Academy of Chiropractic

MD Referral Program

Program Infrastructure – Novice

William J Owens Jr DC DAAMLP CPC

“If you do NOT have a plan, you are part of someone else’s” – Terrance McKenna

Orthopedic Survey – Part II

We are going to get back to the survey of 1000 orthopedic surgeons that was published in 2006 with a special look at their opinions of chiropractic.  We are going to highlight the positive aspects then look at the weak points.

The first aspect we want to look at is patient load and the medical specialist.  We all know that our ability to provide drug-less and non-surgical care is second to none.  The percentage of patients that truly need surgical intervention is low compared to the musculoskeletal needs of the general population.  The problem is that many of the surgeons don’t care about anything but surgery.   What happens to all of those patients that are not surgical candidates or maybe have to move through the conservative care spectrum prior to interventions?   Who is quarterbacking those cases?  The surgeon has ZERO time or tolerance for such things, but as I mentioned in “The Loop” consultation, they are very interested in keeping patients familiar with their offices while they are waiting for a possible intervention.  Do the surveyed orthopedic surgeons feel that chiropractic can and should play a role in reducing their patient overload?  YES…41.7% agreed or strongly agreed!  That is a huge number of patients in a lot of offices. 

I have had many discussions with doctors in the program that have mentioned a lot of these consults are about medical specialists with less focus on primary care physicians.  Although for the time being this is true, what you need to do is leverage ANY medical professional that is interested in chiropractic care.  One medical specialist has 100’s if not 1000’s of primary care doctors that refer people into his/her office.  If you have the ability to build a relationship with an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon, the next step is to leverage that relationship to build the primary care referral base of your practice.  Each and every patient report should be sent to the primary care doctor as well. 

The next portion of the survey asked respondents whether they agreed with the statement, “Chiropractic care is a useful supplement to conventional medicine.”  48.5% either strongly agreed or agreed with an additional 31.2% being undecided.  That is an interesting result since the undecided respondents did not have a preconceived opinion.  The 48.5% that agreed are already there waiting for you. The 31.2% need to be taught that they need you.  This is the foundation of our program.   

One of the most interesting aspects of this survey reported a resounding 68.1% of orthopedic surgeons surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that, “Chiropractic includes ideas and methods from which conventional medicine could benefit.”  HUGE, but we are not teaching them…That is a lot of medical doctors.  That leads us to the most important portion of the survey results:

Out of 1000 orthopedic surgeons surveyed, 72.4% agreed,

“The results of chiropractic manipulation are NOT due to the placebo effect.”

The doors are open. We need to continue to teach every minute of every practice day, build relationships and continue to promote our research. Do it with energy and consistently. 


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