I had a good reminder today as to why it’s not typically a smart idea to discuss politics in a small business setting. I’ve been a practicing chiropractor in Los Angeles for several years, providing care in a community that represents all sorts of different views and opinions when it comes topics such as politics, sports, and religion. I do my best to keep discussions related to any of those three topics to a minimum, primarily out of respect for the differing viewpoints amongst the people we serve. Today I was reminded why that is a good idea for small businesses.
This has nothing to do with chiropractic, it’s related to something that took place in my community. Over the weekend my car suddenly had a problem while driving along Highway 1 in Venice beach. Fortunately there were numerous automotive businesses right in the area and I pulled into one. A mechanic came out within the time I was out of my car, and my needs were addressed quickly. Some parts had to be ordered so was told come back later in the week.
I had never done business with the place before and when I was told I could take care of the payment after the follow-up service was done I thought that was pretty cool. I left and continue to enjoy a spectacular Southern California beach weekend.
I returned today to pick up the parts and pay for the service I received. I handed the owner my credit card and was preparing to wax poetic about how fabulous their service was, and how much I appreciated what they did for me. I started the conversation by mentioning something about the place being busy and how that was a good thing. The owner than casually stated that we’re all going to hell anyway so it really doesn’t matter how busy any of us are. Huh?
He continued with what turned into a rant on the upcoming presidential election, talk about Muslims taking over the United States, the Antichrist, passages from the Bible, prophecies, and other heated political commentary. He then handed back my credit card, gave me my receipt, said thank you and something about doing business with him again.
It totally put a damper on my whole experience and I left wondering how many other customers heard a similar rant. I also began wondering if this was something taking place regularly in small-business America.
Anybody else having similar experiences? What are your thoughts on small-business owners discussing politics with their clientele?
After more than two years in development, Google finally announced their health information service yesterday, dubbed Google Health. The service is intended to put consumers in charge of their health information, by offering a safe, secure, and free place to store and organize health-related data. The service is currently in beta status, but it’s now available for public use. I signed on for a personal account so I can learn more about the service and share what I’ve learned with you.
(photo: screenshot of information seen on Google Health page after logging in)
Looking at the screenshot above, there are four calls to action on the main screen. You can add information to your health profile, you can import medical records, you can explore online health services (and locate tools online for managing your health), and you can find a doctor (by name, location, and specialty.
When I first began reading the news regarding this new service, it sounded like it was primarily a way to store drug related information and various types of medical records. It wasn’t until after I signed in that I noticed there were features for nearly every specialty of health care one could think of. My initial reaction is of great delight, I’m impressed.
The first thing I jumped to was Find a doctor to see what specialties were available. Yes, Chiropractors are on the list, along with acupuncturists, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, dentists, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, oncologists, vascular surgeons, and nearly every other specialty of health care.
So Google Health is intended to allow one to take charge of their health information. The service is free, and Google assures that it’s safe and secure to use. If you have a Google gmail account, a Google reader account, or subscribe to any number of other Google services, the Google Health interface should appear familiar to you.
Some key advantages to using this new service is 1) the ability to organize all your health information in one location. 2) Interface to gather all your medical records from doctors, hospitals, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and pharmacies. 3) Have a way to share that information with your new and existing health-care providers. 4) Keep up-to-date on important health issues.
Google says that all health information is stored securely and privately, and they will never sell your data. You, the user, gets to choose what information you want to share with others, and what information you want to keep private. Be sure to read the site’s privacy policies for more information.
Woo Hoo! Received an e-mail earlier today from Amazon.com saying that my pre-ordered Wii Fit had been shipped via FedEx. It’s expected to arrive on May 20 (that’s tomorrow) in my LA chiropractic office. I first wrote about the Wii Fit for chiropractors last summer.
I don’t quite recall when I first ordered this (was likely two months ago) but Amazon had some sort of pre-order price guarantee, which I thought was pretty cool.
E-mail reads… Our Pre-order Price Guarantee covers one or more item(s) in this order. If the Amazon.com price decreases between the time you place your order and the end of the day of the release date, you’ll receive the lowest price.
This shipment was sent to: Michael Dorausch 12740 Culver Blvd., Suite G Los Angeles, CA 90066 United States
The initial plan was to set up the Wii Fit in the front office reception area for entertainment purposes. Right now I’m leaning towards giving it away in a contest. I’ll take some photos of it after it arrives and think about potential contest ideas in the meantime.
