Consumer’s Guide To Quality Health Care

The 10 Questions You Might Want To Ask Before Making An Appointment Anywhere!

by Christian FarthingCommitted to Community Health

The purpose of this guide is to help you choose the right health professional by arming you with 10 most important questions you should ask any medical doctor, chiropractor, specialist, physiotherapist, osteopath or other health professional BEFORE making an appointment and BEFORE agreeing to treatment.

1. "Do you correct the the cause of my problem?"

You probably don't want someone to simply "patch you up". We want you to feel better, but not have to return days to weeks later with the same problem again... and again. The correct answer is: It mkaes more sense to correct the cause of the problem rather than provide temporary relief. Many practitioners won't like to hear this, but most chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists provide relief and do not provide a lasting solution for your problem. That is because they are not correcting the underlying cause. There are many very specialised chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists, but not all of them focus on the cause to provide a long term solution.

At BodyWell, we are different. We are not saying we are better. We are simply saying that we prefer to focus on your health, identify weaknesses and make them string again. It has been said"Healthy people don't get sick". And that is why BodyWell is all about helping you achieve the best of health, to minimise your chances of suffering with sickness, pain or other conditions. We do not claim to treat conditions, but interest you in having a healthy neuromusculoskeletal system supported by advice and ongoing support to help you with exercise, nutrition and lifestyle strategies.

2. “Do you do x-rays/tests to determine the cause of my problem?” 

Be sure to seek a health professional who takes x-rays to rule out fracture or a gross pathology (English translation – some other serious problem) as indicated by the consultation, health history and exam. This is very important because most chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists or even medical doctors do not tend to have x-rays taken before starting your treatment or care.

Caring for a patient without x-rays is like flying in the dark without radar.  Unfortunately, there are some life and death conditions that can first express themselves with back, neck, or bone pain.  X-rays also help me determine the health of your joints and discs, an estimate of how long it will take to get you better, as well as what specific chiropractic techniques will likely do the most good for you. If the doctor you’re consulting doesn’t consider taking x-rays before recommending treatment, you should consider talking to another doctor. 

3.  “Can I discuss more than one problem at my appointment?” 

You may already know that medical doctors do not allow you to discuss more than one health problem at your appointment.  This can be most distressing, especially if the problems you want to discuss are related. “You will have to make another appointment” are the words we often here patients complain about.  The problem is not necessarily with your choice of doctor, but more with the company or health service he/she works for as they have targets to meet.  Sadly, your health care suffers as a result. Go and see a health professional who gives you the time you need and deserve.

4.  “Will you give me your recommendations in writing?” 

This is very important. This allows you to go home and think about it before making a decision. Plus, it gives you an explanation up front of what the care will consist of, how long it will last, and how much it will cost. If it is not in writing, you really don't know where you stand in terms of time and money.

5.  “Do you have criteria for determining how many visits I need?” 

Some doctors do not have an objective method to determine how many visits are necessary to relieve your pain or to correct your problem.  And even fewer have criteria for providing wellness or maintenance care to allow you achieve an optimum state of excellent health. They make subjective guesses about your initial treatment and progress.  That means, you may feel better and be discharged before the actual cause of you problem is corrected. Make sure your doctor, osteopath, or physiotherapist or chiropractor you are consulting measures your progress regularly.  If they don’t, we recommend you seek advice elsewhere.

6. “Do you have payment plans available?” 

Health practices that are busy and committed to helping patients,  provide different options to make payments. For example, they allow you to spread out your payments for your entire care, into low monthly installments. This allows patients to get the care they want without financial stress. Any principled practice will be able to work with you to allow you achieve your health goals. 

7. “Will you guarantee my satisfaction?” 

You should receive a 100% guarantee of unconditional satisfaction. By law all doctors can’t guarantee results. But, for example, a clinic that offers the following guarantee: “You’ll be totally satisfied with each office visit, or that visit is free!” shows you that they are putting their service on the line and are committed to helping you. Poor service is no longer acceptable.

The BodyWell Group is the only health centre in Kent to provide you with a satisfaction guarantee. Every patient knows that if they feel they don’t get the attention they think they deserve, or aren’t satisfied with how they are treated that day, we will want to know why so we can act immediately to prevent it from occurring in the future.  We have a policy that states: if you are not satisfied with your first 3 visits, we will refund your money, it is as simple as that! We are so committed for you to have a positive experience that we are the only health centre that provides such a solid guarantee. In the 3 years we’ve had this policy, I’m proud to say we haven’t had one patient express dissatisfaction. Make sure the doctor you choose is willing to stand behind their care.

8. “Do you have a no waiting policy?” 

A recent patient survey revealed what irritates patients the most is when the doctor and the staff do not respect their time and make them wait excessively in the waiting room. Now most doctors claim their patients don’t have to wait excessively. But, in our clinic, our policy is that no patient waits longer than fifteen minutes in our reception room…or that visit is free. If the doctor you’re talking to isn’t willing to put such a waiting time guarantee in writing, they may not be as respectful of your time as you deserve. 

9. “Will you show me ways of preventing what you are treating?” 

I saw a sign recently in my dentist’s waiting room that read, “Support your dentist, eat more candy”. Although I know he’s joking, I spend a considerable amount of time customizing simple and easy ways for you to stay healthy…no matter what caused your problem to begin with. You’ll be thrilled to find out how quick and easy it is to prevent your pain from coming back without drugs or surgery. This prolongs the benefits of the care you’ve received; and helps prevent you from re-injuring yourself.

10. “Do you offer free consultations?” 

There’s no way a doctor should expect a patient to choose him or her without first visiting the clinic to see if the clinic, staff and doctor is for them. Initially, I provide a FREE, NO OBLIGATION, consultation to determine if I can help you and answer any questions you may have about your condition or my treatment. No one in my clinic is going to pressure you into care or anything.  This is simply a chance for you to meet us, and see if our services can benefit you. If after your free consultation, you decide you do not want to proceed with an exam, you simply leave and that is that. If however, you do find that you could use our help, we will discuss the details of how we proceed from there. 

Well I hope this information will give you the confidence in taking the first step to regaining your health by experiencing the benefits of chiropractic care. By the way, I do:

By the way, at the BodyWell Group, we do:

  1. Use specific treatment techniques to correct the cause of your problem because that is my area of health expertise,

  2. Use State of the Art Technology, such as digital x-rays, nerve scans and laser foot scans) and will get your results back within 48-72 hours,

  3. Provide you the time you need to discuss all your health concerns,

  4. Furnish you with our recommendations in writing,

  5. Share with you the criteria for formulating your recommendations,

  6. Offer you different affordable payment options to you can achieve your desired health goals,

  7. Provide you with a 100% Service Satisfaction Guarantee,

  8. Have a No Wait Policy, where you will wait no longer than 15 minutes,

  9. Provide you with custom designed prevention techniques,

  10. Offer free consultations in the form of a Free Spine and Health Check.

I hope this information has been helpful, and that whether you choose to come in to see us or not, that you’ve benefited from the knowledge you’ve been given. No matter what you decide to do, I wish you the best of health!

Christian Farthing
BAppSc(ClinSc); BCSc; FCBP; MAO.
Chiropractor (Australia)
Spinal Health Specialist & Osteomyologist (UK)