Month: November 2010

Chiropractic Questions From Pennsylvania

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I’m 23 from Pennsylvania and I’m starting a pre-chiropractic track at IUP here this coming spring. I know I’m jumping the gun on this but I cant help but think what would be more productive, to find a job with a firm? Or start my own business? I definitely want to start my own business one day but it just feels like a bad idea to start directly out of school because for one I don’t come from a rich family so I have to borrow every penny for schooling, having said that I would have to take out even more loans.

Maybe it’s just the area I live in but it seems that every chiropractic practice is independently owned, I’ve only been to one of the offices and I know only one chiropractor that is employed there and he is the owner. I’m looking forward to dedicated the next 7 years of my life to schooling and really expanding my mind in the field of science. The reason I chose chiropractic could be contributed to the fact that I’ve been in multiple car accidents over the years. The work doesn’t seem stressful and I always got great satisfaction after an adjustment and I’ve seen what he charged my insurance company. He did say though “What I bill them and what they pay me are two completely different things” I got that they obviously pay less then what he bills but I was curious how much? or how that works? I also understand that you have to buy insurance? Such as malpractice insurance or what not.. As you can tell I’m pretty new to all this stuff and I apologize if your already cover this on your website. Information you have or any kind of advice you could tell me would be very much appreciated.. Thank you

Discover Chiropractic

These are great questions and they do come up regularly. Each individual seems to have their own concerns regarding schooling, two of the most popular being borrowing money for school and potential chiropractor salaries.

Sometimes my advice is going to sound like “do as I say and not as I do” but we learn from our mistakes, and we teach others in hopes that they don’t repeat the mistakes we have made in the past. I took out student loans but I strongly suggest chiropractic students attempt to borrow as little as possible to avoid debt in the years after chiropractic school graduation.

I know it’s easier said than done, but if you make the efforts now to restrict spending, the rewards will be there in the future. There’s too many things you can spend money on (besides chiropractic school tuition) with student loan funding. Everything from having roommates, to not buying a new car, borrowing schoolbooks versus buying new ones, and keepng weekend partying to a minimum. Those things add up. Looking back, one expense I could have easily avoided while attending chiropractic school, was buying meals. I would have eaten healthier had I prepared my own meals daily and would have saved a significant amount of money had I not gone out to eat with classmates so frequently.

If you can do it without more loans I say go for it. If you have to take out student loans and increase your overall debt, make sure you have a rocksolid plan and stick to working that plan. I’ve seen more chiropractic graduates fail in business in the first three years than any other time in practice (but that’s the case for nearly anyone starting a business). The first few years are the toughest but everybody’s got to get their hands dirty sometime. Chiropractic practice is not meant for everyone, and neither is ownership of an independent business. You’re far more into the world of business ownership (small-business ownership) versus chiropractic practice when it comes to running your office. If the discipline and skills for running a business are not there, it’s going to be a struggle, and you may find your business imploding even several years into practice.

The discussion of insurance is an entirely different story. Every chiropractic office operates differently but it’s true that insurance companies often don’t pay the same amounts that are billed (that goes for all providers of healthcare, not just chiropractors). Sometimes insurance companies pay at 100%, but many times there are a myriad of other factors that determine reimbursement. Situations like high deductibles (which many patients are seemingly not aware of), co-pays, limits on care, medical necessity, and a number of other factors.

A common unfortunate situation which is a no-win for many chiropractic practices is the individual that thinks they have great insurance. They pay a monthly insurance premium (often deducted from their paycheck) and their insurance company tells them they can receive “chiropractic services”. In reality that doesn’t mean squat, as they often overlook the things I mentioned like deductibles, co-pays, and limits on reimbursement. Then there are patients who assume their insurance card is like a credit card, having no copayment and having no out-of-pocket payment due whatsoever. When in practice, you’ll have the joy of meeting these individuals for yourself.

It’s one of the main reasons so many chiropractic offices decline taking insurance (and are still successful). As a side note, I spoke to an OB/GYN yesterday who told me that if her office stopped taking insurance, and could receive the same reimbursement for services, she could see half the amount of patients and still have the same income. Something she is strongly considering for her medical practice in 2011 or 2012.

Personally, my advice would be to not build a chiropractic practice based on the potential of insurance income, as insurance reimbursement for chiropractic care can change significantly between now and the time you graduate, plus it also varies from state to state. There are the large corporate insurance plans to consider, some cities have hundreds or even thousands of employees that may have chiropractic coverage on their insurance (think big tech companies like Microsoft or Hewlett-Packard), but those plans could end at any time, or massive layoffs could occur. You may practice in an area that has these types of reimbursement for chiropractic care (like movie studios in Los Angeles) by building your business model around one or two companies could be risky, especially since insurance reimbursement can change from year to year.