Over the weekend I downloaded the latest release candidate available for the Firefox browser by Mozilla. According to reports, this release candidate (RC1 of version 3) features some improvements in security and performance. Even though the browser is available for public use, the RC one release candidate is intended for those wishing to test the browser, and not general users.
I typically run at least 3 open Firefox windows, with 30 plus open tabs, on a three monitor setup (system running Windows XP). I’ve been using a previous beta version of the newer browser for a few weeks now so I thought I’d share my findings as to date.
While pretty much anyone can download this latest version, it’s not intended for regular use, and in my case it has crashed a few times so consider that before performing an install. While there are lots of new features in this release of Firefox, Mozilla reminds us that we shouldn’t expect all of our add-ons to work properly with this release.
When firing up the installed browser for the first time I discovered I couldn’t run the Google toolbar and a few other plug-ins I normally use in Firefox. While different people have various reasons for upgrading, mine was improved performance. Having 30, 40 or even 50 open tabs can become a real memory hog. So far Firefox 3 RC1 has far outperformed my install of Firefox 2 so I’m okay with a crash every once in a while.
If you’re testing out this most recent version of the Firefox browser and you’re concerned about tabs shutting down and forgetting which sites you were on, I recommend a few simple steps. In your Firefox browser select Tools > Options and look for where it says Startup (in the main section). Check the drop down box that reads When Firefox starts: Show my windows and tabs from last time.
Something I noticed regarding increased security was when I attempted to login to one of my domains that doesn’t have a certificate for SSL encryption. Even though it’s my domain and I trust it, Firefox reminded me that a Secure Connection Failed and let me know my particular domain uses an invalid security certificate. It’s easy to add an exception and I like that the browser passes along this sort of information.
I haven’t yet installed this beta software release of Firefox on my Ubuntu machine, but I plan to do that next. Release candidate 1 is available in more than 45 languages and you can find Windows, Mac Os X, and Linux versions here… www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-rc.html
3 different sellers of items posted to the classified ads e-mailed me all within a few hours of each other with an e-mail from a suspected scammer. I appreciate them all forwarding the e-mail and I found it to be a perfect example of something that should be obvious, but sometimes isn’t to either new sellers or buyers.
In my experience, scammers are targeting sellers of products, hoping to separate them from their items.
This particular scammer contacted sellers of Selectorized Spinal Rehab Machines, Practice Management Software w/ Computer, and someone selling a subluxation station. A copy of one of the e-mails appears here…
Ad Headline: Subluxation Station – Excellent Condition Posted To: Chiropractic Classifieds
Hello seller am intersted in your item and am willing to buy it now price and am paying with CASHIER CHECK OR MONEY ORDER as mode of payment if you are ok please get back to me
The only question i will like to ask u is;
1. can i trust u with the money? 2. will u be able to wire transfer the excess fund to the shipping company for the pick up of the item. 3. will u be available when the shipping company will be coming for the pickup? 4. is the working condition of the ITEM okay? 5. can we take u for ur words?
with ur reply to this questions,it will give me the power to issue out your payment as soon as possible.and again which name is to be written on the check that will be sent,is it going to be on the address u gave me or what? get back to me ASAP to futher show ur interest in selling the item for me.
Anything tip you off that this is a potential scammer? First of all the writing is atrocious. Almost looks like it was written for a LOLcat photo. I can haz ur monies? Also, the sender uses the classic scam request of offering to pay with cashier’s check or money order and is expecting payment back for “excess funds.”
I really have to hand it to the chiropractic community, for being so quick and diligent in sending forwarding notices to our spam team when e-mails like this arrive in their inbox. It helps us greatly in targeting where these e-mails are originating from and allows us to ban e-mail addresses and IP addresses from the network.
I was investigating some popular search keywords yesterday which led me to do a search for the term medicine. Scanning through the results, I found it interesting that six out of the top 21 searched keyword phrases, were related to alternative methods of healing. Even more so, I found it really interesting that the term alternative medicine ranked so high on the list.
I took a screenshot of the 21 most popular terms related to the root term medicine, and highlighted the ones I feel fit into a similar category.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that terms related to alternative medicine have grown in such popularity. It was Thomas Edisons prediction that doctors of the future would give no medicine, but would interest their patients in care of the human frame, diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.
Alternative medicine is a broad category, and while many chiropractors would not consider the practice of chiropractic as alternative medicine, search results have shown consumers likely feel otherwise. A quick glance through Planet Chiropractic news archives, and I notice there are dozens of articles including the term alternative medicine.
