Academy of Chiropractic’s
Lawyers PI Program
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
“2020: What the Lawyers Want”
NOTE: Although this is a great consultation, you must listen to the Podcast on this, it has much more about what is happening today!
Over the last 2 months I have lectured to over 1000 lawyers across the country and have taken notes as to what is important in 2010 vs. 2020 and the results are revealing. In 2010, I believed that putting research in the hands of the lawyers was a great model for success along with bombarding them frequently with your name attached to the information...and it worked really well in getting recognized as an expert, but didn’t motivate the masses to work with you.
In 2018, the feedback I got across the nation was that the information was good, but it didn’t yield consistent results and was lacking. Therefore, we changed our strategy and focused on the admissibility component of the documentation and working with you, the doctor, to see where everyone’s knowledge base was. We did that through frequent multiple choice questionnaires. The results helped me tailor CE courses to bring up the profession's knowledge base and to “up” the level of credentials of each individual doctor and the profession as a whole. The results were astounding from coast-to-coast. The feedback was that we hit the “nail on the head” as to the needs of the medical-legal community. The level of referrals increased per doctor in a consistent, reproducible fashion as long as the doctor followed the protocols outlined in the consultations that focused on credentials.
I also found that my phone rang less and less with infrastructure questions and increased in frequency with clinical questions. This is a direct result of doctors now focusing on being the “best-of-the-best” through clinical excellence. It seems I struck a chord in the fiber of the practitioners nationwide, as everyone realized that in order to get busy you need to be the “real deal.” Doctors are now being recognized by lawyers nationally that members of the “Academy of Chiropractic’s Lawyers PI Program” are trauma specialists and understand the needs of their clients in both triaging and documenting.
In 2009, my goal was to get the profession to another level and compete with the neurologists, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons and it has worked as planned. Lawyers across the country, when sitting with our doctors, have been transformed with such a powerful paradigm shift in their appreciation of our knowledge base and credentials that the level of acceptance has increased to the point of not bypassing the chiropractor for the MD specialist. This has created the lawyers to “WANT” the DC to be the quarterback in their PI cases because we are better qualified than our medical counterparts.
In 2009, I inundated you with relevant information about getting credentialed in MRI Spine Interpretation and basic PI information about triaging and diagnostics in the PI Bootcamp. It worked, as many of you have taken the courses and to date, the feedback is that 100% have been overwhelmed with the knowledge imparted. Those 2 courses are still the basic standard with the PI Bootcamp first, followed by the MRI course.
100,000 lawyers later, the game has been altered with the needs of the lawyers. Across the nation, the carriers are trying to put more and more roadblocks in front of the lawyers, as this is purely a $$$ issue. The problem is that most of the roadblocks are full of rhetoric and not steeped in physiological fact. In addition, many DC’s are not being allowed to testify about impairments nor anything having to do with the accident, as the argument is that we not credentialed. In addition, the lawyers still do not understand the true nature of injuries and are succumbing to defense nonsense that is awfully compelling and the plaintiff lawyers do not have the knowledge base, nor research, to combat the rhetoric.
In my last 5 lectures, which have taken place over the last 2 weeks, there were many requests for documentation. It is through that level of documentation request that I was guided to see how the lawyers are deficient in knowledge and where they need the most help. It is in these areas that I will guide you so that you hit the “right buttons” when communicating with the lawyers so that you can open their emotional trap doors so they can see that you are the “best-of-the-best” clinically and that your work is admissible. Once the lawyers understand this and they see what you have to offer, the rest is easy.
First, lawyers are basically clueless about basic orthopedic testing. They don’t know the significance of a Fabere-Patrick test to an Adson’s test. They need help, and if you communicate effectively, offering yourself as the expert, they will consistently reach out to you for that help.
Next is that disc definitions are critical; the majority of their cases rely on how the courts interpret the MRI findings and the expert’s rendition of that interpretation. You can have a radiologist give a report, but the insurance IME doctor will have a 180 degree different opinion. Where does that leave the lawyer? The answer is in “lawyer hell,” not knowing how to proceed with his/her case. Lawyers often spend $10,000’s on cases and this issue is hugely problematic and often the core of the issue. Once the lawyers realize that you, the trained chiropractor, is knowledgeable and credentialed in MRI spine interpretation, they will seek your advice. In fact, before I will lecture for a doctor, I mandate that they are Trauma Qualified. During the presentation, when I share with the lawyers that the doctors in the room are credentialed in MRI, I solidify the doctor/lawyer relationship. In fact, 100% of the time, the lawyers request documentation that I provide in the MRI Spine Interpretation course on the latest nomenclature on disc definitions. I am talking about every single lawyer in the room writing on a piece of paper and handing it to the doctors in the room to give them that information. This is the most compelling evidence that those credentials are needed by the legal community!
