Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 248
" Are You the EASY BUTTON?"
If I was a lawyer, I would want to work with doctors who were clinically excellent, had admissible work and made my life EASY. So many lawyers I have worked with often commented that the #1 reason they worked with me is that I made their lives easy, easy, easy. Lawyers have lots of choices, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, neurologists, physical medicine specialists, etc. Many are clinically excellent and some even understand admissibility, and in the absence of those, they have MD specialist degrees to help overcome a lack in those areas in the minds of some the lawyers.
Calling the lawyer directly after the initial visit to let him/her know the "game plan," coordinating the medical specialists visits, arranging for all imaging and other testing, bundling all of the results and sitting with them after 6-8 weeks and then explaining all of the above in simple terms is the medical-legal EASY BUTTON! Having your CV on the US Chiropractic Directory so they can see and use you without having to ask is the EASY BUTTON. This equates to saving the lawyers time and money in an honest and ethical manner that will ensure that you become their "go-to" doctor.
There is a reason that Dr. Owens in Buffalo, NY, gets calls daily from lawyers for reasons as complex as a referral or as simple as a medical question and that I, after 7 years of not having an office, still get calls regularly from lawyers. We, as others nationally do, get the "big-idea." The medical-legal "BIG-IDEA" is hitting the easy button for the lawyers because it saves them time and money.
Once you have established a relationship with a lawyer, it is then that I strongly recommend...no...I urge you to get together with him/her socially. Take him/her out to dinner, a ballgame, golf, boating, anything to spend quality time with him/her. This is where you bring nothing with you and discuss nothing medically unless he/she brings it up.
In the past, I always said dinners, cigars, ballgames, and theatre tickets were a gross waste of money and they are...until the lawyer HAS a relationship with you based upon your clinical excellence. If you think that the social avenue is the ice breaker...it's NOT. It is the medical-legal kiss of death. The social avenue is the deal broker, once the lawyers know you are the real deal clinically and your work is admissible. It will get them to like you and to know you more, rendering a level of comfort. They will pump you for information about your relationships with specialists, your timeliness in rendering reports, your knowledge of the legal process and they will be sizing you up on how you will do on the witness stand. Therefore, remember to use small words and be articulate. Also, dress nicely; no holes in clothes and no stains on clothing! Sounds stupid, but those are the things that will subliminally destroy a relationship. They want you to make their lives easier in an evermore complicating court system that is often fraught with inconsistencies.
A doctor I recently sat with was commenting on how he has done everything and has the attention of many, many lawyers, but they have not yet started to engage him in the referral process...meaning he gets too few referrals. The answer: Get the lawyers' attention at a higher level. In politics, the adage is, "March without appearing to march." You need to do the same. Never ask for the referral...NEVER...but...make it difficult for the lawyer not to refer. If you are the EASY BUTTON and work with the same medical specialists the lawyers currently do, delivering the same reports, offering a narrative of the quality we do, having the credentials through your CV, being accessible, delivering all of the medical records in a timely manner and answering all of the lawyers' questions at anytime on any case, you will be on your way to being their "go-to" doctor.