Lawyers PI Program

“Building a PI Practice”

From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin


The Academy of Chiropractic and the Doctors PI Program are about F.E.A.R. and giving evidence of what we do. Fore those of you on the other side of F.E.A.R., remember, all heroes were afraid, they just acted in spite of their F.E.A.R. on knowledge, resolve and most of all, faith in themselves. Remember the boxing movie "Rocky?" He said in a later round of a fight, “I ain’t goin' down no more!” That was based on knowledge, resolve and faith in himself against a much tougher opponent who had the odds stacked in his favor. He didn’t go down again and in the end…well, you should know the story and if you don’t watch the movie. It wll help you in practice.  

I was a volunteer fireman for many years and my first real hero was my dad when I saw him as the Chief of our small little town’s fire department run into a burning building to save children in an orphange. Afterwards, I asked him if he was afraid and his answer stuck with me. He said (I paraphrase with eloquence), “If I thought about it, I would have been paralyzed with fear. But…I relied on my training and did what needed to be done or those children might have died.” He did this without pay; we all did as we volunteered. Since then, all fireman, police and soldiers are my heroes. They are almost ALL afraid, but they do what they are trained for and what needs to be done. HEROES!

In practice, you should be, can be and will be your own hero. I have my list of heroes in practice and many of them are you. I have witnessed so much F.E.A.R. and adversity ovecome by knowledge, resolve and faith in yourselves to win and go on to be happy and support your families and yourselves at a much higher level. That success will last for the balance of your careers because what you have taken and done are lifetime changers in who you are. 

Let’s dissect many of the F.E.A.R.’s and discuss how we either have given you or are going to give you the knowledge and tools to overcome each one and win.

The Doctors PI Program Solution

F.E.A.R. #1: Being audited & surviving

Upon joining this program the first action step is a compliance audit. The process is simple; package together your last SOAP note, your last new patient evaluation, all of your personal injury intake forms the new patient completes upon starting care and your staff office policy. Forward them to me in either a single file via scan email or fax for the in-depth audit.

The audit process is an in-depth review and very confronting. I take on the role of the prosecutor tearing apart every word and form that you use. At the end of this process one of three things will occur: 1) I will tell you that your documents are perfect and no further action is required. Please note this has never happened after performing hundreds of audits. 2) I will tell you that you documents are good with suggested changes to help make you as bulletproof as possible. Please note most audits result at this level where a few minutes to hours of your work will help get you get closer to being “bulletproof.” 3) I will tell you that your paperwork is so bad that even I am going to lose sleep worrying about you and you have to go out and buy all new forms and re-do your proceedures ASAP. This rarley happens, but if it does the good news is that I am the only one who knows…so far and we fix it immediately before anyone else finds out…hopefully!!!!

F.E.A.R. #2: Not getting enough new cases

This part has become so easy in the last few years and it is based upon your clinical excellence and positioning. This program has also expanded to include getting new cases from medical specialists, medical primary care providers and patients and it is working! Once you have completed all of the consultations, there should be very few questions or concerns on how to get new cases. For the doctors who have been in the program for many years, the biggest roadblock is that they stopped reading all the online consults and only look at the ones that are sent via email. For those of you who do this…you are missing so much. 

I also realize that the doctos who I speak to the most get more new cases than the strangers in the program. I have been where most of you want to be; let me help you get there and call.

F.E.A.R. #3: I don’t want to be high profile, so I don’t fight back.

Bull crap!!! Those that fight back do get profiled…as offices not to take advantage of. You need to fight EVERY improper IME and peer review REGARDLESS of what the lawyer says. Your reputation is at risk and so is your income. I have gone to great lengths to ensure you can get bad IME’s overturned and get those “whore IME doctors” to have licensure reviews for misconduct. Most doctors realize that it takes more than 1 complaint and in many cases, more than 1 doctor in a region is needed to change the trend of abuse. However, you must start ASAP and fight back using the law.

F.E.A.R. #4: Can I safely adjust this patient? 

That is now the easiest thing to overcome. “Back in the day” when all we had was an examination, x-rays and an adjustment, all we could do was chant, “I know this pateint will get well” and pray...literally. Today, with advanced imaging and electrodiagnostics, there is very little guesswork. That is where the graduate-level training (continuing education) comes in with training in MRI interpretation, spinal biomechanical engineering and Colossus documentation (lots of triage scenarios). Without advanced training, you are left guessing at worst and hoping at best. Not a good place to be for a spine expert. 

This program also gives you the basics on lots of clinical scenarios so that you can start diagnosing and triaging accordingly. I hold firmly that the 2 words “doctor” and “chiropractic” are inclusive vs. exclusive and without both words we are nothing more than technicians who do not diagnose or prognose thier patients. 

F.E.A.R. #5: I have no one to talk to. 

You have me 24/7 or as long as my wife allows me to pick up the phone on any practice issue, be it clinical or business. I have been doing this for longer than most and have made more mistakes than most of you. Therefore, I have also had to resolve those issues and have spent the time, energy and money to learn how to do so. You don't have to spend the time because I already did. The only problem, too many do not call early enough and want so much to be like me; spend too much time and money fixing those mistakes vs. dodging them with the direction of someone who already paid the price…ME!

F.E.A.R. #6: Going to court or talking to lawyers and/or medical providers

I, too, would be afraid with simply my basic doctoral eduation. Court is really the most fun place to be. You know more than anyone in the room including the opposing lawyer seeking to make you look the fool.
The only way that can happen is if you do not have BOTH the credentials and knowledge base on spine, disc, pathology and biomechanics. The same is with medical specialists and medical primary care providers. They will usually not give you any attention if you are armed ONLY with your basic doctoral education. This is the reason I spent 5 years developing courses that are aimed at both of these challenges and why these courses are taught by both chiropractors and medical speiclaists. You are getting the SAME graduate-level education that the medical profession is getting. It is also the foundation for becoming the 1st referral option or the primary spine care provider for both the legal and medical professions. When that happens, you also have a better message (being a much better doctor added to your previous chiropractic narrative) for your patients. This is also why our doctors are getting 52% more referrals from current patients.

At this level, court isn’t even a minor concern. Have fun.

F.E.A.R. #7: I am worried about my future and the future of chiropractic.

I used to be very afraid for our profession. I was never more concerned then when I was the President (Executive Board of Director) of my state organzrtion because I saw what was happening at both the state and national levels. The focus was more on fighting competing chiropractic organizations than moving the profession forward. Please don’t misunderstand me and think that the state and national organzations don’t fight for you; they do… but too often it is after the infighting and that is counterproductive. It is also the reason I have been a lone voice in the nation on trying to get everyone to see the wisdom of having 1 national organzation with 50 state chapters. 

The solution regarding the future of chiropractic is not found solely in politics nor does it lead with politics. It is found in both research and academia. As I shared with you in F.E.A.R. #6, the solution is knowledge and credentials and although today pales with respect to what tomorrow holds, there is enough information if positioned properly to secure the future of our profession and your practice for the next generation. It is built on science and results melding the words doctor and chiropractic at a level that helps keep us on par with the medical community so that we are fully engaged as part of the team. This is critical to ensure cross-referals at a more significant level from the medical profession and from the perception of the members of the public who usually ask their family doctors first. That has to change because they know so little about what we do and through acadmeia and research we are now making those changes.