Daniel: Welcome to “The Future Adjustment,” Chiropractics Economics’ podcast series on what’s new and notable in the world of chiropractic. I’m Daniel Sosnoski the editor-in-chief of Chiropractic Economics. And our guest today is Alex Vidan, DC, the owner of Vidan Family Chiropractic in St. Louis. In addition to his doctorate from Logan, he also holds a degree in Kinesiology from Louisiana State University. He served as the team chiropractor for the St. Louis Cardinals during their World Series win and he worked with the St. Louis Rams cheerleaders prior to their move to LA. He’s also been on the news as a health and wellness contributor over 200 times and he’s here to share with us his insights on techniques for new patient acquisition. Welcome to “The Future Adjustment” Dr. Vidan. I understand you were a speaker at Parker seminars this year at Las Vegas.
Dr. Vidan: I was. Well, you know, first I wanna say, thank you for having me. And yeah, I’m really looking forward to be a part of this. Yeah, I was a speaker at Parker, they did a great job, you know, they had over 3,000 people there in attendance. So it was great to get to reach so many people.
Daniel: Wow, that must be really something to be looking out at a room full of your peers.
Dr. Vidan: Yes, it certainly was.
Daniel: I get butterflies every time. Can you tell us about how you came to formulate your talk that you gave there that was titled, “Unlocking the New Untapped Market for New Patients.”
Dr. Vidan: Yeah. So, I really wanted it to be a talk that was something that people could take and use and implement some things and make it really action oriented. So the first idea was, look, what is it that’s something that’s a topic that we can touch on to help docs get new patients and then what are action steps that they can take right away. So that was the whole formula for the talk. It was here it is, take action and do these things. So we talked about it from the aspect of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, it’s a huge market that’s out there and it’s the actually the second largest musculoskeletal disorder that there is and it’s a vastly untapped market that a lot of people just don’t know how to get into, but they want to do it once they find out more about it so they can help more people in their community.
Daniel: Yeah. I know a few people who have that and it’s very troublesome when they go to the dentist you know, it causes them no matter of…also what you were talking about with your talk you know, we do the same thing here at the magazine. We try to make every article, give you something that you can like use right away. Try to do that with the podcast as well.
Dr. Vidan: Sure. And that’s what I like, you know, whenever I spend my, invest my time into something I want to make sure that it’s something that what am I gonna be able to glean from this. What am I gonna be able to learn from this, so that I can then expand myself and make myself better, whatever it is, and I like those kind of things. So I like to give anybody that’s listening to me those kind of options too.
Daniel: Okay. Well, you know, since you were talking about that subject there, what does the research tell us about temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJD?
Dr. Vidan: Yeah. So the research basically lies into the fact that, number one, it’s vastly underserved. Number two, it’s a huge market. And then number three, that we can be as chiropractors, that we can be perfectly positioned in order to help these people. I mean, that’s really what everything points to. We just have to know what do I do? How is it that I speak to the other oral care professionals? How is it that I speak to my patients? How is it that I let people know how is that we do it and then main thing is how do I deliver the goods? So how do I actually help my patients do this?
Daniel: Yeah, you know, when I visit my dentist, usually somewhere in the line of sight or the chair there’s a sign on the wall that’ll say things like, do you suffer from sleep apnea? You know, ask your dentist, you know, is that the kind of thing where you might put some signage in your practice and say, you know…
Dr. Vidan: That’s one aspect. I say this, I say, utilize whatever works best for you. So here, I’ll give a couple of things. So number one is, yeah, you can put a sign out there. Number two, you can send an email out to all of your patient base, letting them know this is what we do. Because I know right now that there’s some doc that’s out there listening to this, that’s saying, “You know what, I’ve experienced that same thing whenever Sally came in, she told me that she had this problem with her wrist and she never ever thought to mention it to me. And then she went someplace else. And I told her, you know, I take care of wrists too like, I can help you with that. And she had no idea right?” So a lot of times it’s just about educating our patient base in our community. So, signs, making sure that you talking with them, emailing, then also you’ve got to get out into your community. So we’ve got to get outside of our four walls to get the message out there to more people. So whether or not that’s through social media, through actually getting out in front of other oral care providers. Like, what are those action steps gonna be in order to make that happen? So if you’d like, I can give you one strategy. And you can use this for temporomandibular joint dysfunction, you can use this for, if you like, taking care of whatever else it is. So you just plug it in, plug and play. So let’s say that you have a patient that comes in and for this example, we’ll say that it’s TMJD.
