Dr. Slocum graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in April 1993. He has been the owner of his practice for over fourteen years. Dr. Slocum is a fourth generation chiropractor and has focused on developing a family wellness based practice that uses state of the art technology and focuses extensively on staff development. Dr. Slocum has been named Mid-coast Maine’s #1 Chiropractor for 9 consecutive years. Through his commitment to alliance development and community outreach, he has served as an advisor to many of the largest employers in Maine and has become a well known speaker for the Maine Municipal Association and Maine Department of Education.
He and his partner, Dr. Rok Morin, have created the most advanced community outreach and marketing program in chiropractic. Their Learning Curves Program helps its members develop civic, social, and health care leadership through time tested and proven methods of building relationships, creating more value for chiropractic and more trust in their message.
Dr. Slocum was honored in 2004 as Masters Circle Chiropractor of the year, and Dr. Morin was named the Associate Doctor of the Year by The Masters Circle in 2006.
In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Slocum demonstrates his passion for chiropractic and humanity.
TAC: Tell us about the services you offer chiropractors and how or why they are offered.
Slocum: Dr. Morin and I began Learning Curves out of our passion for the advancement of chiropractic and the vision of civic, social, and health care leadership in a chiropractic model. The Learning Curves program is a multi-tier community outreach and marketing program that has a primary focus of helping its members develop leadership skills, clarify their core practice values, and market their practices in powerful ways to serve more people. Our Advanced Citizenry training model helps individual chiropractors understand the seven characteristics of effective leadership. It is the goal of the Learning Curves team to provide its members all of the tools and resources they need to effectively build their identity as the most valuable and trusted contributor to the overall health and wellbeing of the individuals in their communities.
TAC: How do you feel chiropractors should work with medical doctors, surgery, and vaccination?
Slocum: Simple: Understand what chiropractic means to you, develop a rock solid foundation for your professional beliefs, and have the courage to tell the truth without fear of being different. I have found, consistently, when we share our message with non-chiropractic health professionals with certainty, congruency, and confidence, we find that it is more often met with interest and acceptance than it is with disinterest or indifference. When we approach other providers with the goal of finding ways to work together and we highlight our common goals of better patient outcomes, only pure unadulterated ignorance can interfere with a positive outcome and, more often than not, we don’t run into that level of bias.
TAC: One of the components of your program is the Learning Curves curriculum to educate children. Why do you think that is important?
Slocum: We developed our curriculum because we understand that, for chiropractic to move forward and establish a leadership position in health care, we need to change some of the ways we share our message and when we share it. We started by looking for a model that has been successful for other health care systems and we realized that the most highly advanced and accepted health and wellness model on the planet was the dental hygiene model. When you look at the development of the dental hygiene model, you start to see that it has happened in a relatively short period of time. In the period of roughly five decades, the dental association has created a generational wellness model that is accepted by all to be an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. They did this through early education and continual reinforcement in the classroom. Dentists became role models and mentors to children, and that relationship and the value system that it created was carried through life and became the value system we now share with our children every night before bed. Our research shows that, between the ages of seven and eleven, children are capable of learning causal relationships and relate lifestyle behaviors with health outcomes. At this age, they are still more interested in personal wellbeing than they are in social wellbeing or acceptance. We know that, if we take this lesson from the dental association and use it to shape the health paradigm of the next generation, we can create a powerful and lasting paradigm shift where spinal hygiene and the role of chiropractic will be seen as a valuable and necessary part of a healthy lifestyle for future generations.
TAC: What are the attitudes toward you from other professionals you work with?
