Although artificial intelligence (AI) is grabbing a lot of headlines today, it’s been around for quite some time. As time progresses it becomes more refined, with easier applications that touch much of what we do in our chiropractic offices.
Being a techno-nerd, I grasp everything new to see how it can make my world easier and enhance doctors’ practices at every level, including personal injury. AI providers will claim it can help you with many tasks in the personal-injury field, from note-taking to social media marketing to communication with lawyers, MDs and other referral sources.
On the surface, using AI to help with personal-injury referrals may seem like a no-brainer and a guaranteed boost to your practice. However, the only place AI will help is maybe your notes system and branding your office. It will not help with direct, meaningful referrals, and what it will do is accelerate your prospect of being a “one-and-done” doctor for personal injury referrals.
Why AI won’t get you the personal-injury referrals you want
My extensive market research has seen this play out over the last 23 years: You market extensively to gain the attention of the lawyer; today this could include AI-generated marketing materials designed to get your foot in the door. The lawyer then refers, looks at your work and your credentials and never wants to work with you again.
Market research of more than 1,000 lawyers in 2023 nationally confirmed they do not want the average DC to be involved in their cases unless there is a medical specialist to ensure bodily injuries can be admitted into court records. This is called Voir Dire (expert admissibility standards) in many states, and lawyers are acutely aware of your lack of credentials. Lawyers will maintain superficial professional relationships as much as possible because they want your referrals.
No matter what your marketing efforts, lawyers are coming close to not even wanting your referrals at all, because then they are stuck with you and your subpar notes that too often cost them cases. Most prefer physical therapists with MD specialists. That is the stark reality of my research.
AI is being touted as a sophisticated marketing tool, and it is. It will accelerate the process of destroying relationships, and too many in the industry do not understand the long-term implications of what it will do to you while it tries to sell you its company’s services.
Creating a referral infrastructure is based on your academics, advanced credentials, training in demonstrative documentation, and system to communicate all bodily injuries. This is required before you start marketing your services in the personal-injury industry.
Most doctors over 50 years old understand the pitfalls of trying the shortcuts of marketing as they are firmly rooted in a get-rich-quick scheme and doomed to fail. They know this because most have tried and failed. Too many younger DCs haven’t experienced this failure yet, whereas some, but too few, will not heed this advice and still strive for that “get-rich-quick” scenario anyway, all the time destroying their reputation.
Personal-injury lawyers use microscopes to qualify their experts, as required in the legal industry, and most DCs do not meet the national court standards lawyers are mandated to follow. Using AI to create lawyer-focused marketing materials when you and your qualifications can’t stand up to that level of scrutiny just equals a big waste of time and money for everyone.
Reject the shortcuts and reap the rewards
It is common in chiropractic practices for DCs who have followed the above advice to avoid the shortcuts to get 50-75 new personal injury cases per month. Many of those DCs turn away dozens of cases every month because they simply don’t like the lawyer and their practices. A DC does not have to settle for 50%of their bill, and the lawyers working with these highly credentialed DCs no longer ask them to reduce their bills because they need these doctors and do not want to injure the relationship.
A little bit of work and focus early on will pay dividends for the rest of your career as a DC, provided you have a business system behind your personal-injury practice.
Enough with the gimmicks
Breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings, gift baskets, tickets to ball games and theaters, golf outings, advertisements, research articles, social media marketing, and yes, artificial intelligence to help create relationships, and any other gimmick to get new patients will not only fail, but hurt you in the long run should you not be prepared. It can be catastrophic for your career to be a one-and-done with the lawyer, so you need to do everything within your power to avoid that.
Unless your referral sources are running after you because you are the solution to their business with lawyers, or with MDs because you are their solution to their patients, , you will forever struggle to grow your practice.
I urge you, at the highest level to avoid any program, no matter how sophisticated, that supports those “get rich quick programs.” In the end, it can cost you your reputation, and a lot of wasted money and time. Get smarter, better credentials, a system to learn how to communicate better, and build a sustainable, winning formula that will follow you for the balance of your career.
MARK STUDIN, DC, FPSC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, is an adjunct assistant professor of the University of Bridgeport, School of Chiropractic and an adjunct post-doctoral professor at Cleveland University-Kansas City, College of Chiropractic. He is a clinical instructor at The State University of New York at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Office of Continuing Medical Education. He also earned his Fellowship in Primary Spine Care certified in joint providership from The State University of New York at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Office of Continuing Medical Education, and Cleveland University Kansas City, College of Chiropractic. He also runs the Academy of Chiropractic’s Personal Injury Program. He can be reached at 631-786-4253 or DrMark@AcademyOfChiropractic.com.