(Part 1-2) New Healthcare Trends You Need to be Aware of (and Analogies that help you!)

The last few years it seems like I’ve just been devouring information as fast as I can get it. I have become a super fan of podcasts and listen to about seven or eight different ones on my commute to work most days.  I also read a lot.

Over the last 5 years, I feel like I’ve become a professional at gaining intel.  I seek out ideas that are easy to understand and simple to remember.  The information and people I keep going back to offer a BETTER system.  It makes sense FASTER.

They have better information and often, I find they use Analogies to help make a point and show a new way of organizing old information so I can relate.   

The brain LOVES making these connections.   It’s easier recall for the next time you need it and uses experiences to form that “a-ha” moment that spurs new learning.

I want these articles to be that for you.   

Basically…

“Here’s what’s new in Healthcare and WHY”

“Here’s what the old way was.”

“Here’s an analogy from another field that might make this idea STICK.”

Then, if you have an interest in any of these topics based on my brief ideas you can dig deeper.  Because tip 5 will tell you.  This stuff…this health thing, it’s on you.  It’s not your doctor’s, therapist’s, or chiro’s job.

In all the intel I try to gain, a simple backstory to set the scene nearly always helps new ideas gain a foothold so that’s what you can expect today.    My 2-minute preface and then a list of new things you, your doctor, your family and those you care about need to understand in order for everyone to move forward with the tidal wave of changing healthcare.

Preface: 

My day job is: I’m a sports-based chiropractor.  My day-to-day job has changed significantly over the last two or three years.   I find myself nearly 10 times a day saying to clients, “ Yes, I am a chiropractor by training but the entire field has changed a lot and basically I am doing sports-med all day long.”   For most things I see in a day, I’m a doctor first.  Exam, diagnose, and educate.   Then I switch to a pain control Guy.   Typically, I get into some therapies and ideas.  That’s when I lose ‘em.   Patients want a “crack” from their chiropractor. Not doctoring. the problem is that the pops and cracks without the doctoring won’t work.

 My day-to-day stuff looks nearly nothing like a Tik-Tok video of chiropractors popping backs and necks.   

A typical day for me would be working on sprained ankles, pulled hamstring, sore shoulders in boxers and baseball players as well as traditional Chiropractic things like sore back and necks.   I “crack and pop.”  But, It’s not a real big part of the job.  It’s just a quick way to restore mobility if something isn’t moving right.  It’s rarely about “alignment” or your hips not being higher than the other.  

Many clients don’t know this or even want what I’m bringing.  They want the pop.   It’s been stressful for me. I never know what hat I’m wearing with each given patient.   Am I their chiropractor, their rehab specialist, the personal trainer, the examining doctor similar to what you’d find in a minor ER, or am I a psychologist?     Many times I have to be multiple labels at the same time.   I can see why many in my field and similar fields have gone back to the “straight Chiro” label, where they are comfortable just working the spine.   It’s what our profession was based on.   It is kind of what the general public is expecting.   And let’s get real,  it’s just simple.  I’m not saying being a chiropractor is simple.  You still have to know exactly what to do and precisely how to do it.  What I’m saying is you don’t have to guess what the patient is looking for each and every time. There is a different level of Doctoring involved when you are just focusing on being a spinal guy.    

I know for a fact it’s the same fight and stress for Athletic Trainers and PT’s because we’re doing the same stuff.    I know it’s the same fight for general medical doctors because they see it all.  I talk to my friends that are cancer specialists, radiologists, and surgeons.   My cops, my teachers, my coaches, my landscape guys.   We all fight this misconception and identity crisis.

Analogy: It’s the classic meme that I have people look up when I lecture. This is my job, this is what mom thinks I do, this is what I think I do, this is what my spouse thinks I do.   We all HAVE this.

it’s time to look up your profession.

Like I said  “Analogies.”  

 The analogy for what has happened to sports med fields in the last 10 years is “construction.”    

