For New DCs: Getting Known Within the Community

The Chiro.Org Blog

We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.

This is Chapter 8 from RC’s best-selling book:

“Developing A Chiropractic Practice”

These materials are provided as a service to our profession. There is no charge for individuals to copy and file these materials. However, they cannot be sold or used in any group or commercial venture without written permission from ACAPress.


This chapter describes individual responsibilities and projects in patient and public relations. It also portrays some of the more important aspects of national public relations developed by organized chiropractic, along with implementation in various degrees at the state, district, community, and office levels. Initial efforts, sustaining efforts, and development efforts are explained.

It has been previously shown that interpersonal relations generally involve the four steps of

(1) attention,
(2) interest,
(3) desire, and
(4) action.
As the goals of mass public relations and community relations programs are to gain public attention and interest in public health in general and chiropractic in particular, these subjects will be emphasized in this chapter. The development of patient desire and action is a function of the individual practice. This was shown in the previous chapter, and it will be embellished in this chapter. Regardless of the public relations or advertising methods used, there can be little practice or professional growth without patient interest and desire.


Be they good or bad, everybody has public relations. Positive public relations is that attitude and course of action taken by any individual or group that desires to identify its actions and goals with the welfare of the people to gain widespread understanding and good will.

Public relations in chiropractic can be approached from both an individual practice viewpoint and a professional viewpoint, and these are overlapping and indivisible functions. That is, what is good public relations for the doctor is good public relations for the profession at large, and vice versa. Thus, a well-planned, high-quality, national public relations program will profit the profession little if individual practices are not imbued with the attitude of positive public relations and the development of safeguards that make poor public relations impossible.

Ethical Promotion

Ethics, a service-oriented attitude, and high-quality conduct are the basis upon which any public relations program must be built. Public relations begins in the local community and takes shape through the contacts of individual people with one another. In both the business world and the professions, a good reputation is founded on good works that are communicated truthfully and candidly.

Public relations is not the propagation of favorable publicity regardless of merit, nor is it phony promotions and cheap publicity stunts designed to manipulate public opinion. It refers to true identification with the public welfare — education to mutual concerns, operating in the public interest, and communicating this performance. As the business world has learned that it can, and must, take a careful account of the attitudes and wishes of the public before it evolves its programs of action, so must any health profession.

It must be realized that the modern doctor of chiropractic is a combination of scientist and healer, and this integration has led to growth from fixed orthodoxy and sometimes illogical traditions. As healers, we must be aware of basic psychologic and human-relations facts that contribute to the “art” of our profession.

Poor public relations, ill-will, and resentment take place when either doctors or their assistants fail to identify with the patient’s situation. Patients inevitably react negatively to a procedure or transaction when they are expected to understand without knowing the facts as understood by the doctor and assistant. Thus, it is each doctor’s and assistant’s responsibility to give the facts to the patients and to the public.

The Professional Image

Review the complete Chapter (including sketches and Tables) at the ACAPress website