Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 803
Infrastructure 188 I

From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic
Preamble: many of these issues are small, yet each issue is just that… an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then the larger issues often take care of themselves and you can focus on the larger issues… a larger, more profitable practice and more family time.

“Integrating Associates Into This Program”

Caveat Emperor
 
“To all those really smart people; reinventing the wheel isn’t the solution. In other words…I told you so” Mark Studin 2017



When any doctor joins the program, I usually ask if there is an associate involved. Or… if the associate doctor calls to learn about the program because the owner doctor is going to have them do the entire program because they are either too lazy, too busy, a healer and above doing personal injury or any other plausible, but BS excuse to not wanting to spend the time to get better clinically.

No matter the circumstance, I always insist on speaking directly to the owner doctor as first they are the one that has to sign the contract and pay the bill and secondly (and more importantly) the owner doctor has to realize that “those that control the referrals control the practice.” It is my hard rule to give every owner doctor complete disclosures and warnings about having their associates own this entire body of work.

 
Although there are many associate doctors who are loyal, honest and have a high level of integrity, it has been my experience that most associates have a level of resentment after a short period of time for their boss. The mindset (as explained to me by too many associates) is that they are doing a significant amount of the work and the owner doctor gets almost all the money derived from that work. This usually garners covert hostility and typically plays itself out to the detriment of the owner doctor over time. For me personally, it took my associate 5 years before she came after me mostly because I was making more money than her. To this day, I don’t know what the rest of her issues were as that is what the “covertly” means, but she definitely wanted my MONEY and is also the core of why EVERYONE MUST have a signed staff office policy and I urge you to use the one I have arranged for you to get (cheap!!!) that will protect you from your entire staff. 

 
What I explain to the owner doctor is this material will teach any chiropractor how to be the reason for perpetual referrals, which is the cornerstone for success in any practice. Therefore, by an associate having unlimited access to this program it gives them the power to take the knowledge and open up anywhere inclusive of 10 miles and 1 inch from you, which will invalidate any restrictive covenant as deemed by virtually every court in the United States. When the associate gets fully credentialed, which will follow them for the balance of their career and learns how to be the reason for the referral, most will realize that they can do this on their own and keep all the money.

 
I have had many associate doctors go through this program and be my only contact in the doctor’s office. I can tell you from a first-hand perspective that the majority of them have opened up on their own with most staying in the general locale of their former employer to continue to garner the referrals from the relationships they created with their previous employer. The good news for those Associates, is their previous employer paid for their entire practice education and credentials. In addition, most of those Associates left soon after their education concluded.

 
The following is a snippet from an email that I received today from an owner doctor who was smarter than I am and chose not to listen to my warnings about his associate:

 
Hey Mark,

So you were right (never trust an associate). Shortly after my associate got in to do the program for our office (and went thru all the classes that I am still paying for) he asked for 2 days off in late February and never came back. It gets worse…

The above scenario is typical and as you can see, left the owner doctor “holding the bag,” with nothing to show but debt. In almost every case, the owner doctor then engages in the program personally as they should have initially for two reasons; the first, is because they now have to neutralize their highly educated former associate who has now become their competition and secondly, because they realized the true value of the program by witnessing their associates successes while employed. 

 
The hard rule with your Associates is never to give them full access to this program. You the owner doctor must engage in the program and then give “bits and pieces” as you deem fit to your associate doctors. The majority of what they need to see should be focused on compliance and documentation. Every associate should take the MRI spine interpretation, PI Bootcamp and Stroke courses because attorneys (usually defense) have the opportunity to subpoena any Dr who treated the patient and they usually look for the weakest link, your associate doctor. The above courses will give the associate Dr. an appropriate level of education to do well in any deposition or cross examination. In absence of that education for the associate Dr. they stand a chance of failing on the witness stand in the plaintiff’s lawyer will hold you accountable and consider never working with you again.

It is my direct experience that once you give your associate Dr. the username and password to this program it is the beginning of the end. When I say give them “bits and pieces,” it means print out the individual consultations you want them to read, put it in a binder and after they read it have them initial what they read. This is also for compliance purposes because if they make a critical error and you have educated them in this program, based on their initialing what you had them read gives you a level of insulation for culpability of wrongdoing. This does not excuse you from being responsible for everything your associate does, it just “softens the blow.”

 
Again, there are some wonderful Associates who have the highest regard for you and a high level of integrity. However, it is been my experience that those are in the significant minority and therefore, Caveat Emperor.
 


Respectfully,




Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Chiropractic, University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic
Adjunct Professor, Division of Clinical Sciences, Texas Chiropractic College
Educational Presenter, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education Joint Partnership with the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
 

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