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Working Well With Others

Like most forms of prejudice, as we learn more and more about each other, hatred, mistrust, and fear gradually give way. This does not occur without some painful moments, and this is true in the field of interprofessional relationships. We have gone from times where “alternative” practitioners were jailed for “practicing medicine without a license” […]

Head Injuries

Recognizing the severity of a head injury can be life-saving. Picture this scenario: you are at a local middle school or high school football game. Two players collide and one falls to the ground. After a few seconds, he gets up. What do you do? Or how about this: You are evaluating one of your […]

Module 1

Just completed Module 1! Great group to work with! Outstanding video crew. I’m looking forward to the next one, as well as putting the first module on-line!

Welcome To Lerner Education

Greetings, and welcome to the Blog section of Lerner Education! Here you will be able to get the latest news from us, post your comments, suggestions and requests. We hope you enjoy using this section, and we encourage you to check in frequently. We have lots of new information, especially as we begin a new […]

Working Well With Others

Like most forms of prejudice, as we learn more and more about each other, hatred, mistrust, and fear gradually give way. This does not occur without some painful moments, and this is true in the field of interprofessional relationships.

We have gone from times where “alternative” practitioners were jailed for “practicing medicine without a license” and the anti-trust politics of the AMA, to a much more cooperative environment between health care disciplines. I’ll spare you a lot of the painful details, and I’d rather keep this blog on the positive.

Today, more and more of us are recognizing the benefits to our patients and our own practices of working together. Interprofessional referrals are becoming much more commonplace, and I have observed a certain synergy that ensues as a result.

Having worked on staff at a major hospital, as well as in spine care groups involving surgeons, physiatrists, anesthesiologists, acupuncturists, physical therapists, psychologists, and so on, I have seen the difference when a cooperative group of healing arts professionals come together in a selfless, dedicated way to help patients. While there is still a lot of prejudice out there among just about ALL the health disciplines, this type of cooperation is growing.

What remains, and is exciting to discover, is how we play as a team. Who does what? When is it appropriate to treat and when is it time to refer? Do we refer for a consult? Concommitant treatment? Or is it time to refer the patient out completely? What role does each of us play on the team?

When it comes to spine care, and this is probably true for most things, there isn’t a single model that works on everyone. What works so well on one patient doesn’t seem to do a thing for the next one with the same problem. Our model has to have some fluidity to it. The idea that “if someone has A they get B” doesn’t work very well. Whatever outcome studies show, I still believe that each patient is unique, and a group needs to recognize what is working and readily adapt when something isn’t working. That all begins with a cooperative team of professionals.

Communication is key. So often we refer patients out and never see them again, wondering what happened. Anyone getting a referral needs to communicate back to the referral source. If you get a referral from a specialist, it would be wise to communicate back to the patient’s family physician or internist as well. They were probably the original referral source to the specialist who referred to you, and they deserve to be kept “in the loop.” I’ll speak more about that in future blogs.

The first step is to identify and form a great referral network, with a group of professionals you can trust and who can trust you. They don’t need to understand what you do so much, nor do they need to know the theories and philosophies of your health discipline.

You can do this within the walls of a multidiscipline group office. You can also create a clinic “without walls” in your community. However you do it, choose wisely and well. Just like dating, you probably aren’t going to “marry” your first referral source. Take your time. Get to know each other. Learn from each other. Respect is essential. All of this will go a long way to generating affinity, which is the fuel that keeps this machine running. To be continued…

Head Injuries

Recognizing the severity of a head injury can be life-saving. Picture this scenario: you are at a local middle school or high school football game. Two players collide and one falls to the ground. After a few seconds, he gets up. What do you do?

Or how about this: You are evaluating one of your patients a few hours following a motor vehicle collision. They seem a little “out of it” but are able to answer questions. They are developing a headache that is growing worse. Now what? Do you treat? Refer? Call 9-1-1?

The importance of a quick yet thorough evaluation cannot be overstated immediately following a head trauma.

Recognizing warning signs, such as severe headache, confusion, memory loss, uncoordinated movements, and others when there has been a recent history of head trauma is critical. If you are not sure what to do, call 9-1-1, or have the person immediately transferred to an Emergency Department of a hospital.

In Module 2 of the Acupuncture Orthopedics program, we will be looking at this, as well as non-traumatic brain problems, such as stroke and aneurysms. We will also look at more chronic conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimers.

For anyone dealing with primary care, this is not a module to be missed. I invite anyone reading this to come join our group. You can gain more detail by visiting our site at http://shop.lernereducation.com/category_s/23.htm for a description and to register.

Module 1

Just completed Module 1! Great group to work with! Outstanding video crew. I’m looking forward to the next one, as well as putting the first module on-line!

Welcome To Lerner Education

Greetings, and welcome to the Blog section of Lerner Education! Here you will be able to get the latest news from us, post your comments, suggestions and requests.

We hope you enjoy using this section, and we encourage you to check in frequently. We have lots of new information, especially as we begin a new Acupuncture Orthopedics program (starts next Friday!!!).

We will do our best to assist you and we will strive to make this a better site.

Sincerely,

Fred N. Lerner, D.C., Ph.D., F.A.C.O.