md referrals

Getting Chiropractic Referrals from MD's with Research

Getting referrals from medical doctors with research is one of the most significant untapped chiropractic marketing strategies and opportunities.

But, don't limit your thinking to only medical doctors. We often say "MD Referrals," but you may be looking to build referral relationships with a variety of different healthcare professionals in your community.

Building Your Target List

The first step in getting referrals from other healthcare providers is to build your Target List. Your Target List will contain all of the doctors you are actively reaching out to and will help keep you organized.

If you're a chiropractor focused on pediatrics, you may want to focus your target list on OB-GYN's, midwives, doula's, and pediatricians. If you are more interested in taking care of the Crossfit community, you may choose to target gym owners, personal trainers, and sports medicine physicians.

Once you have created your Target List, then you begin your marketing and outreach.

The Three Steps of Getting MD Referrals

  1. Sending Case Notes

  2. Monthly Research Briefs

  3. MD Meetings

With years of experience and thousands of referrals, we have discovered that a three-legged approach is the most effective when building referral relationships.


The first leg is to begin sending Case Notes to showcase the co-management and results you get with your patients. The second one is sending Research Brief's monthly which we're going to focus on here. The third is setting up and executing MD Meetings, where you have the opportunity to learn more about their practice and how you can help them and their clients achieve better health and wellness.

So why is research so important?

Research is your marketing. It's the only controllable aspect of your marketing, and it provides the consistency needed to get results.

By sending monthly Research Brief, you can guarantee top of mind awareness and positive branding, by positioning your practice. Consistency is the primary factor that drives the success of any marketing program. Monthly Research Briefs give you the chance to have consistency with your message.

Become a doc that is consistent and stays top of mind by sharing the latest research is a unique way to position your self in your local healthcare community. It doesn't require you to resort to cheesy tactics but instead allows you to market your practice in a way that you can be proud of.

Also, by "dripping" research each month, you can create far more impact than you could in a single meeting. As an example, if you meet with a doc, I would not recommend trying to tell them everything they never wanted to know about chiropractic. It's overwhelming and counterproductive.

Your monthly Research Updates drip the information to them every month. These monthly Research Briefs are the perfect tool to disperse an avalanche of pro-chiropractic information over a period of time. That process is way more impactful and effective at building referral relationships.

Research isn't the only way to do it, which is why we have Case Notes showcasing co-management and the great results you get in your practice as well meetings which build trust and rapport.

But remember, 95% of the "sale" in the follow-up. If you rely on only Case Notes and Meetings, you will be missing out on the consistency of your message. With Case Notes, you can't control who walks through your front door; so they ebb and flow with volume and are uncontrollable. Meetings are great, but clearly, you can't personally visit each doctor office on your target list each week.

Your monthly Research Briefs provide a monthly touchpoint, and a controllable marketing asset.


Researchers have produced an abundance of papers supporting chiropractic care as one of the most safe and effective treatment options available, yet we hover at less than 15% utilization because very few of us build a sustainable practice with consistent referrals coming in from other healthcare providers.

It's our job (you and me) to get this information out to the public on our social channels and to the other healthcare providers in our community.

If you'd like more information about how you can systematize and automate that process to get results faster, then become a member of The Evidence Based Chiropractor today.

Ready to grow your referral base? Listen in to The EBC Podcast for weekly research updates and marketing strategies. If you’re ready to grow FASTER- become a member of The Evidence Based Chiropractor today.


The Importance of Refining Your Product and Service- by The Evidence Based Chiropractor

Recently, I was listening to Jason Fried (co-founder of 37Signals/Basecamp) talk about pulling back the lens on product development. While not every chiropractor is developing products; we are certainly all in the service industry. In a practical sense, I think this can be applied to every Chiropractors blog. For instance, why did you choose this brand of a new chiropractic table? What goes into your decision to upgrade the copy/design on your website? I believe that the answers to these questions are important, not only to your patients, but also to other chiropractors struggling with the same questions.

In light on this I want to touch on the evolution of our MD Research Briefs. We did not choose the design out of the sky, but rather it has been a journey. The original design is a distance cousin of our current design. Originally, I had a multipage letter/newsletter hybrid as you can see below.

The design was a bit cumbersome and lacked the elegance I had hoped to achieve. Additionally, one of the biggest challenges in reaching MD's is time. They are completely swamped in practice and probably don't have the time to read multiple pages of text (even if the layout is world class). 

This started the process of our transition to the current format; a single page PDF with a customized header/footer, clear indication of the highlighted study, short and direct analysis, beautiful graphics, and some direct quotes. We have found that this design really fires on all cylinders. 

In 2015, we will continue to explore new design ideas which can improve our message. Simplicity, elegance, and efficiency are the hallmarks of good design. And truthfully, the bottom line is that good design solves problems. The problem we encounter is the inequity of referrals from other health care professionals. I believe we can solve this problem with hard work, persistence, a clear message, and perhaps a little bit of good design. 

-The Evidence Based Chiropractor has assisted hundreds of chiropractors around the globe build interdisciplinary referral relationships.

Have you viewed our FREE Guides?  Download The MD Meeting and the 5 Secrets to MD Referrals today.


