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January, 2003, Vol. 04, Issue 01
By Editorial Staff
The Acupuncture Poll's question for October 2002 was:
"Has a medical doctor or chiropractor ever referred a patient to you for treatment?"
Results are as follows:
These results are based upon 233 responses. As this is a voluntary, non-scientific survey, caution should be used in generalizing the results. Here is a sample of the comments made by those who took the survey and how they voted:
Yes: I have developed a rapport with a local chiropractor and she refers me a new patient at least once every two weeks (and sometimes more often). I am also a registered nurse and have talked to several MDs at the hospital where I work. There is one EMT who sees me as a patient and also refers patients. I find if you send an information sheet and follow up with a phone call, you can open the door for referrals.
No: My experience may be biased, but it seems to me some doctors are more concerned about dollars than their patients' well-being. They would rather do a weekend course and offer their own unqualified efforts than see their patient go to an acupuncturist. However, I know this is not always the case.
Yes: Before I opened my practice in a small town in Pennsylvania, I visited many of the MDs and DOs in the area. I spoke to service organizations (with MD members) and generally made my presence known to local nurses. Since I have been treating patients here, about a third of my new patients come from MDs or nurses in their offices. Once the nurses come in for treatment, they refer.
Yes: Not only have I had many referrals from doctors and chiropractors, I treat one doctor and several chiropractors, and their families and patients. As long as they don't perceive you as competing with them for patients, they needn't feel threatened.
Yes: Yes, all the time. I also get a lot of cases for workers' compensation referred by MDs, chiropractors, Dos and other licensed professionals.
Yes: I practice at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where the majority of my patients are referred by their physician. I also refer to MDs on a regular basis myself.
No: I have referred many patients to a chiropractor or MD. None have ever referred patients to me.