23 What's Our Wellness Plan?
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Dynamic Chiropractic – May 8, 2006, Vol. 24, Issue 10

What's Our Wellness Plan?

By Kent Greenawalt

Chiropractors take excellent care of their patients, but terrible care of their profession. It's true! We are known for treating our patients with respect and making sure we have done everything in our power to help them, but the same cannot be said about taking care of our profession.

How can you care about your patients, but not about the future of your profession? Chiropractic changes so many people's lives for the better. Why are we not exerting the same level of care when it comes to making sure our profession has a successful future?

First, let's take a moment to recognize all of the positive things we do for our patients. We treat them like our own family. You should take pride in the fact that we get to know our patients to make sure they receive the best care. Chiropractors do more than mask their patients' symptoms with drug prescriptions; we work to find the root of the problem, and then we work to alleviate that problem.

Patients spend most of their office visit with us, either for an adjustment, rehab, or another form of care that we have designed specifically for their needs. We don't let someone else do all the groundwork and then pop in for the final two minutes of the visit to take the credit. We go out of our way to make sure our patients get the best care possible, and our goal is simple: to help patients lead healthy, pain-free, wellness-centered lifestyles. We have set the bar high for patient care! Our deep commitment to helping people is evident by the work we do. I believe our patients can tell easily why we got into chiropractic, and that speaks volumes about the depth of our care.

Taking excellent care of your patients is certainly a noble part of chiropractic, but your job doesn't end there. That is just the start. In order to secure a future of persistent growth for the profession, we need to support each other and work together to elevate chiropractic to a new level of acceptance by the masses.

We all know that only one out of every 10 Americans visits a chiropractor. We keep repeating that same statistic over and over, but I think it is necessary to do so until we can all learn from it and stimulate change. But how can we expect to do that if we don't band together and offer our support to a greater cause?

It is our responsibility to chiropractic - the profession that is so much more than just a job; it is a way of life for many of us - to join in and help sustain the form of care that has helped millions of people heal when nothing else could. We need to make chiropractic not a last resort, but the first place people turn to find healing. That cannot happen unless we work together to form a united front that the public can recognize as a health care leader.

If one of your patients was suffering and you knew how to relieve the pain and fix the problem, you would do it immediately. Why not take that same attitude when it comes to the chiropractic profession? Chiropractic is struggling with an image problem. We appear to be a disorganized group led by several different factions. We all believe in helping our patients through chiropractic. It is obvious that working together can be the answer. We need one voice, one message, and we need everyone's help!

For years, chiropractors have been talking to their patients about the importance of following a wellness plan. This process often starts when a new patient presents with a musculoskeletal problem and the opportunity arises to educate them on wellness and prevention. We want our patients to visit us not just when they have a problem or pain, but also when they are well, so we can help keep them on track in good health. Now we need to apply that same approach to taking care of our profession. We can't just work on our unity when there is a problem or concern that needs to be addressed; we need to come together regularly and develop a "wellness plan" to keep chiropractic on the path to a successful future.

We need to plan ways to improve chiropractic, its image and the perceptions of the general public about chiropractic. We must make a plan that consists of common goals and list ways to achieve those goals; then we must implement that plan. The same basic principle applies to both your patients and your profession: If you work only to fix problems after they occur, you can never solve the root of the problem; it's only when you give a consistent effort that you will see a significant change for the better.

We are 60,000 people strong, but our membership numbers are far from steady. Only 15 percent of all chiropractors are members of a state or national chiropractic organization. What are the other 85 percent waiting for? What are you waiting for? In order to work together and help our profession, we have to reach out and become a part of something bigger than our own individual practices.

It has been said that decisions are made by those who show up - so show up and join in the process! The path to unity begins with one step. Take that step today and join our national campaign for chiropractic. Why risk the future of your profession by not becoming a part of the solution? Together, we can make a difference. Together, we will make this work.

Click here for previous articles by Kent Greenawalt.

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