I looked around for related topics that have already been covered on this site, things that may be of interest to prospective chiropractic students include: paying off your chiropractic student loans, things you may consider when choosing a chiropractic school, An Interest in the Study of Chiropractic Work, Chiropractic 101: An Aspiring Chiropractor, and Questions About Practicing Chiropractic.

Based on your initial questions here are things to consider: work for a chiropractic office while in school so you can get the business knowledge not being taught in chiropractic college.

Try and borrow as little as possible. There is no other way to do this than figure out your own way. Trust me, you don’t want a monthly payment of a couple thousand dollars to pay off student loans (sometimes for 30 years) when you’re going to have rent payments, insurance payments, staff payroll, business insurance, your house and or rent payment, and loads of other expenses.

Personally, I don’t think that malpractice insurance and general liability insurance for chiropractic small businesses is expensive. The same medical doctor I spoke to yesterday about her practice, shared that she was paying over $50,000 annually for malpractice insurance. That’s more than 10 times what the average chiropractor will pay per year.

Re: insurance coverages, it’s going to vary state by state and city by city, but nearly all landlords are going to require a general liability policy and I feel it’s a good idea for you also to carry chiropractic malpractice insurance. Who you choose for coverage is up to you, there are several insurance providers offering affordable coverage for doctors of chiropractic, both general liability and practice related.

Your reasons for choosing chiropractic are great in my opinion and if you focus on providing people with the same satisfaction from adjustments that you now receive, you will be on your way to being successful in practice. Depending on when you ask me, having your business smarts and your motivation in order are going to be most important, some days one is more important than the other.

Keep working on these two while you’re in school and when you’re out of school and continue to plan your work and work your plan for as long as it takes. All the best in your success! @ 8:42 am | Article ID: 1291135400

Parker Chiropractic President for a Day Event

Parker Chiropractic News

Parker President Dr. Fabrizio Mancini and Student Swap Roles in the First Annual President for a Day Event
DALLAS — Parker College of Chiropractic president, Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, swapped roles for a day with a Tri-Four Parker student, Steven Chalk. Chalk was selected to serve as President for a Day where he attended all the meetings that Dr. Mancini would normally attend, and Dr. Mancini attended classes, labs, clinic training, and activities that Chalk would normally attend. The purpose of the First Annual President for a Day event is to experience what it’s like to walk in each other’s shoes.

Dr. Mancini and Steven ChalkDr. Mancini and Chalk met early that morning to trade cars. “I sold my car to help pay for my tuition, so I didn’t have a car for my first two years as a student at Parker,” said Dr. Mancini. “It was a real pleasure to get to drive Steven’s car to class as a Tri-Four student.”

After arriving on campus, Dr. Mancini exercised with students, attended classes, including a class taught by one of his former Parker classmates, Dr. Jim Guest, ate lunch with students in the Parker Cafe, shadowed student intern, Jose Negron, in one of the Parker Chiropractic Wellness Clinics, and more.

Chalk also started his day by exercising at Dr. Mancini’s favorite workout spot, Four Seasons in Irving, Texas, with some of Dr. Mancini’s closest friends and colleagues. Following the workout, he met with Bill Nardiello, chairman of the Parker Board of Trustees. Chalk pitched the idea of creating a First Annual President for a Day Scholarship. Nardiello generously offered to fund the scholarship by donating $1,500.

Later that day, Chalk spoke on the phone with chiropractic visionaries such as Dr. Patrick Gentempo, Dr. Michael Flynn, Dr. Gary Walsemann, Dr. Rick McMichael, and Kent Greenawalt.

He attended lunch with Parker alumni and vice president of the Parker Alumni Association, Dr. Camille Reagan. He also met with Jordan Hart, president of student senate, Dr. Gene Giggleman, dean of academics, Dr. Larry Stolar, dean of clinics, Matt Eiserloh, chief marketing officer, Victor Ballesteros, dean of students, Chris Zeppa, director of information services, and Dr. Chris Petrie, manager of academic and clinical computing.

“As a student we might think Parker’s making some things harder,” said Chalk. “I see now that all of the changes and advancements Parker is making–it’s all about making the students a better chiropractor.”

During some of Chalk’s meetings he presented his idea of integrating i-clickers into classrooms. The idea was part of his winning presentation to the President for a Day selection committee. He also met with representatives from i-clicker. I-clicker is an audience response system that enables professors to pose both preconceived and spontaneous questions and see how the class answers. I-clickers allow students to participate without embarrassment of answering questions wrong or even raising their hand. “Every student would participate and the professor would know how well the information presented is being understood,” said Chalk.

