Academy of Chiropractic’s

Lawyers PI Program

#102

 From the Desk of:

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

"What Lawyers Want in Order to be Motivated to Refer"
As Told by the Lawyers


If you haven't read all of the previous consultations, reading this first is a total waste of your time because it will not work if you haven't been "re-wired." There is new research about learning that I will be talking about and it is explained in the book The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. It is about why people become masters in their fields and unlike the previous theories of nature verus nurture, this uncovers the mystery of mastering a task, event, talent or activity through science. It explains why some of us learn quickly or to be more accurate, why some of you learn more quickly and the rest of us take more time. As for what the lawyers want, we will get to that once you understand the explanation of why some master the process of getting lawyers to engage with them quicker, while others struggle with many dropping out of the program prematurely and still others persevering for quite some time before they "get it" and succeed.


In 1991, I was awarded the "Beacon Award." It is the highest honor that a chiropractor in the state of New York can have bestowed upon him/her by the New York Chiropractic Council. It is for the chiropractor of the year in the state of New York and an honor I am humbled by. In the presenting of the award, the then chairman of the board gave a speech introducing me prior to the presentation and here is the sum of my greatest achievement as he put it. "One thing we have all learned about Mark is that we give him the toughest jobs, impossible tasks that have never been accomplished in New York because we know that if there is a wall in front of him, he will go through that wall not knowing if there is a sheer cliff on the other side."


There are many ways to interpret that statement. One could opine that if there is a sheer cliff on the other side of the wall, I will figure out a way to avoid being killed and through cunning and intelligence I will figure out a solution in order to win. (This is the one I choose to think he meant.) The alternative...He is so damn stupid, he doesn't think twice before going through the wall and faces peril on the other side. He should have known better, but no one else has the guts to risk crashing through the wall to fall down a cliff. Either way, going through that proverbial wall was a learning experience and it often required going through the same wall over and over and over and over until I got it right and figure out what I had done wrong in order to be able to make it right.


I went through the same process in my formative years in practice. How come patients prematurely stopped care. What did I do wrong? What did I say wrong and how did I act wrong? In all of my egotistical glory, I am humble and stupid enough to know that it wasn't my whole community that was stupid; it was me. You see, when I first opened up practice in 1981, I visited a few DC's in my area and they told me if I was smart, I would have a second office in New York City because the people in my suburban region were far too stupid to embrace chiropractic and I needed more intelligent people. What a bunch of assholes...It wasn't the people that were stupid, it was us.


Therefore, I went to work on me and I visited masters in communicating the chiropractic story and report of findings. I visited Jim Sigafoose from Pennsylvania, Jim Gregg, John Hoffman and Chuck Ribley in Michigan, Bill Remling and Ernie Landie in New York, Mike Nathanson and Tom Pastersky in Florida and Gerry Mattia in New Jersey. These were all volume practitioners who treated between 300 and 600 patients PER DAY (yes, every day and it not a typo). After each trip I took, I came back and practiced what I had learned, first in front of a mirror over and over and over and then with my patients.


After a period of time, it became easy. What I neglected to tell you is that I started this while in clinic at New York Chiropractic College. In clinic, I was asked to leave prematurely as I had 990 adjustments in 3 semesters and I was clogging up the educational process. Therefore, I had a lot of free time in my last trimester.


When I opened practice, I was treating over 100 patients per week in 6 weeks and it was at that time that I visited the other doctors in my region. Once I realized that I didn't have what it took to attract the masses and effect change in my world, I was frustrated and persevered until I "got it." I then changed me and my office's physical space and as a result, my practice changed.


I had been a client of Larry Markson, the precursor to the Master's Circle for 7 years. Larry beat into my head that the progression of success was not HAVE-DO-BE, it was the exact opposite, BE-DO-HAVE. You have to BE the person in order to DO what successful people do and then you can HAVE what successful people have.


In the book the Talent Code, it is explained that every time you do a task, neurons fire, which is nothing new. However...every time a neuron fires, as proven under a microscope, a layer of myelin is added to the neuron. We have all taken neurology and neuro-anatomy and know that neurological impulses are carried over the myelin sheath and the more myelin we have the easier that neuro-transmission is sent. As we do the same task over and over, the body utilizes the same neurological pathway and each time more myelin is laid down allowing neurotransmissions to occur with greater ease. It doesn't matter if it is brushing your teeth, playing the flute, throwing a football, giving a report of findings, rendering an adjustment or understanding the constitution. Myelin is not selective and the physiology reacts the same way each time.

Remember when you gave your first "SUCCESSFUL ADJUSTMENT?" I do. After many failures with all of my peers trying to show me how easy it was, I struggled and finally one day it worked and from then on, I couldn't believe how easy it was. Myelin.


In my clinic practice, I worked very hard at mastering the cultivation of my community and when I opened my doors, it was easy to get 100 patients per week because I had already mastered that task previously. Myelin.


When I got into private practice, I struggled to get past that 100 patients per week and struggled to learn how to communicate chiropractic. Once I mastered that, I ballooned to 650 visits per week for over a decade. Myelin.