And you’ve heard me say, TMJD, it’s just temporomandibular joint dysfunction. It’s just a diagnosis and what it looks like. It’s what the patient’s dealing with. And it’s a universal kind of a way of speaking the same language as an oral care provider. So a patient comes in, they mentioned to you somewhere along the way that they have jaw complaints, they have jaw pain, so then you say, “What are you currently doing?” So you’re gonna ask the patient this, you’re gonna say, “What are you currently doing to help with your temporomandibular joint dysfunction or your TMJ issues?” And they’re gonna say, “Oh, I’m seeing Doctor-Dentist.” Okay. And what has Doctor-Dentist done so far? “Well, Doctor-Dentist gave me this splint or this appliance and you know, he’s done some injections or he’s given me this medication to help with it. But it’s still there.”
Okay. Would you mind, because I have training on helping people with TMJD issues, would you mind if I reached out to Doctor-Dentist to find out what he or she is doing to help you and see if there’s a way that he and I can work together to get you the results that you want?
Daniel: That’s a really great strategy. I really like that a lot.
Dr. Vidan: Thank you. And that’s one that just…I’ve never had a single patient. I’ve never heard of a single doc, whenever I’ve posed that to them as something to do, because we all want help, right? Like, if you’ve got a problem, and you’re saying that you’re gonna reach out to my dentist in order to help me. Wow, that’s a huge win for me. So and most patients will say, “You’d would do that for me? Yeah, absolutely I will. I’ll do that. And then we have our strategies to do that too, and how we reach out to them and what we do. So, that’s just kind of one nugget of what you can do and we can go further into it. But I just wanted to give like that’s something that you can do right away whether or not you’re looking at TMJD issues or anything else that you want to focus on.
Daniel: You know, what’s so awesome about this strategy that you’ve explained very succinctly here is that, the problem that DCs have reputation wise in the medical community often stems from cases where a DC has tried to poach another provider’s patient. And so that builds walls of distrust, you know, and when the DC reaches out the forms of collaboration with another member of the healthcare community, you’re starting to build a source of referrals, you’re starting to improve your stature in the community, you’re mainstreaming chira. I mean, it’s just a win-win.
Dr. Vidan: It’s a win across the board. I completely agree. I like to make my conversations very inclusive, not exclusive. And so if I can include other people into that conversation they win because they’re gonna be able to give valuable information. And I win, because I’m gonna give valuable information. And then we’re going to work together in order to get this patient what it is that they want. And, when we think about it from that perspective, that’s what we ultimately all want. Like, we all want to be able to help our community and be able to help people. And if we can work in a team environment to do that, that’s pretty cool, too.
Daniel: Yeah. So, there’s a place where the joint in the jaw kind of fits into the, the socket of the skull, and there’s, I think, like a ligament or tendon there that kind of…
Dr. Vidan: There’s a couple. Yeah, so there’s the condylar head is what you’re talking about, and then it sits within a fossa and so the fossa sits in there and it has a couple of different things that attached to it as well. And so we have a disc that’s in there that creates space in between the condylar and the fossa. And then we also have muscles and ligaments that attach into there directly onto the condylar head as well as on to the disc.
Daniel: Right. And, so when there’s like, I guess what is it inflammation? Is there is that what causes TMJ?
