Getting the Most From Chiropractic Seminars
By DCPI Staff
To help you enhance your practice and increase your bottom line, Dynamic Chiropractic PracticeINSIGHTS asks practicing doctors of chiropractic, like you, for ideas and solutions that have been tested in real-world environments. In this issue, we asked: "What was the best chiropractic seminar you ever attended? Why was it so valuable to you?"
Whether the seminars were on general or niche topics, DCs favored straightforward and informative seminars, branding the less-favorable seminars as "gimmicky" or lacking take-home knowledge and application. Based on the responses received, the most popular seminars were on practice building and clinical education. Still others chose more specialty topics, including sports injury and posture analysis.
Among the most popular practice-building seminars were those on marketing, such as what Deane Moore of Massachusetts favored. Moore wrote: "The best chiropractic seminar, hands down, was Dr. Marc Swerdlick's 'Presuasion Chiropractic Seminar.' The material presented was a fresh view of how to market your practice in a way that was not gimmicky or old news in the chiropractic profession. The material was well delivered, and he overdelivered on content and answering questions. Not your typical chiro seminar. I have, and continue to, recommended his seminars to anyone looking to improve their business."
Bev Foster of Little Rock, Arkansas preferred a blending of chiropractic philosophy with clinical education. She wrote: "The best postgraduate studies I have attended were given as part of the Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics (DABCO) program by Rick Ackerman, DC. Dr. Ackerman bridged the gap between chiropractic philosophy and standard medical orthopedics in a practical way that improved my knowledge and clinical skills."
Based on responses received, readers found clinical education seminars most useful when clinical skills were thoroughly explained in a "how to" fashion. Victor Youcha of Wyoming valued thorough explanation when it came to applying clinical skills: "In my 31 years of chiropractic practice, the best and I think most important seminars were those offered by the Motion Palpation Institute (MPI). I graduated in 1979 with the usual package. I was good at moving bones. But which one? X-ray marking and leg-check looking for the BOOP (bone out of place) wasn't getting it. Len Faye came along with the MPI and the work of Gillet, and changed my practice life and results. I understood when, where, why and how to adjust the spine pelvis and extremities. I never looked back. I don't yet understand why perfecting motion palpation as an examination skill is not a requisite for graduation and licensure. It doesn't matter what technique we use to adjust the spine as long as it produces reasonably verifiable results."
Alan Bragman of Atlanta, Georgia, also valued his seminar selection due to thorough explanation that included demonstrations. He wrote: "I attended the posture practice seminar given by Dr. Steven Weiniger last fall at the Georgia Chiropractic Association fall convention. It was by far the most useful and informative continuing education course I have ever taken. It gave valuable clinical information with demonstrations and ways to implement this with patients. It has helped me to more effectively treat patients who failed to respond to treatment in the past."
While most respondents favored practice building or clinical education, others touted those that covered more specialized topics as their favorite seminars. William Doggett of Albuquerque, New Mexico, took specific interest in sports injury. He wrote: "The best seminars I've ever attended were those put on by ProSport. They always included clinical education and, most importantly, break-out sessions for hands-on instruction in adjusting techniques and exams specific to sports injury."
Posture was also of a key interest to responders. Scott Stratton of Frankfort, Illinois, wrote: "The Body Zone Posture seminar and strong posture seminar really helped put my practice on the map. It is amazing how many people are concerned about their posture and don't know what to do about it. Just introducing the posture pictures has increased my practice."
Too Many Seminars from Which to Choose
Sometimes, there are just too many good seminars to be able to select one favorite. Mha Atma S. Khalsa of Los Angeles, California, had trouble choosing just one. Instead, he selected two winners.
"As a young doctor, attending early Parker Seminars, beginning in September 1979 in New York, they changed my practice and my life. No one had taught me the basics of giving great, loving, fully present-time service to patients and communicating with them in a systematic way to support their desire to reach their health goals by following through with chiropractic care. The information and inspiration from those and subsequent Parker seminars and spinning off from there to attending seminars by Dr. Charlie Ward really put me on the road to being a successful DC.
"I also liked the basic rehab series with Craig Liebenson at LACC. I attended just three of those seminars, and I had also been a patient of Dr. Liebenson's after a bad bicycle accident. The basics of rehab that I learned, I incorporated into my busy practice which gave it a whole new dimension and resulted in practice growth and increased healing effectiveness for my patients."
James Brown of Newbury Park, California, also found it hard to choose just one. He instead chose to describe three seminars that most influenced him. He wrote: "I have three that influenced me. 1. Van Rumpt technique as taught by him. He was a great guy and under appreciated. Not slick at all. Contact Reflex Analysis, as taught by Dr. Versendaal gave me the ability to analyze nutritional needs. And Neuro Emotional Technique as taught by Scott Walker, for accessing the emotional components. All of these pioneers gave me tools for the individual needs of the patient."