Dr. Mancini and Chalk met up at the end of the day to have a nice dinner sponsored by Pappas Bros. and to discuss the experiences they had walking in each other’s footsteps. “This was amazing for me,” said Dr. Mancini. “This day has been one of the best days I have had as president at Parker, one that I know will help me be a better president and a better leader.”

“There was just so much to do and I barely scratched the surface,” said Chalk. “I have more appreciation now for my education at Parker than I even did before.”

In addition to being selected as the first participant in President for a Day, sponsored by Parker Seminars, Chalk will receive airfare, hotel accommodation, and a per diem for Parker Seminars Las Vegas 2011, where he will join Dr. Mancini on stage for the opening session.

Prior to becoming a Parker student, Chalk received his bachelor’s in exercise science at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. He grew up in League City, TX, where he graduated in the top three percent of his class, received the prestigious Texas Scholar Award that is awarded to world class students, and served as vice president for his senior class of more than 750 students.

He spent two years working with numerous missionaries in Torreon, Mexico, where he mastered the Spanish language. As a district leader, he provided leadership and training to groups of missionaries. Chalk is currently an active Toastmaster’s member and is very involved in his church, including teaching Sunday school and coordinating church activities. He resides in Coppell, TX. Chalk is married with one son and a second child due in November.

About Parker College of Chiropractic Located in Dallas, Parker College of Chiropractic is one of the country’s leading educators of healthcare professionals with an international student enrollment. Founded in 1982, this private, non-profit educational institution prepares men and women to become doctors of chiropractic. For additional information about Parker College of Chiropractic, visit the college’s website at @ 9:09 am | Article ID: 1289927403

Crack Baby and Subluxation

By Dr. Steve Visentin, D.C.

In a dingy hotel room, a pregnant crack addict self-delivers her baby. With her own hands, she pulls the baby out of her body, lays her daughter onto the dirty carpet. The mother soon abandons her new-born. Some people would call her a crack baby, an ugly name for a girl who never had a chance.

When I first saw her at age two, this girl’s development had been so delayed that she couldn’t walk or talk. By that same age, most normal children are so active, they drive their parents crazy. She said nothing and was barely able to stand. Her painfully thin body shook. She wasn’t eating. It was heartbreaking to look at her.

Her foster mom had all but given up hope. She explained that she had taken the child to every pediatrician in town. Each doctor wanted to prescribe more medications and ignored the fact that her first nine months of life were spent floating in amniotic fluid filled with drugs.

I examined her, using all the standard tests. Then, I checked for a condition that no other doctor had considered. Subluxation. A subluxation is a bone out of place that interferes with the nervous system. Our tests showed a massive vertebral subluxation at the base of her skull near the part of her brain that controls vital functions – heartbeat, respiration, digestion, and elimination.

These particular kinds of subluxations are frequently caused by traumatic births. Many times, births that use forceps and suction cause babies to have subluxations just below their skulls. Even so-called normal births can cause this problem due to the anxious pulling that occurs when doctors try to help nature. At times, 60 to 90 pounds of force are used to pull the baby out of the birth canal. This is enough duress on an undeveloped spine to cause life-long problems or even death. Imagine how many children have been dragged into the world in this way and their subluxations went undetected.

Of course, I gave the child an adjustment. Adjustment means to gently realign the bones of the body and remove pressure from the nervous system. After I did this, the sweet girl walked toward her foster mother. Both cried. My eyes also filled with tears. It’s amazing how profound a precise chiropractic adjustment can be.

The next day, they returned. The girl was doing better and was developing a healthy appetite. Someone in my office had a birthday celebration and she ate a huge slice of cake. Some days later, she begged for food from my secretaries who were eating carrots and hardboiled eggs for lunch. It was as if she were trying to catch up on all the growth and development that she’d missed.

I often think about her and wonder – what if I hadn’t adjusted her? She may never have had a chance to thrive. She might still be struggling to develop. As a Chiropractor, I have the privilege of helping some very difficult cases.

I realize many of Planet Chiropractic’s readers are not chiropractors. Some might wonder if chiropractic is a cure for a baby that is addicted in the womb. Chiropractic is not a cure for any particular disease. It’s a way of creating balance in the body so that we can heal ourselves and stay well.

When you understand that birth is often traumatic and the effects of subluxation are devastating, especially for children, it becomes clear why chiropractic is vitally important from birth and beyond.

Make sure to get your entire family checked by your chiropractor. Chiropractic is not just about aching backs and necks. It’s about maximizing the potential of the entire human race.