Interestingly, there is little talk in this year’s presidential race about alternative health care, with Texas Republican Ron Paul being the only candidate I’m aware of to openly talk about it.
The search results speak for themselves, people are seeking holistic alternatives to traditional medical practices. That’s not to say that medically related searches have decreased, it appears more that the search for all health-related topics is on the rise.
When we say homeopathic medicine or herbal medicine, I wonder if medical marijuana falls into the category amongst those searches. Medical marijuana in West Los Angeles has grown in popularity, but that only represents a tiny area within the United States. I’m assuming most people would be expecting to find results such as Chinese herbs, such as ginseng, rather than cannabis.
While not appearing on the search list, I would assume topics such as home births with midwives, would fit into the category of alternatives. It has been funny to notice how many searches for tushy massage there are. Searches such as that are likely coming from an audience with a completely different intention than reading about articles of alternative health and healing.
As of today, wanna-be president Hillary Clinton is pressing forward with her campaign, while her Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, campaigns in Oregon and Kentucky in preparation for this Tuesday’s upcoming primaries. When it comes to this years influence and lobbying, the Democratic candidates have received the lion’s share of chiropractic contributions, according to election cycle data. 2008 will mark the first time since 1994 that chiropractors gave significantly more contributions to Democratic candidates than they did Republicans.
(photo: election cycle data for 1990 – 2008)
This screenshot shows election cycle data for the years 1990 – 2008 (what’s currently available for this year). The chart shows total contributions, contributions from individuals, and contributions from PACs. The graphic does not show soft-money contributions, or percentages to Democrats or Republicans, a full-sized graph with that information can be viewed here.
Current data for the 2008 election cycle shows 58% of chiropractic contributions going to Democrats. It is the first time in 14 years that chiropractors have reportedly given more to the Democratic Party than they did the Republican Party. In 1990, 1992, and 1994, chiropractors made the majority of their contributions to the Democratic Party. From 1996 through 2006, chiropractors reportedly donated more to Republicans than Democrats, except for the year 2000, which saw near equal contributions among the two parties.
Data for the current election cycle were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, April 28, 2008.
The graph on the left shown above demonstrates total contributions in millions given by individuals, PACs, and soft money contributions. The graph to the right displays total in millions given to both Democrats and Republicans. Looking at the graph, it’s easy to see the difference in monies given for the 1992 and 1994 election cycles versus the 2004 and 2006 election cycles.
The numbers shown are based on contributions of $200 or more from PACs and individuals to federal candidates and from PAC, soft money and individual donors to political parties, as reported to the Federal Election Commission. While election cycles are shown in charts as 1996, 1998, 2000 etc. they actually represent two-year periods. For example, the 2002 election cycle runs from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2002.
Note: Soft money contributions to the national parties were not publicly disclosed until the 1991-92 election cycle, and were banned by the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act following the 2002 elections.
*These figures do not include donations of “Levin” funds to state and local party committees. Levin funds were created by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.
I had several e-mail questions this week regarding topics related to chiropractic schools, chiropractor salaries, and education required before entering a chiropractic program. They ranged from university students asking about continuing their education to become a chiropractor, an attorney asking about average incomes for sole practitioner doctors of chiropractic, and another college student asking about specific prerequisites required for entrance to chiropractic programs.
While these are mostly my opinions, and not necessarily the opinions of an entire industry of natural health care practitioners, I’ve authored or indexed a number of articles that you may find helpful when seeking more information related to Chiropractic education.
On the topic of salaries, there is a four-part post titled Assessing the Salary of a Chiropractor that’s been reportedly useful to a number of people. I’ve had quite a bit of positive feedback on it.
On topics related to chiropractic education, the post Things you may consider when choosing a chiropractic school features answers from six different chiropractors practicing in various parts of the world.
There were two different pieces of exciting news related to chiropractic education this past week. The Palmer Chiropractic Research Center was awarded a $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Spain’s Schola Chiropractica Barcelona received over $1 million in pledged donations for a chiropractic school to open up in that country. I mentioned earlier this year that chiropractic opportunities exist nationwide, but I’ll add to that statement by saying worldwide opportunities exist for doctors of chiropractic, and those seeking to enter the chiropractic profession.
