Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 826
Narrative 58 N

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.

“The Power of a Name and How to Destroy a Practice”

“You can deny it all day long, if you wrote it… it is demonstrable and will someday be used against you” Mark Studin 2017

In your narrative, you wrote “Mary was a seat belted driver in a motor vehicle accident on 1/2/2016 and was examined for her injuries on 1/5/2016.” 

On the witness stand, this is the potential line of questioning: 

Doctors, do you have a personal relationship with Mary? Do you have a history with her? Do you have relationships with Mary? Do you date?

All of the above are fair questions because in a doctor-patient relationship, it is objective and not personal. Every MD’s report I have ever read (and I have read 1000’s) use Surnames exclusively and that is the proper way for a doctor to refer to their patients. 

Anything less formal is unprofessional and gives the impression that you cannot be objective to a judge, jury, carrier, etc. 

The proper way to write a report is: 

Mrs. Mary Jones was a seat belted driver in a motor vehicle accident on 1/2/2016 and was examined for her injuries on 1/5/2016.”

For the balance of the reports you then refer to the patient as “Mrs. Jones.”  This also holds true for all your SOAP notes.

PLEASE do not give me the BS line, I have a more personal relationship with my patients than just patient-doctor and we are on first-name basis. How you chose to have patients address you in the office is independent from how you document the encounter. 

Often, it’s the little things that make or break a relationship. 



Adjunct Associate 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

Academy of Chiropractic
US Chiropractic Directory
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