Forward from Dr. Maybee:
FTCA Blog features guest articles from FTCA members. They of course are not completely the sanctioned opinions of the FTCA, but are editorial in nature. And hopefully educational, or thought inspiring, and fresh, and and and... A new perspective as we catapult this profession into a future leaning trajectory.
With that in mind, it is however important to reflect upon the past. It would be wasteful to take what has worked well in the past, and toss it merely because it is attached to "old thinking". We don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak. And we don't, if we are to be critical of the "straight" or "vitalistic" part of the profession, want to dismiss everything they have done as worthless or unimportant. In fact, there are many things we can learn from that corner of the profession that could make our practices better. There are things they do really, REALLY well.
It would be advantageous for us, as progressive chiropractors, to recognize those things and re-engineer them into our evidence based practices. As we move forward, it is important to define who and what we are as the chiropractors of the future, and dwell on or center our language on what we are NOT. Dr. Mike Stanley understands this, and he expands upon it in the following blog entry.
Bobby Maybee DC
TORs Do (Some) Things Right
Ah, the TORs. If you've been a member of the FTCA for more than...
24 hours...you have seen the disdain that we progressive chiropractors have for "The TORs." It's all too common to see Billy D freaking out about planes flying over California or yet another person that we've seen conned into a 3-year treatment plan, paid up front, for the bargain deal of $8,000. All you must do is attend 10 mandatory workshops, bring all your friends, shave your heads, drink this, put on these Nikes, and don't ask any questions.
There are plenty of TORs out there who are taking advantage of people for their own personal benefit out of nothing more than greed. Of course, there also are some TORs out there who have bought in and they think that they are doing a disservice to their patients by NOT signing them up for years of care because "If I don't check them for silent killers then WHO THE HELL WILL?!?!"
The TORs and the Progressives will likely never see eye to eye on chiropractic philosophy. The philosophical gap between the two is too great, and odds are that you have either bought in or you have not. However, I do believe that there are many things that we progressives can learn from the TORs when you look at the attitude they bring to practice and how they engage their patients and potential patients. They do a lot of things well, and I think that it is worth our time to recognize what those things are and apply them in our own lives and practice. Now before, you pluck the chickens and warm up the tar, hear me out.
TORs have certainty in the adjustment.
Certainty is a buzzword in chiropractic. It has gained a bad connotation due to its vague usage, but it is something that even we progressives should have when it comes to our best form of treatment, the chiropractic adjustment. I see too many progressives doubting their own training and treatment, and often over-complicating the issue. Let's be real, if you're not being dumb, you're not going to hurt anyone with an adjustment. In the absence of red flags, move the damn bone. The adjustment, a spinal manipulation, or whatever the hell you want to call it, is a powerful treatment. Don't be afraid to use it.
TORs aren't afraid to hustle.
Spinal screenings, health fairs, bridal shows, the mall. Many of us laugh when we see these poor saps wasting their weekends out there. We would never be caught dead doing such a thing! We chuckle that someone would stoop to that level, and then we sit back in our office and wonder where our patients are. Meanwhile, the doc you were just laughing at will see 15 new patients in the next week. Now, I'm not saying that we all need to do screenings at the mall, and God knows you shouldn’t lure people in with a bait and switch, but we also need to not be ashamed to get out and do some legwork. You may be a great doctor, but if no one knows who you are, they're going to go to the doc they know. And guess what? The general public doesn't care what the specific details of a chiropractor’s treatment philosophy are if they get results, and we all know you will get results in most cases by adjusting alone.
TORs don't care what other people think.
To be a TOR, you have to be someone who is comfortable challenging the status quo. TORs do not fall in line. They do not fit the mold. They do what they want when they want, and most don't care that we are hiding in our groups and laughing at them. They have defined their purpose, regardless of how much we
may disagree with it, and they are not afraid to go for it. We need more of this in the progressive world. Too often it seems like we are looking out the window and laughing at the TOR across the street when we don't even have our own office in order. Find how you want to treat and what chiropractic means to you and go for it. Stop worrying about what anyone else thinks. They aren't treating your patients and they aren't paying your bills.
TORs have passion.
Spend some time with some TORs. Their passion is infectious. They really do have a passion for helping people and they believe that chiropractic is the best way to do that. They get that twinkle in their eye when they talk about it. They get pumped up about chiropractic, and you cannot help but do the same when you are around them. Passion is what attracts people to anyone. Period. A person who is passionately speaking on a subject (even if it isn't one we agree with) will draw the crowd from the person who is robotically reading off today's newest research every time. Why? Because passion engages people on an emotional level. We need more passion in the progressive realm of chiropractic, and I'm not talking about passionately hating on the TORs. You'll win more people over when you passionately promote something rather than being critical regardless of how right you may be.
TORs don't think the grass is always greener.
Every now and then, the topic of bailing out of the profession comes up in the FTCA. I understand that for some people, this profession is not the right fit. If you got into chiropractic and you don't enjoy it or if you feel like you are being led elsewhere, best of luck to you and best wishes. However, if you want to make a good living in chiropractic, you must decide whether you're going to go all-in or whether you're going to fold. The chiropractic profession is not a profession that you can half-ass. No one, and I mean no one, does well in this profession by accident. You cannot succeed in chiropractic if you have one foot out of the door. The grass always looks greener, but every profession has the drama that the chiropractic profession has, it just is not at the forefront of your consciousness.
Being a successful chiropractor is hard. It's damn hard. However, this profession can provide you a great income and a great quality of life if you prove yourself worthy. It also cannot be denied that we have some hurdles to jump that no other profession has. Philosophically, the two camps in chiropractic could not be more divided, however, I do believe that we all have the same goal: to help as many people as we can live better lives through chiropractic care. While the two sides will likely never agree philosophically, I do believe that there are things that we can learn from one another to be successful and to help move the profession forward.
Be certain in your training and treatment, and if there's no reason not to, don't be afraid to adjust someone. Sometimes it can make the difference. Don't be afraid to get out and put in the legwork to build your practice. Stop caring what people think about you or how you treat your patients, and in that same vein, we could stand to stop picking apart everyone who doesn't practice identically to us on social media. One of the great things about chiropractic is you can practice how you want. As long as people are being ethical and getting results, give them a break. Finally, identify your passion within this profession and go all-in on it. This profession is not one for the lukewarm. The lukewarm will be chewed up and spit out.
The tides are turning in chiropractic. We are slowly seeing this ship turning around and that is due in large part to progressive chiropractors regaining public trust and integrating with other healthcare professionals in a patient-centered approach, but we still have to reach more people. While we may only see 10% of the population currently, the optimist in me means that we have a 90% untapped market. I think that if we take a step back we can learn to apply some techniques from our more vitalistic colleagues to reach the 90%, educate them on how we can help, and help the world to see how we are the answer when it comes to evaluating and treating the cause of pain without the use of drugs or surgery.
Mike Stanley DC