If you want to build a house you are going to find someone who is probably very good at all kinds of household projects.    Someone that can design,  lay a foundation,  build walls,  run plumbing,  design electrical systems,  air conditioning systems,  do insulation, and lay drywall.     There are people like that, all over the place.   That’s not the best way to build a house, however.  It’s a terrible idea/

Typically, you’ll get a GC. (general contractor.)   A GC is a person that knows about all of these, has the experience, and COULD do all those things, but is also smart enough to understand that they can’t be a specialist at every single one of these distinctly different skills.  Also, they understand, if they try to, it is the slowest possible way to build a house. So they hire out specialists.   Dry Wall specialists, painters, Electricians etc.

Easy to understand.   

  1. Modern Doctoring is like this.  Specialists, not their namesake, but their day to day job.

 Everything is specialists.  Muscle guys, Joint Guys, Radiologists, Surgeons, OB’s, trainers and sports performance people that understand running, and dieting for performance or for weight loss.   AND understand that those tiny differences make a HUGE difference in the advice they give.   You get it.     Not everyone can be a GC doctor. Most probably shouldn’t, and you wouldn’t want that anyway.  

This idea though.  It just hasn’t really caught on yet. I see patients getting very frustrated when they have to go from doctor to doctor and when they get advice that is conflicting with the next guy.   Why just today I told more than 3 different clients the advice and treatment they are using is incorrect and slowing their recovery. 

It’s expensive, it is time-consuming. But understand your doctors are trying to get you to the right people.   Your “specialist” may not be the right person.

There is a flip side to this.   Doctors are still very hesitant to say, “I don’t know.”  So, oftentimes they don’t so they that but that’s their intent when they tell you to see someone else.  They are hoping is better at analyzing. 

Hierarchy of Medicine

analogy:

Think CEO/High-level admin/desk worker/call center/ and janitor in an office building.

This is important for you to understand because over the last 50 years there has definitely been a  Hierarchy with doctors.    Because orthopedic surgery or neurosurgery is typically the biggest procedure a human will have to have done on their body,  They have become the king of the doctor world.  This is not undeserved.   If I needed a brain surgeon,  I want that guy to be ass-kicking good.

The problem arises when you use these guys for non-surgical issues.  It’s out of their wheelhouse. A strained muscle is not a surgical condition. “My knee hurts when I run” is not an ortho diagnostic skill.  But yet, much of the public assumes that the orthopedic surgeon is the best person to see for this.  In fact, nearly every professional sports team still utilizes orthos and neuros as their “medical director.”  Despite 90% of the injuries being probably best suited for an Athletic Trainer or sports med clinician (regardless of title.)   

 So just get this. The surgeon’s job is to be fantastic at surgery.    Many times, they aren’t really sure what to do when it is a therapy situation. Their default is to send you to a therapist or someone like me that specializes in that kind of injury.   

That thought process just hasn’t trickled down to the public yet.   In all honesty,  it hasn’t trickled into the medical field yet either. As much as I love surgeons and I talk to them on a day-to-day basis, very few of them realize there are about a dozen different specialists in the “therapy world.”  Their default is to just “send them to PT” never realizing PT is also specialized.   Yes, it’s confusing but they are not all the same.   PT’s develop specialties such as knee rehab after surgery, sports performance, diagnostics, research, etc.  Often times PTs are overburdened and overworked and are being consumed by insurance companies.   

In the analogy I present as a business structure.  Not only is the CEO not the right employee for fixing the leaky toilet and cleaning the work area at the end of the day, but she’s also terrible at those jobs because it’s not her day-to-day specialty.   Likewise, The janitor isn’t firing the new Intern nor is the computer company analyst making the decision to merge with the corporation across town.   

What this means for you is that you have to ask a better question.   Stop asking your surgeon “What’s the best rehab for my pulled calf muscle?”  By default, unless they are completely nerded out and Geeky about what is the latest in greatest in a field {similar to theirs} but not theirs, their info is whatever they learned in grad school or perhaps worse, a personal opinion.

The same is true with your general Practice Medical doctor.  That person is your GC. Very well rounded, but much of their medical information on things, not their specialty, is going to be whatever drug reps visited them last and things they’ve picked up in continuing education seminars. 

