Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 100
"You Matter Greatly and Will Save Lives if You are the Real Deal"
Dr. M on the east coast (he prefers anonymity) called me on Saturday with a clinical dilemma. He took x-rays and diagnosed a fracture of the odontoid. With that information, he sent the patient to the emergency room and they performed an MRI. The MRI came back negative and that was reported to Dr. M. Dr. M was still not convinced and referred the patient to a colleague who has a walk-in medical clinic. The walk-in doctor re-x-rayed the patient and again it came back negative. The patient was in pain and strongly suggested that Dr. M adjust him, as he was a former patient. That is the reason that Dr. M called me. Dr. M had just taken the PI Bootcamp, allowing us to have a peer-to-peer conversation instead of a teacher/pupil one, which mattered greatly in the outcome of this patient.
As a side note, I get more clinical calls to confer with doctors who HAVE taken the courses than those who haven’t. The reason, those who have taken the courses recognize clinical red flags more readily and know the questions to ask to arrive at an accurate diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
The rhetorical question he posed was, “What test should I do or whom should I refer the patient to?” As we discussed the issue, he decided to refer the patient for a bone scan, although I suggested releasing the patient to a neurosurgeon. His solution was better. On bone scan, the fracture was seen and the patient was wheeled directly into surgery, all because Dr. M made the decision to be in control of his practice by being the best-of-the-best clinically. He took the PI Bootcamp and called me to have a peer-to-peer discussion. AS IT SHOULD BE.
Let’s look at both sides of the coin in this situation. If Dr. M abdicated the decision to the MD’s who know nothing about chiropractic and then he adjusted the patient, the patient, at worst, could have died on the spot, or, at best, could have become a paraplegic or quadriplegic. This would have instituted a malpractice suit leaving Dr. M with years of litigation and possible bankruptcy if the settlement or verdict went beyond the policy limits. At best, his life and practice would have been in shambles for years with too many sleepless nights.
Would the other doctors have gotten sued? Who cares? Your patient is dead or crippled and it doesn’t take your law suit away. These are the direct benefits of abdicating the responsibility of adjusting your patient to someone who doesn’t know chiropractic and often is not the best at what they do…You need to be.
The flip side of the coin is that Dr. M gets to call the emergency room doctors, radiologist and walk-in clinic doctor and tell them that he saved “their collective asses.” He can explain what happened and what he did to ensure the safety of their common patient. As a result, with Dr. M showing some humility to his local peers in his conversation, he will gain the reputation of being the best at what he does and the next time a spinal-related condition has to be triaged, he will be at the top of their list for a referral. There is no better way to build a practice over time. All because Dr. M decided to be the best at what he does and take the PI Bootcamp.
One last thing. As Dr. M puts his head on his pillow at night, he goes to bed knowing that he saved a life today, as he looks up and says thank you.