Lawyers are requesting, at a much higher frequency, research on pre-existing arthritic degeneration because it is that issue that causes their cases to be thrown out as pre-existing. The research on arthritis can be found in conjunction with the bi-monthly educational fliers on the Web site. Lawyers are still losing cases based on this level of BS because they don’t have the research or an expert who can refute that rhetoric with the truth. In many of the courses in the Trama Qualification program I spend a significant amount of time teaching you how to use the research in conversation, testimony and in your narratives to neutralize the nonsense with scientific evidence.
Over the last month, since releasing the Accident Reconstruction Course, the responses I have been receiving have been quite revealing. In Buffalo, NY, just 3 days ago, the most prominent lawyer in the Western part of New York State said to me, "If you add 'Accident Reconstruction' credentials to everything else you do, that puts you in a different class from every other health care provider, no matter their specialty."
It seems that we have struck a chord at a whole new level. Does this mean once you have taken the online course that you will instantly become an imminently credentialed accident reconstructionist? Of course not. Just like taking a 25 hour online MRI course does not make you a radiologist. What is does is give you the credentials to have an opinion that is admissible in court. It also gives you a chance to develop those skills over your career so that in a few years, you can accurately say that you have interpreted over 1000 MRI’s and reconstructed over 250 accidents. This is where you start.
Apparently, the lawyer didn’t care if I was imminently experienced, only credentialed, because now he had a doctor with credentials to counteract the sometimes, nonsensical arguments of the opposing engineer who has no medical training. Your doctorate of chiropractic in conjunction with the accident reconstruction credential is powerful. It doesn’t matter if your state recognizes the courses for CE credits (they never were created for that reason). All that matters is that the course is certified by an academic or licensure board for Post-Doctoral Training and you have the credentials.
2020 is about being more valuable to the medical-legal profession through knowledge backed by credentials. It is about expanding that knowledge base and then getting the lawyers to want you as a result.
Now that we have perfected the video-conferencing, I will be able to come to your community and lecture personally anywhere in the country, anytime. This is another huge step, as what I do is compress the process of getting the lawyers to run after you. To quote Dr. Oxenrider in Indianapolis who I lectured for last week, "I only had 12 lawyers show up at the meeting. Thankfully, only 12 because all 12 want me in their offices yesterday and I simply do not have the time....but I now have 12 new law firms who want to work with me and it was created for me overnight." Your goal is to do the same thing as I did, get the lawyers to understand what you know and what your credentials are. Whether I do it for you or you follow the game-plan in the consultations, the rules of success are the same; all it takes is an action step.
I would like to conclude with a brief story of a doctor who I am so proud of. Dr. Howard in rural New York. (Yes, NY has more rural areas than many can appreciate.) Dr. joined the program very down on his luck and had many reasons to be not doing well. He made a powerful decision and we spoke almost daily for many weeks, not an easy task with my schedule, but Howard persevered. He took the courses, created an infrastructure, drove hours and hours to meet with me in spite of a newborn at home and humbly did what he needed to do, confronting his fears and gentle, non-aggressive personality.
Dr. XXXX called me 3 weeks ago, sharing with me that he just met with his 9th lawyer in the last month and he/she is overwhelmed with his knowledge base, credentials and him. Here was this shy, typical DC, who understood the basics and the rhetoric of chiropractic and transformed himself into a confident trauma specialist who can communicate with any lawyer in the nation. If Howard can do it in this rural area, you can do it in any area. All it took was a level of commitment and perseverance.
This is the basic plan for 20120 and as the weeks go on and the feedback comes in, I will share with you many nuances of how to make it work for you. Get all of the credentials offered on www.teachdoctors.com
, as the courses were created to make you competitive in the personal injury arena. Keep building your CV and making yourself more valuable on paper, as that is the key to success in the medical-legal arena.