When I wanted to convert a family practice into a personal injury practice, I struggled with learning a whole new language. I took courses, studied with neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists and looked at 10,000's MRI until I finally got it. Myelin.


When I first started with lawyers I tried buying their loyalty and referrals with gifts, parties, ballgames, fancy dinners and referrals to them. My level of abject failure has been well-chronicled in the previous consultations. Basically, I failed at such a high level it almost bankrupted me. It was then that I realized what I am about to share with you and 
I promise there is nothing new here, only a new understanding of the process.


As I was lecturing in Florida this past week, I spent a little more time before and after the seminar asking a few questions along with reading the body language of the audience while presenting. I also am able to gauge the audience by the phone calls and e-mails I receive after a seminar. I received many more communications than usual after the two seminars I did in Florida this past week.


The first thing I must drill into your head is that in business, it is always about the money. Your relationship with lawyers is no different except for one nuance. It is never about the money for you; it is about the needs of your patients and only rendering care as clinically indicated. It is how you communicate what you find and do that matters and on the lawyers side, that equates to money.


Remember how I said I needed to hone my skills of reports of findings to lay down more myelin in order to communicate effectively? This is no different, but it starts with your level of communication and understanding of every facet of what the lawyers need in order to prevail in their cases without compromising the necessity of care for your patients and not "over-ordering" tests or rendering unnecessary treatment. Those are never allowed and that is non-negotiable.


In the past during my presentations, I asked the lawyers in the audience to list what was necessary for them to prevail in order of importance. They always mentioned credentials, narratives, the doctor's ability to communicate along with the doctor's knowledge base. After a while, I stopped asking because I knew the answers before I asked. This past week, I did something slightly different; I just mentioned the credentials of the doctors and the audience "perked up." I made it a point to discuss the doctors' credentials in MRI, accident reconstruction and electrodiagnostics and the audience in unison all refocused their attention more acutely on my words. Afterwards, lawyers approached me to further understand the doctors' CV's that we placed in the handouts. I made it a very "big deal" that the doctors in the room were all imminently credentialed and were the quarterbacks of their cases, all employing neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and neuroradiologists as part of their teams. The lawyers got it and that became the focus of the post-meeting dialogue for the first time.


Here is the really cool part. You already should have the credentials or are in the middle of getting credentialed. You have been taught how to create your team of medical specialists and you fully understand how to create an admissible narrative or have purchased a template. All that is left is to build more myelin on how to communicate that to the lawyers you meet with. It is no different than when I had to build myelin to give a better report of findings. As long as you remember it is always about the money to the lawyers and your entire medical-legal infrastructure is geared towards ethically meeting the needs of the lawyer, you win. All that remains is to get better, much better, at adding myelin to the pathways of communicating and getting the lawyers to understand what you do and what you can do for them.


Understand that in the beginning you may absolutely "suck at it," no different than I did going through that wall, not knowing if there was a cliff on the other side. Over time you get better and better at it. Myelin. Over time, you will say so much more with so many less words. Myelin. Over time, your body language and actions will exude confidence and excellence and the lawyers will want to be part of your world. Myelin.


You also need to be around the subject more, taking more courses, talking more to others who are successful in the medical-legal arena and reading and listening to the consultations and audios over and over. You need to log in many, many hours in front of a mirror practicing over and over, building myelin. This is called "intense practice" and is required. It is felt that professional soccer players, concert pianists and masters in any field spend at least 10,000 hours of intense practice and aren't just born brilliant; they become brilliant. As you practice your communication with the lawyer in front of the mirror over and over and over and over and over, you will build more myelin and get better and close in on your 10,000 hours. Every day in your office you are getting closer to the 10,000 hours.


Lawyers are desperate for the research that overturns motions to dismiss cases based upon pre-existing arthritic degeneration, herniated disc issues, facet joint syndrome, carpal tunnel and double crush issues, minor impact crash issues (MIST), and no damage crash accidents. Every one of these issues are outlined in "lay" terms with the research to back them up in the bi-monthly fliers that you have full access to. For the research, just ask Alli.


Have you read them? Do you own the information? Are you really the expert? These are the small things that set apart those who do and those who want to. Understand every facet of every issue and read about them more than once. If you don't understand something, call and I will chat with you about it...Build your myelin sheaths.


Let me say this again in case you are not good with subtle things. HERE IS THE SECRET... Lawyers are desperate for information that will enable them to overturn motions to dismiss their cases. They rely on rhetoric, what we call bullcrap in New York. The crap that their opponents throw at them, an expert opinion from a hired IME whore or a research report with a tangential finding that just touches on the subject. The patient's (plaintiff's) lawyer has no research, no expert and no support system to overcome the bullcrap. You are their resource to overturn the nonsense and it is your job to get them to first understand that you are the resource and secondly, to get them to understand the subject matter. Lastly, get them to turn to you first by ensuring that their clients are getting care from you as the expert who will help them get better and when clinically indicated, help the lawyers prevail in their cases.


In order to come up to the proverbial plate, you have to be the real deal as far as credentials and then you have to have created enough myelin to be able to communicate clearly and concisely by understanding the issues as a "true expert." Then you must get the lawyers to understand that you are the real deal.