone to take their own life, but it served as a wake up call for us to remember one of the most powerful principles in life.
The principle we are referring to is that “HOPE is Essential”. Hope is defined as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Hope is that factor that ignites the inner man or your spirit for that which is good and promising.
Observing someone who has lost hope is one of the saddest sights to see. It is like a dog that has been beaten so much that the beatings have actually destroyed the dog’s spirit. Even when someone shows the dog kindness or love, it will cower in fear. It seems to always expect the same cruelty from everyone, no matter what type of gentleness they show. The same goes for the person who has lost all hope. They give up and resign themselves to expect the worst. While they may not physically cower as they go through their days, mentally and emotionally they resist hope, and resist those who try to give it, even those closest to them who try to reach out to them in love. When hope is lost, events like our recent loss become more common. Hope is essential to our well being.
As a chiropractor, you may encounter many in your office that have experienced hopelessness due to debilitating pain that no one seems to be able to cure. Remember, the most powerful thing you can give to your patients is HOPE. Chiropractors have been able to restore lost mobility and stop chronic pain when other health providers have given them no hope. We never know what someone is going through in life, especially a patient in pain.Remember, the most powerful thing you can give to your patients is HOPE.[/pullquote]
While we have a lot to offer our patients, often hope is overlooked. However, it is one of the essential factors that we must learn to give to our patients. In many cases, hope for a better future fuels the importance of the actual service that is being rendered. This can be true in many arenas, but especially in a chiropractic office. Stop to think about that for a second. In most cases, the chiropractor was not their first choice in provided health care. In fact, in many cases, a prospective patient is considering chiropractic as their last option before “giving up”. In other words, they are beginning to believe they will just have to live with it, because they are losing hope of the issue’s ever being resolved. Hope can motivate a person to take one more step. Hope can move us forward, even when the obstacles that block our path seem impossible to overcome.
Giving a patient hope can be the motivating factor that drives them to their next visit. It is not slick marketing, chiropractic education, or free hot chocolate in the waiting room that motivates your patients to become lifetime patients of chiropractic. It is the giving to them of hope that their condition will improve while, simultaneously, treating them with the miracle of chiropractic that will keep them on the right course of treatment. Let’s be careful to feed our patients hope, not demands and requirements. HOPE is ESSENTIAL in a doctor/patient relationship. Make it a point to give others (not just patients) HOPE everyday. You never know how powerful a little dose of hope can be in someone’s life. Make a conscious effort to share it with your patients THIS WEEK!
by Tom Owen III, and Todd Osborne, D.C.
Dr. Todd Osborne, a 1989 graduate of Palmer College, ran a successful high volume multiple doctor practice, and is currently Vice President of AMC, Inc., as well as an author and lecturer. Visit www.amcfamily.com or call (877) AMC-7117 for more information.