Several educational institutions offer continuing education courses focusing on differential diagnosis
Differential diagnosis involves looking at a patient’s symptoms, then considering what conditions could be causing those effects based on their health history, a physical exam, and the results of any diagnostic tests.
The more expansive a practitioner’s knowledge when creating a list of potential diagnoses, the greater their ability to uncover and eventually resolve the root cause of the patient’s issues. One way to achieve this higher level of knowledge — and expand your practice — is through continuing education courses.
Differential diagnosis course options
Several educational institutions offer continuing education courses focusing on differential diagnosis.
Here are a few that are available online and designed specifically for doctors of chiropractic:
- Practice Pearls: Differential Diagnosis for the Modern Chiropractor Part 1, Palmer College of Chiropractic. This continuing education course looks at the clinical presentation and pitfalls of various health conditions, some of which include uncommon headaches, upper cervical instability, and epicondylitis.
- Practice Pearls: Differential Diagnosis for the Modern Chiropractor Part 2, Palmer College of Chiropractic. In part 2 of this continuing education course, practitioners learn the clinical presentations and pitfalls of additional conditions, such as sacroiliac hypermobility, low back pain with an infectious etiology, and central sensitization. It also discusses shockwave and pressure wave therapy, and genetic scoliosis tests.
- “Sciatica” and Differential Diagnosis Webinar, Northwestern Health Sciences University. The first step to treating sciatica is diagnosing this condition correctly. In this course, you learn how to develop a differential diagnosis, then use that information to create an evidence-based care plan.
- Differential Diagnosis of the Painful Pink Eye, Palmer College of Chiropractic. This course covers various types of conjunctivitis (viral, bacterial, allergic, etc.), their causes, symptoms, and how to manage these conditions.
- A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On: Differential Diagnosing and Treating Tremors, Northeast College. In this course, practitioners learn about the many different types of tremors, differential diagnosis of these conditions, and potential treatments.
- X-Ray and MRI Interpretation, Chiropractic Online CE as sponsored by Life Chiropractic College West. While this online course covers lumbar disc herniation and fractures of the ankles and wrists, it also dedicates a full unit to the differential diagnosis of bone tumors.
Deciding the right course for you
With so many options from which to choose, it can be difficult to decide which differential diagnosis continuing education course to take. There is no one-size-fits-all answer as the course that is best-suited for you can depend on a variety of factors, such as:
- Your interests. While you can take a course that you’re not passionate about, having a certain level of interest in the topic can make the process of learning more enjoyable.
- Your skills. Some courses may better complement your current skillsets than others, making them a more natural choice as they allow you to build on your skills and strengths even more.
- Your patients. Are there any differential diagnosis courses that may be better suited for your patient demographic? Making your decision based on this can help in your practice expansion by increasing your appeal to your target patient base.
- Availability. All the above courses are available online, making it easy to learn about differential diagnosis when it is most convenient for you. If you’d rather take these types of courses in person, check with your local continuing education providers to learn whether they offer any options in your geographical area.
Value of continuing education
Staying current with continuing education hours is needed to satisfy chiropractic licensing requirements, which vary by state. These courses also increase your knowledge in various areas, providing the skills and information needed to apply different diagnostic techniques.
These techniques can help expand your practice by appealing to a wider patient base. They can also be used to boost revenue, whether by enabling you to raise your current prices to better match the increased value you offer or by providing these newly acquired diagnostics as add-on services.