CF 151: Chiropractic Integration Into A Medical Setting Today we’re going to talk about chiropractic integration into a medical setting But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music  

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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.  We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research.

We’re research talk over a couple of beers. I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

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Do it do it do it. 

You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #151 Now if you missed last week’s episode , we talked about the fate of a big pharma company and we talked about the outdated use of MRI diagnosis of cervical dysfunction. That’s not necessarily the way to do it anymore in 2020. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class.  While we’re on the topic of being smart, did you know that you can use our website as a resource? Quick and easy, you can go to, click on Episodes, and use the search function

On the personal end of things…..

Well….how’s your week? Mine? It’s just eh… If you listened to a couple of weeks ago, I had a big week with some good numbers that looked like we were getting back to pre-COVID numbers. I was sniffing that level once again. Then, a three-day snow and ice storm decided that things were going a little bit too smoothly around here and shut us down for basically Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week. 

As a result, we went from 172 visits the week prior down to last week only seeing 71. So….roughly 100 visits just pissed off last week. Which left me pissed off. It’s been a mess this year and I’m no different than most. For that reason, I’m not going to sit here and gripe about it. We’re back in the ’70s this week so here’s to trying to reclaim those lost appointments and keeping our patients on track to getting better. 

Where we started the great week with 50+ patients on a Monday, this Monday we’re starting out the week with 26. Blah. But 4 new patients so, let’s hang our hats on the good stuff, shall we? And yes, we shall. 

This has absolutely been the year of making lemonade out of lemons. If you’re not strong mentally, this year is a bruiser, man. And let’s be honest, I’ve had ups and downs. I’m still having them. 

Hell, this week, as in many places, now that it’s time to rebuild after three lost days to weather, now the second COVID spike is in full swing. Yep, a bad day around here used to be 70 new cases. It was that way for 6 months or more. Now, in the last 2 weeks, we’re looking at averaging 240 or more cases per day. The hospitals are full and they’re bringing help in from out of town. I could let that work my head over but I won’t. Or… least I’ll try not to let it work me over. 

Have you ever watched The Secret? I sort of recommend it if you can absorb things in the right context. OR, I can just summarize it for you. Basically, it’s all about having a vision so strong that you basically will something to happen. If you believe it enough, the world will bend itself to make it happen for you. For example, from the movie, if you believe that there will always be a close parking spot available for you when you go shopping at different places, then you will indeed find close and wide-open parking spots. 

Or, if you really want a Ferrari, and you dream about it, feel yourself sitting in the seat, and feel the rev of the engine while you grip the steering wheel, etc….well, then surely, eventually you will indeed have yourself a Ferrari. Lol. 

Well, if you listen to this podcast enough, then you know damned well that I don’t buy into that kind of garbage. But there is a message in it that I do like and support. That message is that our lives are built on and based on our ability to be positive or negative basically.

I have an example from today for you. On the way to work this morning, not 2 blocks from my house, I almost got into 3 car wrecks within a time span of about 2 minutes. Seriously. At one point I had to stand on my brakes and throw everything into the floorboards. This while I was simultaneously yelling and hollering at this fool stopped in front of me. 

I could go into particulars on how it happened but that wouldn’t matter. What matters is that at that point in my day, I made a conscious decision. Was I going to let that ruin my day or was I going to see it for what it was and move on from it?

In The Secret, they say that our mentality from day to day affects our relationships with others. From our business interactions to our personal and family interactions. And it’s true. If you extrapolate that further, our mentality will either draw people TO us or push them AWAY from us. 

So, if I let that close encounter affect my mood from there on throughout the day, potentially, whether I was conscious of it or not, it could have affected my interactions with patients, staff, and then later at home. 

Alternatively, if I kick it out of my head and try to have a positive take on it….I didn’t get in a wreck after all!!! It could have been worse, right? 

That was my decision and I decided that it was over and I’m going to forget about it, not dwell on it, not be mad about it, and just move forward. 

On a larger scale, while I talk and share a lot about my business’s progress post-COVID here, for the most part, I’ve tried to adopt the ‘can do’ attitude. My generation Gen X is known for it. It is what it is. Let’s put on a smile, strap up our belts, and put one foot in front of the other. 

And that’s what’s making it happen here. We’re like Rocky in Rocky III. Clubber COVID Lang keeps slapping me around and punching me in the nose and when it’s not Clubber, it’s Thunder Lips throwing me out of the ring. Lol. Sometimes it’s like you just can’t win. And if you dwell on that crap, well, you know what happens. It affects everything you do and all of your connections. 

So, if Clubber Lang and Thunder Lips keep kicking your ass every week, put a smile on, stay doggedly determined, and come out swinging. All of this crap has a time limit. It will end eventually. Make sure you’re on top of the heap when it does.  Everyone loves an underdog. 