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Dr. Visentin, D.C. practices in Denver Colorado, you can visit his website at Care Chiropractic. @ 6:35 pm | Article ID: 1289788525

Palmer Chiropractic College President Kern Retires

Palmer Chiropractic News

Davenport, Iowa — Concluding a career that has spanned more than 50 years, Donald P. Kern, D.C., Ph.C., president of the Davenport Campus of Palmer College of Chiropractic, has announced that he will retire effective December 31, 2010.

Dr. Kern (center) Dennis Marchiori and Vickie Palmer
Dr. Kern (center) with Palmer Chancellor Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D (left), and Palmer Board of Trustees Officer Ms. Vickie A. Palmer at the Nov. 4-6 Palmer Board of Trustees meeting held in San Jose, Calif., near Palmer’s West Campus.

“I’ve certainly been blessed to serve Palmer College for so long, especially having worked under both B.J. and David Palmer,” said Dr. Kern. “Dr. Dave was my hero and role model. I hope that he would be proud of my service to The Fountainhead.”

Dr. Kern announced his retirement plans to Chancellor Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D., and the Palmer College Board of Trustees during the Board’s Nov. 4-6 meeting held in San Jose, California, near the College’s West Campus. Dr. Marchiori will announce a leadership succession plan for the Davenport Campus prior to Dr. Kern’s departure at the end of December.

Following his retirement, Dr. Kern intends to stay connected with the College he has proudly served for more than five decades by participating in various alumni activities, assisting with fundraising opportunities and working with students.

“The biggest joy and satisfaction of my career has been the opportunity to help more than 28,000 Palmer students learn how to identify and correct subluxations,” said Dr. Kern. “That has been, is and always will be the true purpose of Palmer College of Chiropractic.”

“For so many years, Dr. Kern has been a constant in my life,” said Vickie Palmer, great-granddaughter of D.D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic and former chair of the Palmer Board of Trustees. “He has been a mentor, a leader, a colleague and, most certainly, a true friend; not only to me, but to his alma mater.”

“I have the highest respect for Dr. Kern’s quiet strength and his commitment to Palmer College,” said Chancellor Dr. Marchiori. “Throughout my time as a student, faculty member and administrator, I have always admired him for his focus on the students and their learning experiences.”

A 1958 graduate of Palmer College, Dr. Kern went on to earn his Doctorate of Chiropractic Philosophy in 1959. His professional career with Palmer began in 1960 when he joined the B.J. Palmer Clinic staff. He served as a faculty clinician until 1976 and also held the post of clinic director from 1965 to 1970. Dr. Kern went on to hold numerous administrative positions at Palmer over the next 40 years including director of Admissions, Vice President for Student Affairs, Chairman of the Technique Department and President of the College from 1988 to 1994. After returning to full-time teaching in the Technique Department in 1994, Dr. Kern was named senior campus administrator at Palmer College’s Florida Campus upon its opening in 2002. In 2004, he was named interim president of Palmer’s Davenport and Florida campuses. Following that interim period, Dr. Kern once again focused his full efforts on the Davenport Campus in 2005 when he was named president for an unprecedented second time.

“I hope my tenure as President will be remembered for starting the President’s Club and helping to craft the Palmer Tenets,” he said. “Our endowment has grown from about $6 million in 1987 to around $30 million today. The one thing that will guarantee the perpetuity of this institution is a strong endowment fund.”

Five generations of the Kern family have graduated from Palmer College with Dr. Kern as part of the third generation.

“My grandfather, Clyde G. Kern (’21), and my father, Donald O. Kern (’23), were both Palmer graduates, as well as my older brothers, Raymond T. (’50) and James O. (’52), so I was introduced to The Fountainhead early on,” said Dr. Kern. “I decided on a career in chiropractic as a teenager and it was a natural choice to come to Palmer.”

That passion has been passed on to his children and grandchildren. Dr. Kern and his wife of 53 years, Nancy, are parents of three children: Gregory Kern, D.C. (Davenport ’84), Jeffrey Kern and Karen Onken, D.C. (Davenport ’97). Dr. Greg’s son, Zachary, represents the fifth generation as a 2007 graduate of the Davenport Campus. @ 10:36 am | Article ID: 1289673422

ACA ICA Presidents Speak to Parker College Chiropractic Students

Parker Chiropractic News

Dallas — Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, president of Parker College of Chiropractic, recently invited Dr. Gary Walsemann, president of the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) and Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) to speak to Parker students.

Dr. Walsemann and Dr. McMichael are uniting and working together to ensure the progression of the profession. They asked for the students’ support, energy, and focus. They also encouraged them to be the best chiropractors they can be by going the extra mile and getting involved in chiropractic organizations.