Chiropractic Care and the NFL in USA Today

Recently, USA Today featured an article on chiropractic care in NFL. The piece highlights how and why the worlds greatest athletes are seeking alternative care for the treatment of their health concerns. Essentially, the athletes need to heal as quickly as possible and perform with the highest function (performance). I posted a link to this article on my Facebook page and it immediately exploded across the internet.

The most important take away for me was that MD's and DC's are working together, in a very high stakes arena, for the benefit of the patient/athlete. Additionally, the article states that some athletes are seeking out the use of chiropractors as they hear about the results from their colleagues. While not all of us will have the opportunity to work on NFL players; we all can work towards better communication and cooperation with other physicians in our communities for the benefit of our patients. 

-The Evidence Based Chiropractor has assisted hundreds of chiropractors around the globe build interdisciplinary referral relationships.

Have you viewed our FREE Guides?  Download The MD Meeting and the 5 Secrets to MD Referrals today.


Free Chiropractic Marketing Calendar- by The Evidence Based Chiropractor

"What gets measured gets managed."- Peter Drucker

I am sure we are all familiar with the above quote, but have you actually implemented it? Let me ask a simple question- do you like wasting money? I didn't think so.  Chiropractors that carefully track their marketing and outreach stand to make substantially more income than those who choose not to. When items are not tracked, results tend to be esoteric, and revenue slips out the door.

We have put together a complete MD Marketing Calendar and tracking sheet which is available for free right here

Use our Marketing Calendar to maximize your results and-

  • -keep track of your targeted physicians
  • -see the essential practice information at a glance
  • -monitor your monthly "touches"

-The Evidence Based Chiropractor has assisted hundreds of chiropractors around the globe build interdisciplinary referral relationships.

Have you viewed our FREE Guides?  Download The MD Meeting and the 5 Secrets to MD Referrals today.


How to Overcome the 3 Big Obstacles to Chiropractic Referrals- by The Evidence Based Chiropractor

Gaining traction with your MD Marketing

Without a plan, reaching out to medical doctors can be challenging.  Many chiropractors have spent time meeting with MD's only to see little progress in the way of referrals.  Often this is because they don't have a plan!  Like everything in life; when you have a plan and are prepared to execute, you will have far greater odds of success.  Through the years we have found that medical doctors have 3 big obstacles to initiating a chiropractic referral. Today we will touch on these 3 obstacles and how you can overcome them in your conversations. 

#1 - The Never Ending Long Term Treatment Plan

Almost everyone (including your local MD's) have heard stories of patients visiting a chiropractic office for mild low back pain and subsequently being prescribed a course of treatment which lasts months (or even years).  Certainly there is a place for long term care for certain patients.  Additionally, there are patients who are interested in chiropractic maintenance care.  I don't believe anyone would argue that point.  However, many physicians are under the impression, and ultimately fearful of making a referral, if they believe they are sending a patient to a physician who is going to possibly prescribe a long term plan for every patient.  I like to address this directly and let the MD know that ever patient in my office first goes through a initial trial course of care.  At the conclusion of the trial course of care we will re-evaluate and determine the next step.  Typically the trial course of care can run anywhere between 4-12 visits depending upon the presentation of the patient and the diagnosis.   

#2 Lack of Communication

Research shows us the communication between MD's and DC's is inconsistent at best. Case notes are the foundational tools of physician communication.  By simply sending case notes, it is unlikely that you will immediately receive a flood of referrals.  However, when you combine this with your monthly research brief and periodic meetings, you will have a potent combination of outreach and marketing.  Of course, when communicating patient information you must follow all local, state, and federal laws regarding protected health information.  Chiropractors often overcomplicate their case notes.  Simply, the physician wants to know- who? (patient name, date of birth), when? (date of service), what? (chief complaint), how? (plan of care).  This information should take up only a half page or so.  Nearly every EMR system can be programmed to export this data automatically for every new patient visit.  Some systems even allow the ability to fax directly from your workstation.  

When you consistently sending case notes the physician will become familiar with your name.  Additionally, they will begin to identify the great results you are getting in practice when they follow up with the patient!  Again, we have found that the combination of case notes, monthly MD Research Briefs, and periodic physical meetings are a fantastic way to build referral relationships. 

3# The Patient Vortex

Finally, physicians are fearful of patients being taken from their care.  Simply let the doc know that the research shows that patients receive the best results when their primary care physician and chiropractor are work together.  This simply statement shows that you intend to work in a collaborative fashion. 

A Final Word

By addressing these 3 obstacles you will not only "ease" the mind of the potential referring physician, but also professionally position yourself.  Currently, only 11% of Primary Care Physicians report that they have made a formal referral to a chiropractor.  By using the formula above you will be putting your practice in a great position to receive referrals.

Would you like our complete FREE guide to MD Meetings?

In it you will learn

  • -why should I meet with local MD's?
  • -should I provide lunch?
  • -how to set up the meeting
  • -getting prepared for your meeting

Get your copy HERE.

-The Evidence Based Chiropractor has assisted hundreds of chiropractors around the globe build interdisciplinary referral relationships.

Have you viewed our FREE Guides?  Download The MD Meeting and the 5 Secrets to MD Referrals today.