Dr. Vidan: Well there can be. So TMJ can be caused from either an injury, a direct trauma or several micro-traumas overtime. So you mentioned whenever my friends, they have TMJ issues, they go to their oral care provider, and then it really flares up. And it causes a lot of problem for them. Well, there’s usually that there was already an underlying issue that was there that was just made worse by them having to keep their mouth open for a period of time. Now, that may have come from the fact that they had an old injury that happened years ago, OR they got into a car accident and they clinch their jaw whenever they got in that accident, and it caused problems there in their jaw too, and we just kind of low lying, it could also be from micro-trauma. So from the fact that when you’re constantly having what’s called bruxism, that means that you’re clenching your jaw and as you’re constantly clenching that jaw you’re causing tension to happen within that area too. All of those things are things that we can do to help with that, as long as it’s done in a specific way to get the patient the results that they want and it has to be done quickly.
Daniel: What are some ways that a chiropractor can help treat this condition?
Dr. Vidan: Sure. So, what you wanna do is, you wanna make sure that you’re addressing the joint itself. So, the joint meaning, your cervical spine. So, you wanna make sure, hey, look, I’m gonna check and make sure that we’re addressing the subluxations that are there, the fixations that are there as well. Anything else that’s associated with that, in that cervical spine. So in that cervical spine, quite often I see problems that are at C2 and C5 that are associated with TMJ issues. So there’s that.
The other thing is we have to address is, there a problem within the joint within the condylar head that’s not moving and functioning correctly, too. So we have to be able to adjust that. And then we have to be able to look at too, the muscular component. And so when we’re looking at the muscular component, we’ve got to make sure we get that settled down as well. And then we’ve got to look at on the back end, now, what are you doing on a repetitive daily basis in order to… As in the patient, what are they doing on a repetitive daily basis that we’ve got to address there to make sure that this doesn’t keep on coming back around right?
Daniel: Like, if the person’s like grinding their teeth in their sleep or something?
Dr. Vidan: If they’re grinding their teeth, or believe it or not, I’ve had patients that just love to chew gum. And that doesn’t seem to be right whenever you have a jaw problem and you’re constantly…right? But at the time I patients that, look, I don’t do any of that stuff. But my job requires that I’m in sales. So I have to speak all the time. A lot of problems there in my jaw.
Well, then we have to figure out new strategies in order to help them get the results that they want in order to then take care of everything.
Daniel: Wow. So that’s actually a lot of stuff you’re bringing to the table. So you’re looking you’re looking at the adjustment to help, you’re looking at the musculoskeletal system as a whole, you’re looking at environmental, ergonomic factors.
Dr. Vidan: All those things. Yeah. And so the way that I teach docs how to do it, as I say, look, we can do this in 30 to 90 seconds total. And you know, usually it’s closer to 30 seconds on top of what you’re already doing with your adjustment. I realized whenever I say that to people, they’re like, there’s no way. I don’t see how you can do that. But if you’re doing it right, and you’ve got everything just brought right to the meat of it, you can get right to the point rather quickly, right? So you can get valuable information and you can get everything taken care of very, very quickly and not do all the other fluff that isn’t really needed. So, that’s what we do.
Daniel: You know, one thing that I was really impressed by in your background is that you have done this thing that we have been hammering DCs to do in virtually every issue of my magazine. At some place it says, you got to establish yourself as the go to wellness expert. When your local TV station wants, you know, someone to talk about, you know, gardening tips to save your back or backpacks, they come to you. How did you establish that relationship?
Dr. Vidan: Man. So I’ve been doing that over a decade now. And I’ve been very fortunate to get to do it, not only here in the United States, but in other countries as well. I’ve been on the news there too. And so the way that it happened was is that 10 years ago, it was more different getting on the news that it is today. As in it was harder 10 years ago as in the strategies that you have to use. But today, it’s harder because the fact that there’s so much attention there, as in, there’s so many people trying to get on, all right. So, I said a lot there.
But the way that it worked for me was I just kept on coming to them with bringing value to the table. I kept coming to them with trying to bring value and determination. I’m one of those people that’s very persistent. And so I find that persistence pays so I just kept coming to them with valuable information, valuable content that I thought like, man, people have to know this and I had it deep seated into me, my why was really, really big in the fact that the reason I got into chiropractic was because of injuries that I had. And then I found out about chiropractic and I always thought to myself, whenever I become a chiropractor, I’m gonna make sure my entire community and as many people as I can know about this because this stuff is too good not to know.