Presidents of American Chiropractic Association and International Chiropractors Association Speak to Parker College Students
Presidents of American Chiropractic Association and International Chiropractors Association Speak to Parker College Students

“Don’t forget the power that’s in your hands, your heads, and your hearts,” said Dr. McMichael.

Dr. Mancini also asked the students to become involved in the profession by joining state associations and organizations like ICA and ACA. “Even if you do nothing else, become a member to help fund research, help with government efforts, and help move the profession forward,” said Dr. Mancini.

Dr. Walsemann and Dr. McMichael challenged the students to work hard, study, and prepare for their future.

“I see students being trained as leaders with a passion–a passion that is being encouraged and nurtured at Parker” said Dr. Walsemann.

Parker College used its podcasting technology to record and download audio from the presentation. They are preparing to give the audio to other chiropractic colleges and will ask them to share the message with their students in an effort to encourage more students around the world to become involved in chiropractic associations.

To listen to the complete audio presentation, please visit (Editors Note: File is in mp3 format and may not play properly in a browser. If it becomes available for download I will update info.)

About Parker College of Chiropractic Located in Dallas, Parker College of Chiropractic is one of the country’s leading educators of healthcare professionals with an international student enrollment. Founded in 1982, this private, non-profit educational institution prepares men and women to become doctors of chiropractic. For additional information about Parker College of Chiropractic, visit the college’s website at @ 6:25 pm | Article ID: 1289093158

Palmer College of Chiropractic Receives National Recognition

Palmer Chiropractic News

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced in October that the Palmer Academic Health Center and the Campus Health Center clinics on the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus at 1000 Brady St., Davenport, Iowa, have received Recognition from the Back Pain Recognition Program (BPRP) for providing superior care to clinic patients suffering from low back pain. According to the NCQA registry, these Palmer College clinics and their respective faculty clinicians are the only healthcare facilities and providers in Iowa to receive BPRP recognition.

The Back Pain Recognition Program was designed to improve the quality of care to the nearly 30 million Americans who experience low back pain, by motivating healthcare providers to deliver high-quality care and service. To receive recognition, the two on-campus Palmer Chiropractic Clinics were required to pass a rigorous, comprehensive review of several key clinical measures demonstrating quality healthcare delivery and service. These measures include appropriate imaging for acute back pain, recommendations for exercise and attention to health risk factors, among many others.

Back pain is among the most common ailments in America. Each year, nearly one in nine Americans experience pain severe enough to impair their usual daily activities. Treatment costs total approximately $91 billion a year and back pain accounts for 25 percent of all workers’ compensation claims. The BPRP is the first independent program to systematically evaluate back pain care. NCQA developed the program’s requirements from widely accepted medical evidence with significant input from back pain specialists, and health plan and employer representatives. BPRP-Recognized healthcare providers provide patients with the care that best meets their needs, restores health and mobility and avoids unnecessary treatment and procedures.

“Needless imaging and procedures provide no real benefit to patients who suffer from back pain,” said Margaret E. O’Kane, president, National Committee for Quality Assurance. “By earning recognition, these Palmer Chiropractic Clinics in Davenport have demonstrated that they consistently provide proven, evidence-based care to their patients with low back pain.”

According to the Palmer Chiropractic Clinics Chief of Staff James Owens, D.C., “Our recognition through the NCQA Back Pain Recognition Program provides external validation for our patients and to our community that we have processes in place to ensure consistent delivery of high-quality, evidence-based care in an effort to generate the best patient outcomes.”

“The Palmer College clinics at each of our three campuses are committed to the delivery of quality, patient-centered care, and to providing a clinical education model that prepares our graduates for today’s practice environment,” said Vice Chancellor for Clinic Affairs Kurt Wood, D.C. “This recent NCQA recognition for our Davenport Campus clinics follows NCQA recognition for our West Campus Clinic in San Jose, Calif., in 2008, and we intend to achieve NCQA recognition for our clinics in the Port Orange, Florida, community as well.”

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality. To find out if your physician or Chiropractor has been recognized by the Back Pain Recognition Program or for further information, please visit To order application materials, call (888) 275-7585.

Palmer College of Chiropractic consists of three campuses–the main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and branch campuses in San Jose, Calif., and Port Orange, Fla. The College was founded in Davenport, Iowa, by the discoverer of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, in 1897. Today Palmer College of Chiropractic has nearly 2,300 students attending its three campuses and more than 26,000 alumni practicing worldwide. @ 9:10 am | Article ID: 1288714259