Slocum: I think the biggest attitude issue we have facing our profession is the issue we have with ourselves. I feel that we have a values issue within chiropractic. We have become a profession that lacks fusion and is fractured. Individual chiropractors need to start with themselves. It is only when we, as individuals, start to take professional responsibility seriously and become more courageous and disciplined with our message, that we will be able to serve with more compassion those that are suffering with the silent dread of chronic subluxation. We need to commit to working tirelessly to create a more just and fair health care delivery and reimbursement system, and start to respect the honor and privilege that comes with the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic. As we do that individually and that becomes the standard for our profession, we will begin to move forward with a greater sense of self respect and be able to declare with pride and dignity that chiropractic is healthy and well. I believe that everything that needs to be done is already there; we just need to focus on our purpose and avoid getting stuck in the process. Just like the body needs no help, just no interference, the same can be true for chiropractic. As a profession, we could be incredibly powerful and it is my dream that the hard work of the pioneers of chiropractic will be honored by the commitment and dedication of today’s chiropractors and that, through that commitment to the greater good of our profession, we will have something very powerful to share with tomorrow’s chiropractors.
TAC: What is the most common problem you see among chiropractors today?
Slocum: The lack of a clearly defined purpose. When we are unsure of our professional values, it is impossible to stay on purpose. The foundation of the work we do with our Learning Curves members is to help them define their professional values and understand how those values contribute to their purpose. Without a clearly defined purpose based on a firm foundation of values, our vision becomes narrow and our actions or procedures become meaningless. This lack of foundational stability is what leads to the frustration that most chiropractors feel at some point in their careers.
TAC: What is the biggest opportunity you see in the chiropractic profession today?
Slocum: We now have the ability to support what we do with great technology. Technology and the ability to evaluate and assess subluxation in objective and reproducible ways create more certainty in practice and more certainty in the power of chiropractic. This expanded level of certainty gives us the power to share our message with more courage and discipline to more people more often. We have more credible technologies that are supported by reproducible trials that demonstrate the effects of subluxation than ever before. We have the ability to support our principles with real science and that will only help to build our professional self esteem.
TAC: Can you think of one change that a chiropractor can do to significantly impact his/her practice’s growth immediately?
Slocum: Call us to find out how we can help them clarify their values, define their purposes, and use our tools and resources to demonstrate their value as civic, social, and health care leaders for their community. Our members not only attract a lot of new patients, but their patient-visit averages go up, their case averages increase, and their referrals and retention rates go up. Our Learning Curves members understand that, through community outreach and education, they attract educated and engaged new patients that are not just shopping for health care; they have already bought the relationship.
TAC: Do you have any recommended marketing strategies that chiropractors can do to attract new patients and/or keep current patients?
Slocum: Commit to becoming more valuable to your community. Building relationships based on trust and contribution is the key to increasing your social capital. When you become more valuable to your community, your community becomes more valuable to you.
TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Slocum: I see a very bright future for chiropractic. I believe that we are moving out of the adolescent phase of our professional development and on to adulthood. From about 1895-1960, our profession was in its infancy and the growth of chiropractic was marked with incredible hope and expectation. Our pioneers showed incredible commitment, perseverance, and bravery. We learned, adapted, took some lumps and bruises, but we did so with confidence in our principles. From 1960 to today, we have been in an adolescent stage where we have been awkward, uncertain, fearful, and selfish.
I believe that the end of our adolescent phase is here and there is a growing sense of individual and collective strength that is welling up in our profession. I believe that, as we start to become more mature and we see the strength that comes with responsibility, courage, and discipline, we will become a profession that will enter an adult phase marked with a redefined sense of professional values, self discovery, growth and fulfillment. I think the best way to sum up the state of chiropractic going forward is the declaration from my friend and mentor Bob Hoffman. His declaration is, “There has never been a better time to be a chiropractor,” and I couldn’t agree more.
TAC: Any final words for our readers?
Slocum: To be your best, you must do what the best do: You must find a coach that serves your personal and professional growth goals. I believe that every chiropractor and his or her entire team needs to work continuously on values clarification, develop a clear purpose, and have a boundless vision. At the very least, find a mentor or a role model and become a sponge; absorb all you can from the people you trust and look up to. I have found coaching with The Masters Circle to be extremely helpful to me personally and professionally. I have spent the better part of the last three years in and around the many excellent coaching companies available today and I have realized that there is always something new to learn and always a new perspective that can help you overcome obstacles and discover your genius.
For more information, contact Dr. Slocum at 1-800-613-2528 or [email protected].