Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 14
From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic
Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time.
"The 6 P's" Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
A doctor on the West Coast sent me an urgent note that he had a telephone conference with a lawyer to review a case for a hearing. I asked the doctor to send me a copy of his examination, the test results and any specialists' reports. We had less then a day for the process. He swiftly sent me his paperwork and my response was, “Holy Crap!” His paperwork was not bad, it was horrific. It was so bad that I was concerned that the lawyer would not only never work with him again, but tear him apart in the process. We created a script for him so the lawyer would wait a few days and allow him to clean up his act. Luckily, the lawyer had a few days to spare and we pulled it off.
The doctor was not prepared. In spite of having been in the Lawyers PI Program for months, he did not follow the steps and do the work…He now has to do a month’s worth of work in a few short days, with those lemons to create lemonade. Be prepared. Here is his account of the day:
Sooner or later I knew this phone call would come. I finished the PI case about six or eight months ago and I thought I did a pretty good job on the narrative. I looked the file over this morning, as my efficient front desk person made arrangements to have a phone meeting with the attorney for this case in the afternoon, giving me about four hours of time to prepare for this phone call; three and a half of which had patients scheduled into it already. So…I had about half an hour to prepare for the case and I just wanted to get a better feel for it because I had not worked with this attorney in the past. Previously, I would have thought little of it, but I decided to call Dr. Studin to pick his brain. That half hour of prep with Dr. Studin was supposed to be a 'friendly-just-want-to-get-to-know-you' call. In reality, it was a “horror film in the making,” as we reviewed my notes and reports. What I thought I had done well on waspathetically terrible, as I now looked at it through the “lenses of better education” that I have gotten since I started working with Dr. Studin.
When I talked to Dr. Studin, in two or three questions (him acting like the opposing attorney), I realized I could have saved everyone the trouble and had my own notes stricken from the record and declared myself inadmissible as an 'expert witness.' The attorney was not calling for a better feel for the case. He was calling to get a better feel for me. With Dr. Studin's quick response (the clock was ticking because the attorney was going to call me for my interview within the 1/2 hour) and expert coaching, I was able to speak to the attorney and get him to call the patient, so she would come in for a final evaluation, saving my ass.
Now, after the final exam, I can not only document persistent functional loss, but do so in a way that is admissible and therefore, usable by the attorney. This not only made him happy, as he could plainly see that my notes were bordering on destroying his case, but he now realizes I know how to play this game honestly and ethically and am going to be able to help him win his case coming up next month. LEMONS TO LEMONADE!
Now the hard part; I have a huge amount of work to do and a very, very short amount of time to do it...CV: not done; the lawyer SPECIFICALLY asked for this. A project that would normally take about a week to a month to do properly, I now have a couple of days to do, at best. No sleep and a weekend shot. Why wait? Read the consultations, do what they instruct, talk to Dr. Studin. He doesn't bite and can help you through it. Waiting just makes you have to rush, lose sleep and potentially be branded by the lawyer as someone never to work with in the future. You will get that call sooner or later. You just have to be prepared. It’s all easy with Dr. Studin's help, but much easier with all your background work done.
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