Academy of Chiropractic’s
Lawyers PI Program
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
“Resolving the Lawyers' Ethical Dilemmas When Referring”
The direct referral from lawyers in some states is frowned on, while in others it is a regulatory issue. In my 40 years of practice, I have heard the same story from many lawyers and their objection to making the referral has to do with rules of ethics. While the reason is valid, it appears that some have more of an issue with it than others. It can be an ethical consideration and in some cases, the appearance, if the injured party has to go on the witness stand, might be damaging to a case. When the defense lawyer asks the patient on the witness stand, "How did it come about that you saw Dr. Studin?" and the patient replies, "My lawyer sent me to him," the wrong impression might be given at the best, or a trip to the ethics department for the lawyer to save their license at worst. Either way, the lawyer is very sensitive to this issue.
Over the years, the lawyers that worked with me directly informed me that they always gave their clients 3 different business cards to choose from and let their clients know that they could choose to see who they pleased. However, the lawyers always put in a good word for me. In most instances, the clients ended up in my office. It is a process that is ethical and works, but now there is a much more powerful avenue that will foster significantly more referrals and make the process easier for the lawyers referring.
I now send the lawyers to the US Chiropractic Directory and point them to my “preferred listing.” It is here that I request they send their clients when considering a referral. This way, when asked in any forum, the patient can say that the lawyer sent them to a directory online and they had dozens of doctors to choose from. The lawyer can still make that recommendation and highlight your practice, but any level of impropriety is removed, as the lawyer did not give any business cards. He/she sent the client to a public directory/site.
This underscores why you need to have a “preferred listing” on the directory. In the first 3 months that the directory has been in existence, I have gotten numerous lawyers to visit the site and I am now getting calls from both lawyers and patients that want to work with me in “expert” capacity doing P-IME’s and testifying, as that is what my private practice is limited to. In addition, I posted a full consultation just today, How to Use the US Chiropractic Directory to Get New Patients, that explains how to use the directory to get new patients from the public, lawyers and MD’s, and I urge you to read it by clicking:
...and logging in to your account or creating one and registering for a “preferred listing.”
The Directory resolves many legal and ethical issues that can arise when a lawyer considers a referral. In addition, once you start getting lawyers and their clients in the habit of using the site to find you, they will send their friends and family to the site to “check out” your CV, as it is not an easy task to find doctors' credentials online. There are services that charge a significant amount of money for that purpose and now the public and the lawyer can see your credentials. In addition, the lawyer must have your CV to work with you and they can now access it at any time. We have created the avenue for you and have made it easy for you to take advantage of the latest technology available.
You need to use every piece of leverage available to you in order to succeed. There is a reason why some win at a higher level than others and it doesn’t matter how many people live in your community or where your office is located. It solely depends on you.