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Massage Today
September, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 09

The ABC's of Meeting with Physicians, Part 3

By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB

Congratulations, you survived the initial round of physician meetings! Now, you must build upon the momentum you have generated. Let me share with you some strategies to implement after your initial meeting so you can build strong physician referral sources by maintaining contact and providing continual education.

Rarely will a single meeting produce instant and consistent patient referrals. You will need to return and repeat your message frequently. Be sure to ask, "What are the best days and times to revisit?" Immediately following each meeting, take time to debrief. Log the date, time and myofascial pain patterns you reviewed with the physician. Write down the name of each person you encountered, their position and specific notes to help you remember and build rapport with each individual on return visits. Notes often include hairstyle, hobby, children, travel, favorite color or food, birthday, etc. Review your notes before each visit and update them frequently. This process helps you evaluate, adapt and modify your approach to achieve your goals of building referral sources.

Following the initial meeting, send a "Thank You" note and include your business card. Simply acknowledging someone's time can go a very long way. How often do you think doctors get thank you cards from their patients? I have learned from experience that physicians remember patients that send thank you notes. When patients tell me they are feeling better from treatment, I ask them to please send a thank you card to their referring physician. Patients simply write: Dear Doctor, Thank you for referring me to David Kent at Kent Health Systems for therapy. Today, I received my initial treatment and feel much better!

Meeting with Physicians - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Also, keep your practice in the doctor's mind by sending reports and treatment notes. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words and visuals help to quickly tell a lot about the patient, so include postural analysis photos, pain scales and trigger point pain patterns. These visuals help your practice stand out from the competition.

During each repeat visit, get in and out quickly. Do not wear perfume or cologne. When in the back office waiting to meet with the doctor, stay out of the way and no wandering eyes trying to read patient charts or other materials on the counters. Just check and restock your prescription pad. Be prepared to show a few common myofascial pain patterns affecting a specific region of the body (head, chest, back, arm, wrist, etc.) with your trigger point chart.

While showing the images, mention the common subjective complaints reported by patients suffering from myofascial trigger point pain referral patterns being shown. For temporal headaches, examples of muscles to show referred pain patterns would include: Trapezius (TrP 1), Sternocleidomastoid (sternal head), sub-occipitals and Temporalis (TrPs 1-4). Pain in the front of the chest and upper extremity of myofascial origin would include images of the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor and scaleni. For lumbar pain, show gluteus medius, psoas and rectus abdominus. For buttock pain, show the quadratus lumborum, gluteus maximus, iliocostalis lumborum and longissimus thoracis. Lower extremity pain may include gluteus minimus, piriformis, quadriceps femoris. The final visual aid to review with the doctor is your prescription pad, showing them where to sign before giving it to patients.

Depending on the doctor's specialty, a high percentage of their patient's pain could be myofascial in origin and benefit from your treatments. You must meet the doctors so they know who you are, the patients you can help and, most importantly, remember to refer those patients for treatment. Just one or two physicians referring patients on a regular basis will quickly build your practice. Every week, you must dedicate some time to marketing your practice. Go into your community, introduce yourself and broadcast your message using visual aids. Like any skill, practice makes perfect. Doctors are aware of myofascial trigger points, receptive to massage therapy and are looking for pain relieving options for their patients.


Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.

 

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