An Interview with Dr. Adam Swick

When I was a chiropractic student, I interviewed one hundred chiropractors for the DC2Be Revolution YouTube channel and podcast. This article is about the insights I gained from Dr. Adam Swick. He’s a chiropractor at Velo Sport Rehab and he works with Swedish Hospital.

  1. As a referral source

The associate position I had was working with one of the hospital systems on standardizing their integrated care pattern for spine care. Specifically, a low back pain algorithm for how to utilize chiropractic within a hospital system. The private practice I worked in was integrated within the referral system for the hospital. Patients within the hospital system presenting with a spinal complaint are triaged. When there is not a progressive neurological deficit or red flag they are to chiropractic, physical therapy or podiatry; depending on their symptomology. Once they come into our office it’s really straightforward evidence-based care. Individuals respond with a short trial of care. Patients are highly satisfied and the hospital groups are ecstatic because you’re a problem solver for undifferentiated axial back pain.

  1. As a medical colleague

First step is to meet as many individuals within the medical community as you can. One of the most organic environments for that are Grand Rounds. Grand Rounds are open and so you can attend and meet other medical professionals. Then once they like you, trust you, and eventually they will refer to you. If you help them with their patients then you can create this interdisciplinary model of spine care. Eventually you will get a champion within the hospital and be able to initiate a program of a similar scale.

  1. As an expert within spine care

The Swedish chiropractic pilot program for Swedish hospital is the organization where the pathway has been standardized across Physical therapy, chiropractic, podiatry, surgery and functional restoration. This is all proprietary for Swedish hospital so unfortunately that’s not information that I can share.

Research is what created the different steps in that pathway. It guides when a referral should happen. What a minimally clinically important difference looks. The research guides the referral pathway. What is unique is how they have created this standardized pathway for spine care. This allows us to have many different clinics with different systems and providers who all have the same expectations.

There is a lot of research looking at who will respond to manipulation and who will respond to a stabilization exercise program. We can delineate and stratify those patients to get them great results. Being the expert within spine care to dictate who is going to be best served by what provider is a really challenging position, but if we can own that we can establish ourselves as a necessary aspect of hospital systems across the United States. Chiropractors don’t have to operate within their silo, we can be a very valuable member within a spine care team if we step up to the plate and we start utilizing the phenomenal education that we receive to its highest level.

To watch the entire interview, you can go here.

Noah Volz, DC is the author the The Master Student: Book 1: Mindset: The Ultimate Guide to Success, Enjoyment and Productivity as a Chiropractic College Student.