For instance, Doctors are insanely busy in their practice and tend not to research and dive into deep journals about the latest drug interactions.    They do this in their personal specialty field, but not every field.   Don’t be mad about this.  Stated differently. A family practice MD is very well rounded but typically is seeing colds/flu’s/covid and back pain. 90% of what constitutes “trips to the doctor.” So they likewise may not be the expert you’re looking for on diet advice to lose weight and what exercise plan will help the back pain go away. They are good at treatment, that’s their specialty. Lifestyle changes needed to change your future? Maybe not.

Analogy: Coaching.

 I wouldn’t expect a high school basketball coach to explain to me the latest ideas on a cover zero defensive rollover from a free safety in football. Those are Different sports.   Does the basketball coach know about football?  Sure, probably much more than most fans, but is it the right person?

This is why, when people come to me and asked me about the medicines they are taking I tell him their best bet is to talk to a pharmacist. Those are the guys that specialize in toxicology and help medicines interact. Everybody has a specialty.

Doctors and you as clients, need to find specialists in the field you are looking for.

  1.  Traditional ideas about “How the body works” are changing.

 In the United States and most western medicine, we are taught our anatomy as we are going through doctor schools.  Separate muscles, separate systems, separate nerve intervention, and then at the end are told how they all work together. 

When we start studying muscles,  we learn their attachment points, their nerve intervention, and what happens when that muscle fires.

For instance, the bicep will make your forearm Flex towards your shoulder.   This gets very deep and even a simple move like a bicep curl can be described for hours.  

When you start getting to how digestion works, or circulation and oxygen to cells…seriously deep stuff. 

It is a tried-and-true method and has been used for a couple of hundred years. It isn’t changing.

 But it does have a weak point.    Very rarely does it discuss how the entire body, not strictly anatomy and physiology works together.  It doesn’t give Credence to how a person’s psychology can affect their digestion.  Or reversely how the gut seems to truly be a second brain.    Or how when a person is in pain,  is more difficult to learn something new.   It doesn’t account for things like the “Flow State” or even really how you can’t squat correctly if your big toe isn’t moving right.  

These and millions more “whole body ideas” ARE being looked at now.  There is a new mountain of information tying the body, as a whole together in new and exciting ways.   This is some of the stuff that would have been looked at as alternative medicine even a decade ago and now it’s becoming hot new fields.   

These fields are no longer considered “alternative” and by the end of the next decade you will see an entirely gigantic Chasm split of doctors who are up-to-date with the new information and some from the old school, that being those that can’t seem to digest the body is much more than simply the sum of its parts.

“It’s all connected” makes sense for everyone.   Everyone, clients, doctors, and your grandmother all seem to understand that the calf muscle, if not working correctly affects the way you run and can eventually even give you headaches or any type of upper-body issue.    I think the big change happening is “it’s all connected”  has an entirely modern look.  Not just Anatomy but how the digestive system is connected to the hormonal system which is connected to the brain response which is connected to pain and fat storage to even emotional reactions in our physiological response.   If we thought basic anatomy from our first year of graduate school was difficult, the new way of seeing the body as a whole is incredibly deep. 

 You can go on forever and ever and I just forsee more and more specialists that become deeper in their understanding yet can become more General in their visualization of the body. As Naveen Jain states: It’s Food, sleep, stress, and Exercise. These 4 each change how you live well or dont. And they work together.

My analogy.

Computers in cars.

Modern automotive is awesome.    A computer runs the show.   It makes my speed and lane changes a breeze and talks to my car so that the fuel is always perfectly ratioed to maintain mileage.  It tells my screen when my tires are low and I can lock the doors from my phone.   But man….when a sensor is off- all kinds of weird stuff happens.   Why can’t I shift from park to drive?   Why does it say my oil is low when it’s not and dude, seriously..why does only one side of the windshield washer work.    

“It’s all connected.”  Faulty information from one system makes the computer make changes based on the signs it’s reading.   It’s difficult and connected differently than the cars of the 1960s.

Researchers, professors, experimenters, and practitioners in the field are realizing that we are connected differently than we thought in the 1960s.

Two really cool ideas, the Joint by Joint Approach and Body Mapping have changed my practice in the last two years significantly.   

These two are enough for this week’s episode. Stay tuned, next week I’ll discuss new ways diseases are being looked at how Diet and the applications for using diet (not eliminating but what to add) to stop disease before it starts have radically changed in the last 12 months.

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