Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Drugs Second, Surgery Last!

Our clinic practices Patient Centered Care. Patient centered care is care that focuses on what is in the patient’s best interest first. This is in contrast to doctor centered care. In doctor centered care, the care revolves around what is in the doctor’s best economic interest first. Our goal for every patient who comes to our clinic is to resolve their problem in the shortest period of time possible, with the least amount of visits (cost), and the least amount of effort on the patient’s part.  Fortunately for us, the majority of our patients find that through Chiropractic, or Physical Therapy that we use meets these goals in an efficient manner. When our conservative management of a patient fails to meet these goals, we refer.

The majority of our patients find relief from their symptoms with our in office care and a few simple exercises. A minority of our patients have to exercise more vigorously and sometimes modify their diet, in addition to receiving in office care, to get relief from their symptoms. An even smaller minority of our patients may additionally require medical care in combination with chiropractic care to find relief. An example of this type of collaborative effort would be when a patient has such severe pain at the beginning of a case, we may need to refer them for pain medication. There are times in the real world when pain medications are useful. This is what patient centered care is all about, doing what’s right for the patient. Beware of extremist on either side of the professional spectrum who refuse to acknowledge the potential benefits of treatment from a professional outside of their profession, whether they are a chiropractor, medical doctor, or any other type of practitioner.

A very small minority of our patients will not respond to our care despite our best efforts to help them. This is the case for all types of doctors and other healthcare providers managing musculoskeletal pain, whether they practice orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, physical medicine-rehabilitation, rheumatology, physical therapy, massage or chiropractic.  None of these professions boasts a 100% success rate. It is simply not possible due to the complexity and multiple causes of musculoskeletal pain. The mark of a true professional in all of these fields is to recognize one’s limitations and gain a knowledge of what the skill sets are of the other professionals involved in managing musculoskeletal pain so one can make effective referrals when necessary. Chiropractors are taught traditional medical diagnosis in college to allow them to understand when a referral is necessary. Sadly, the majority of medical doctors have virtually no understanding of what a chiropractor does, leading to a gross underutilization of chiropractic referrals from the medical profession. This is slowly changing in the United States where universities such as Harvard now require their medical students to take classes on alternative healthcare practices including chiropractic so they can better understand the services we contribute to the healthcare delivery network.

If we ever reach a point in a patient’s case where we feel the services of another health care practitioner are better suited to a patient’s needs, we never hesitate in referring for another medical opinion. We have developed a network of many other medical professionals to call upon when the need arises for a professional referral. Dr. Mark has made hundreds of successful medical referrals during his time in practice in Bangkok to professionals in leading hospitals in many disciplines including, Rehabilitation-Physical Medicine, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Internal Medicine, Ears Nose Throat, Internal Medicine, Psychology, and Dentistry.

In the case where a referral is necessary, we will send a referral letter to the other medical professional to review prior to seeing you. The advantage of this approach is that the other medical professional will have some background information about your case, including what has already been tried, prior to seeing you. This is useful so the other professional does not have to waste your time having you repeat treatment methods that have already failed to resolve the problem previously. In this way, you get the best continuity of care, rather than having to start over from scratch each time you see a new doctor.. Furthermore, we favor referring to other healthcare professionals who prefer to exhaust all conservative methods first before considering more invasive approaches such as surgery.

Some of our patients have insurance policies that require a referral from a medical doctor to cover physical therapy or chiropractic. If you have this problem, we can often refer you to a medical doctor for the referral when appropriate.