Item #1 First one of the day is called “Implementation of musculoskeletal specialists in the emergency department at a level A1 VA hospital during the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic” by Schielke et. al(Schielke A 2020). and published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine on October 8, 2020,

Schiza….piping hot pile of poblanos!!

It’s not a research paper as much as an article so let’s get going with the highspots. 

  • They mention how the Rona depleted ER resources about the same time that pain management was deemed to be non-essential
  • They say that low back pain presenting in the ER has become more and more common and less traditional providers may be better suited to manage musculoskeletal pain. 
  • Bolstering the idea of alternative providers being involved, are the more current guidelines recommending nonpharmacologic treatment for low back pain. At least initially. 
  • Early conservative management for ED LBP has been associated with reduced pain and disability even when compared to patients with conservative outpatient physical therapy referrals
  • Multiple studies point out integrated ED MSK-specialist (MSK-S) reduced length of stay, imaging utilization, and opioid administration rates, and improved overall ED metrics when compared to patients seen by typical ED providers
  • Additionally, a 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis supports nonpharmacologic interventions for reduction of overall ED utilization and length of stay, and are effective in reducing pain in the ED with the potential to improve patient satisfaction, outcomes, and quality of life
  • VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) 2019 proprietary data revealed approximately 60% of cases presenting to the ED were urgent/emergent MSK complaints, primarily LBP
  • As the health department postponed non-essential healthcare due to COVID, the plan to integrate non-traditional providers was amped up and happened on March 30, 2020, lasting through June 8th. 
  • Designated MSK-S care was provided during peak hours by chiropractic and physical therapy departments.
  • A “hub-and-spoke” arrangement was developed and per protocol, initial ED triage assessed for any serious spinal pathology, and a medical symptom evaluation was performed (“hub”). If diagnosed as MSK LBP, MSK-S referral was made with direct same-day hand-off (“spoke”).
  • Incorporation of MSK-S was shown, anecdotally, to be effective in treating acute MSK complaints as providers and patients were both able to benefit from the conservative options available in the ED
  • From the ED administration viewpoint, a liaison between ED and other sub-specialties utilizing a hub-and-spoke paradigm shift allows for the delivery of more efficient healthcare. With the positive feedback from the administration, ED providers, staff, and patients, integrated MSK-S clinics continue to develop within that VA system.
  • A 2018 review article by Kim et al. called for the use of an MSK-S in the ED and also provided clinical implementation guidance for any healthcare systems looking to adopt a similar practice.

Wow!! That’s pretty cool. Do you know what I did with this? I sent it to my friends in the medical field. Why not? The worst saying in the history of man is “We’ve just always done it that way.” What if there’s a better way? Of course, we know there is. The trick is in getting them to know there is. 

Item #2 Our last one today is called “Integration of Doctors of Chiropractic Into Private Sector Health Care Facilities in the United States: A Descriptive Survey” by Salsbury, et. al`. and published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics in February of 2018. Not new but pairs well with our first item. 

Why They Did It The purpose of this study was to describe the demographic, facility, and practice characteristics of doctors of chiropractic (DCs) working in private sector health care settings in the United States.

How They Did It

  • They conducted an online, cross-sectional survey using a purposive sample of DCs working in integrated health care facilities. 
  • The 36-item survey collected demographic, facility, chiropractic, and interdisciplinary practice characteristics, which were analyzed with descriptive statistics.

What They Found

  • The response rate was 76%
  • Doctors of chiropractic reported working in hospitals (40%)
  • multispecialty offices (21%),
  • ambulatory clinics (16%)
  • or other (21%) health care settings
  • Most (68%) were employees and received a salary
  • More than 60% reported co-management of patients with medical professionals.
  • Integrated DCs most often received and made referrals to primary care, physical medicine, pain medicine, orthopedics, and physical or occupational therapy
  • Although in many facilities the DCs were exclusive providers of spinal manipulation (43%), in most, manipulative therapies also were delivered by physical therapists and osteopathic or medical physicians.

Wrap It Up

Doctors of chiropractic are working in diverse medical settings within the private sector, in close proximity and collaboration with many provider types, suggesting a diverse role for chiropractors within conventional health care facilities. Alright, that’s it. Y’all be safe. Keep changing our profession from your little corner of the world. Keep taking care of yourself and everyone around you. Tough times are upon us but, the sun will shine again. Trust it, believe it, count on it. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week. 

Store Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at       

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The Message I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots. When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few. It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. And, if the patient treats preventatively after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health!

Key Point: At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints…. That’s Chiropractic!

Contact Send us an email at dr dot williams at and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes.  Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms.  We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference. 


We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.


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About the Author & Host Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger  


  • Schielke A, B. A., Walsh R, Rajagopal P, (2020). “Implementation of musculoskeletal specialists in the emergency department at a level A1 VA Hospital during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.” American J Emerg Med.

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