Friday, June 09, 2006

No Cervical Cancer for Your Daughter

Big big news (and controversy) these last few days with the news of a cervical cancer vaccine set to be released by early 2007. The vaccine, named Gardasil, is expecting a speedy FDA approval. It reportedly works remarkably well, 100% effective. Here's a brief overview on the topic.

Cervical Cancer

  • Affects 10,000 in US and 500,000 worldwide annually
  • Most commonly (70%) caused by HPV virus
  • Second-most common type of cancer in women world wide
  • Second-most common cause of cancer death in women world wide
  • Less common cause of death in US because of early detection
  • It's the major reason behind performing annual Pap smear tests
New Vaccine: Gardasil

  • Attacks the two most common strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer
  • Also attacks strains of HPV that cause genital warts
  • May also aid in preventing vaginal and vulvar cancer
  • Should be injected in girls before they become sexually active
  • Current estimated cost is $360 each
Big Controversy

  • Will it give teenage girls a false sense of security?
  • Are parents inadvertently promoting teenage sex?
Other Questions to Ponder

  • Like other vaccines, will there be a need for booster shots?
  • How frequent?
  • What is the most effective time to inject the vaccine? (Current guess is age 12)
  • What about the other causes of cervical cancer?
  • Unknown long term side-effects
It's exciting times, no matter how you feel about this vaccine. Whether it delivers what it promises, it sure will cause quite a stir for the next 2 years. More news will pop up as similar vaccines hit the market. Be prepared to engage in multiple conversations on the topic. Start reading up now before you fall behind.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Athletes and Chiropractic Merge

I'm a huge sports nut. I know an insane amount of sports. You want go toe-to-toe in sports trivia? Bring it on. Through the years of reading various esoteric barely relevant sports articles, I've come across many articles that mentioned chiropractic treatment for some star athletes.

This comes to mind as the NBA Finals are just about to tip-off. Two weeks ago when Steve Nash was suffering from back spasms, it was reported live on TNT as they were warming up that Nash had received treatment from a chiropractor. The body responded and it never became much of an issue again. From time to time, these storylines will pop up, usually during some championship game. I remember just before the past Super Bowl, Jerome Bettis was quoted in an article how much chiropractic helped preserve his body.

The most memorable article I've come across in the past few years was an interview of Michael Strahan. He was complaining that there were still some teams in the NFL who don't provide a team chiropractor. He thought those teams were behind the times, and simply just didn't care that much for their players. I got a big kick out of that one. Strahan visits a chiropractor regularly as a result of the rigors of pro football.

Unfortunately, I can't find these articles online anymore. But from now on, I'll be sure to post them up here. These bodies that have tens of millions of dollars attached to it use chiropractic to treat and preserve their health. I think that's as good of reason as another other for the average joe to visit his neighborhood chiropractor.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Team Quack - Public Opinion of Chiropractic in the Blogosphere

On a previous post, I shared with you how I discovered that a surprising majority of blogs gave positive reviews of chiropractic using Opinmind. Not everything is so rosy. Have you ever searched for "chiropractic" using Technorati?
Technorati is a real-time search engine that keeps track of what is going on in the blogosphere — the world of weblogs.
So if you just look at the search results, nothing peculiar jumps out. You'll find just what you expected, various postings ranging from individuals to small businesses to organizations. But do you know what other related terms Technorati offers to help refine your search?

One of them, right in the middle of the page, is "Quackery". Other related terms listed were "chiropractor" and "yoga". Now if I had just told you about these two terms, you'd probably think those are pretty logical sister terms. Well, despite your objections, a large number of consumers also feel that quackery should be grouped with chiropractic.

How do you feel about devoting your life to a profession where others call you a quack. You are an "untrained person who pretends to be a physician and dispenses medical advice and treatment." Twenty years ago, they would've said it to your face, now and in the future, they will only say it behind your back. To tell you the truth, I'd much rather have it said in front of me.

I bring this to your attention to illustrate a point. In our current age of communication explosion, more than ever before, it isn't nearly as important as what you think, but what the public hears and believes. So if you think that an L2 adjustment can fix renal disease, what does the public believe?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Blog Hunt #5

I found a blog today that might be a good resource for chiropractic practice growth. My eyes literally bulged when I found another regularly updated chiropractic blog. It was just a matter of time before I found another blog focusing on chiropractic marketing and management. Go and look around the site maintained by Dr. Leslie Wise, professor at Sherman Chiropractic. I suspect this site is primarily written for students at Sherman Chiropractic. Most entries are short and serves primarily to shed light on an article. Unfortunately, almost all of the articles are exclusively referred from Chiropractic Economics. I have already included a permanent link to ChiroEco on my sidebar on the right side of the blog. The magazine offers the occasional insightful article, so I recommend checking in on them from time to time. Still, you can use Dr. Wise's blog as another source to point you to interesting articles, even if they're strictly from ChiroEco.

A great feature on this blog is the occasional podcast. If the articles don't interest you much, then give Dr. Wise's podcasts a try. Looks like it's all original material and you can just turn it on while you've got 10 minutes at the office.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Who's Talking About You?

So how do you get your patients to market for you? Why will they refer new patients to you? How do you mobilize your word of mouth marketers? Is it as simple as taking care of your patients? Not only is a patient's reference more readily accepted, it leaves a deeper impression, meaning it will be remembered longer. What a concept, a highly effective marketing tool that costs you zero dollars. So is there a science to the seemingly chaotic and random process of word of mouth marketing?

There most certainly is a way to form a long-term word of mouth marketing plan and execute it. Not only is it possible, but you should definitely have a plan for it. Word of mouth marketing begins and ends with outstanding service and outstanding products. But in between, take advantage of available tools and ideas to streamline your word of mouth marketing. In the coming months, I will be diving into deeper details on the subject. For now, I suggest you sign up for a newsletter or at least pay a visit to WOMMA. Lots of good stuff there. Did I mention it's free? I just love that word.