And, so I love your strategy there too. It’s look, you wanna be the go-to person in your community to ensure that people know like, this is where I’ve got to go and this is what I’ve got… And we have to share our message. Our message is far too important to not be shared all over the place and I find the news as an extremely beneficial distribution channel to do that. Because they’ve already…I look at it this way, is it easier to host the party or is easier show up to the party, right? It’s much easier to show up to the party.
Well, the new station’s already hosting the biggest party in town because they’ve already got the vast mass distribution channel of 100,000, a million whatever it is in your community that people are watching. So, why not be there where the eyeballs are? The eyeballs are there, just be there.
Daniel: Do you get business from that? Do patients show up and say, “Oh, I saw you on TV,” and [inaudible 00:14:43]?
Dr. Vidan: Absolutely, yeah. We get new patients from that from being on the news. We get new patients from how we do everything on the backend of that in order to continually like get the message out there more and more. I mean, we’re constant and I always feel like there’s so much that we’re doing and I feel like man, we just gotta keep on doing it because our message is too powerful. You know, I got a call from Hawaii from somebody that saw one of our things on the news, I got a call from somebody from Germany that reached out to me that saw something on the news that we did. You know, this is all over the place and people are searching, they’re looking, and they’re wondering, where can I go to get what you just talked about.
Daniel: So you can go to any of your local media’s web pages, and you can send an informational sheet to their to the news producers, the directors, the editors is that is that kind of your technique? And then at the bottom, you say, I’m available to talk on this topic.
Dr. Vidan: That’s part of it. So that’s part of it. But the problem is that, they don’t give you, they don’t willfully give you, “Well, these are the people that you need to talk to.” So what they give you on those pages, it’s usually much harder than that. So what they give you on the pages is kind of what I call the black hole. They give you the black hole but guess what? They’re getting pitched to, they’re getting the story ideas to them a thousand times a day, right? Or you know. And so it just goes into a black hole. And whenever it goes into the black hole, nothing stands out. And so you’ve got to make sure like your content has to jump out to them. It has to be sticky. It has to get to the right people that actually need to see it. And there’s a whole backend strategy that I worked really hard on getting docs in order to make that happen. But yeah, I mean, they’re looking for you. They just don’t know that you’re out there because you don’t know how to connect with them. And your community is looking for you. They just don’t know that you’re out there. You’re the best kept secret in town. And that’s the problem. So we’ve got to get you from obscurity into authority. So that then…so that’s my whole thing. My whole thing is built on let’s get you from obscurity into a point of authority so that then you become the go-to chiropractor in your town.
Daniel: Yeah, you know, I think you, you know, you teach techniques along these lines, as well as how to provide specialized treatment for TMJ and an educational website you put together called drtmjd.com.
And you know, is that where any of our listeners should go if they wanna learn more about what you’re doing?
Dr. Vidan: If you want to learn more about the TMJD side, that’s definitely drtmjdcom.com, just like you said, and thank you for that. I definitely appreciate that. If they wanna learn more about…
Daniel: Sounds like you just got way too much to deliver that we can fully unpack today.
Dr. Vidan: Well, and that’s it too, right? So, there’s so many things and I love our profession. I love what we’re doing. I love how we get to help and it is my like, it’s my personal mission to get as many chiropractors out there on the news and help them open up more markets and do those kind of things that are out there so that’s why we have TicTV too. So we’ve got tictv.rocks, if they wanna learn about getting on the news, it’s, T-I-C tv.rocks. And we talked about this is how you get on the news and were getting chiropractors on the news from LA to New York to small markets as well. So, and we love it.
Daniel: Well, fantastic. I mean, if you’re gonna talk the tic, that’s where to do it.
Dr. Vidan: That the place, you’re right. I agree.
Daniel: All right. Well, Dr. Vidan. I wanna thank you so much for spending this time with us today. This has been eye-opening and informative. And you’ve given us an expansive look at “The Future Adjustments.”
I’m Daniel Sosnoski, and we’ll see you next time.