Heightening Community Awareness of Chiropractic

By Editorial Staff
Editor's note: We heard about this innovative program by The Masters Circle and believe it is important to share with the profession. Chiropractors may want to consider the potential for replicating this exercise in their own communities.

As part of a postdoctoral leadership and communications seminar, a group of 125 doctors of chiropractic recently participated in a three-city exercise designed to test methods of raising the public's consciousness about the benefits of chiropractic care.

The Winners Circle, the leadership club of The Masters Circle, Inc., meets quarterly in Chicago, Metro New York/New Jersey, and Southern California for training and experiential events like this one. The group was divided into teams and given three hours to complete two tasks: to get the most signatures and/or photos of people being educated about chiropractic; and to conduct a "human scavenger hunt," whereby each team produced proof of its versatility in patient education by finding and educating at least one representative of 10 different categories of patient, including a senior, an athlete, a child, a couple, an employer, a civil servant, an office worker, and other typical beneficiaries of chiropractic care.

By applying their creativity, charisma and communication skills, doctors competed in the good-natured game while educating thousands of people. One team went to the mayor's office and discussed how chiropractic could be better utilized by the town. Another group got on a prominent radio station and blended into a top-rated talk show, reaching millions in one shot. Another team took out an ad in a local paper, while others went to libraries, malls, schools, civic organizations and hospitals. Dressed beautifully, polished as professionals, these dignified doctors were received warmly and were given many opportunities to increase people's understanding of the benefits of chiropractic care. One team even reached a well-known rock star, who pledged to make a public service announcement about spinal health and wellness at his concert that night.

One of the participants, Dr. Tom Georges of El Paso, Texas, commented, "It was a chance to touch as many people as possible and let them in on the best-kept secret in health care. It's a perfect real-life example of what I could do in my own community." Another participant, Dr. Kathleen Baumgardner of Marlton, N.J., stated, "It was reassuring to see how many people already knew something about chiropractic. Many of the people we spoke to had positive experiences already, and many were under regular wellness care. It was rewarding to see the public coming around."

In an afternoon, it was possible to inform thousands and plant the seeds for millions. With a little cooperation, the chiropractors of any town or region could work together like these did, to mastermind, plan and implement public education that helps all chiropractors and all patients. There are more than enough new patients to go around when everyone who can be helped by chiropractic knows about it.

Chiropractors can improve public relations with a reputation for ethics, kindness and clinical responsibility, and then use a community outreach program to let people know what chiropractic can do for them - it builds a practice on a solid foundation of service, professional excellence, integrity and love.

"These doctors gave of their time and energy without much likelihood of personal gain," said Dr. Bob Hoffman, president of The Masters Circle. "They came from all over the country, from Canada and Europe, to spread the word and help as many people as possible. Doctors from different schools, with differing orientations and different styles of practice, were able to work side-by-side based on what they have in common, so the people they met could relate to a unified message. We're proud of their efforts, and hope that other groups use this as a model to help more people learn about and experience the miraculous healing benefits chiropractic is famous for."

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