No rhyme or reason here, other than its Friday and I didn’t think I’d get a chance to make a blog post before mid-Saturday afternoon. I was performing some searches for phone related articles and I came across a number of different posts, written by different chiropractic authors, that I hadn’t seen in some time. They were all written by chiropractors, check them out…
Doc, I’m pretty sure I need some of those big green pills, you know, like the ones on television. Really? What are your symptoms? Well, I feel like I’m the guy in the TV commercial standing next to the telephone. I can’t pick it up because I’m scared to death who might be calling me!
In the original movie from the Star Wars series, the mission to destroy the Death Star approaches. Luke Skywalker is apprehensive and nervous. Then we hear the distinct voice of his mentor and teacher, Obi Wan Kenobi, in his head “The force is with you, always.” This reassures and calms Luke as he departs. From that famous line, “May the force be with you” became a familiar catch phrase.
The telephone rings – Do you answer it? When you get that funny feeling that something isn’t right, do you heed the warning or do you ignore it or cover it up. God talks to me through my gut. When I know what is really right, do I listen to God or do I take back my free will and do Sharon’s will? When I think that I know better I am in trouble.
Do we actually believe what we tell our patients? Do we truly believe chiropractic care is something that everyone needs during their entire lives (“from the womb to the tomb” – as Dr. Jim Parker used to say)? Do we really believe that all of us in this profession are “called” to be Healers, “ordained” by the universe to serve our fellow man? If not, perhaps we need to have our beliefs adjusted before we do anything else in chiropractic!
Initial Telephone Contact 1. On initial telephone contact, the CA not only asks for basic information, but “Who referred you to this office?” You can also ask “Is this appointment for you or your entire family?”
In every state of the union except two, parents have the legal right to exempt their children from all vaccinations. Whether or not anyone disagrees with their decision is immaterial to that right. In light of the social and political opposition to such a choice, parents who would embark upon such a course of action often have to face much greater obstacles than just learning about the dangers of vaccines. The parents can be victimized by uninformed people in authority who think they can enforce their own illegal opinions upon the public.
In speaking with many of you in the last few weeks, a common theme emerged. We embark on a spiritual path, and at first, perhaps for a long time, things seem worse. We gain awareness, and become aware that we still often make the same bad choices, and as a result feel guilty and beat ourselves up. We struggle with finding a balance, determining our priorities, keeping our focus, detaching from what we know in our hearts is not important.
It was an incredible event. A little after 6pm, the windows in the house began to rattle. I was adjusting a patient but we thought nothing of it. I live in Peru, this is common. I have felt dozens of tremors over the past years and some rather strong. However this was different. This was no tremor. After a few seconds it got a lot stronger. The adjusting room opens out to a garden in the back of the house. So I told the young man on the table that he was welcome to come outside with me. As I went into the garden and looked up at the house, I could see it swaying.
Where did the bees go? Toxicopathy is a new word to me, but one I believe we will all be hearing about more and more. According to Dorland’s Medical Dictionary (1993) toxicopathy means “any disease caused by a poison.” The same book defines poison as “any substance taken into the body by ingestion, inhalation, injection or absorption that interferes with normal physiological functions.”
and a random photo…
This photo was taken on March 5th or 6th, 2002 while on a chiropractic mission to the country of Panamá. I was working with veteran chiropractor Dr. Joseph Accurso and it was a pretty spectacular time.
The kids in the photo were all related. It wasn’t uncommon for groups of kids to arrive together for their chiropractic checkups. Photos like these brings back memories of many trips to places like Panamá and Costa Rica.
Lightening things up on a Friday, I thought I’d share some articles from the past on topics such as subluxation, healing, energy, retracing, innate intelligence, objectivism and faith in chiropractic. Following is an assortment of articles organized in no particular fashion, authored by chiropractors and chiropractic assistants (and maybe even a chiropractic student or two), during the past decade or so. For those of you reading this today, enjoy your weekend.
(photo: the back of Denver chiropractor Dr. Steve Visentin of Care Chiropractic.)
Dr. Eddy Cohen reminds us that the founder of chiropractic, Dr. DD Palmer, was not talking about new and more effective treatments for neuromusculoskeletal conditions when he stated that Life is the expression of tone. The expression of tone in the human body is referred to many chiropractors as the intelligence of innate, and Canadian chiropractor Dr. Martha Collins, reminds others to Hold Your Head High and reconnect with our true selves.
On the topic of energy Dr. Rick Wren shared words about synergy and energy, with his advice on scheduling new patients and performing chiropractic exams. Back in 2000, Dr. Stew Bittman shared his thoughts on balancing energy worldwide and scientific cracking of the human genetic code.