Beware of these guys...They are out there!

Beware of these guys…They are out there!

We see it more and more today in the medical and allied health industry. Patients are increasingly feeling like they are being “sold” something. It starts well before you even go to the doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist or other health care provider. It starts when you are sitting at home watching TV. You see a commercial for a medical procedure, device, medication, physician or physician’s group. It starts when you are looking for something on the internet and then you see a pop up on the screen for something medical related. It starts when you see targeted ads on Facebook for your exact demographic. It starts when you are driving down the expressway and see a big billboard offering a solution to your medical problem. This goes on and on and on.

The common points to the “pre-appointment” sale that’s pertinent to this article is that:

  1. They (the medical/allied health establishment) selectively target you
  2. They convince you that you have a problem
  3. They convince you that they have the solution to your problem
  4. They try to create an emotional attachment to impact your decision making
  5. They prey on your insecurity and sometimes your fear to sell you the solution to your problem
  6. They are relentless in marketing/advertising their solution to you.

Straight up, THIS SUCKS! This is not the way that medicine should be practiced. The Hippocratic Oath that we have taken in the medical and allied health realm states, “first do no harm.” Well, harm is caused when you prey on patient’s insecurities and fears. I wish the medical industry would better regulate this; maybe, doctors will just be doctors in the future.

Maybe in the future doctors won't be salesmen?

Maybe in the future doctors won’t be salesmen?

So now the real question, “How do I spot a doctor/physician/allied healthcare salesman?”  I’ve tried to compile a list of 50 things to watch out for below:

  1. Your provider uses big words that you don’t understand
  2. Your provider overemphasizes the findings of X-ray, MRI, CT scans or other imaging
  3. Your provider uses your X-ray, MRI, CT scan, imaging or lab results as a scare tactic
  4. Your provider asks for an absurd commitment (time, money, length, participation, etc.)
  5. Your provider routinely tells you or other patients “This is the worst case of _________ I’ve ever seen.”
  6. Your provider tries to instill fear, doubt or insecurity in you instead of tranquility, confidence or hope
  7. Your provider has a waiting room full of unhappy and unhealthy patients
  8. Your provider has a waiting room full of indoctrinated patients (patients that won’t question the provider nor the treatment plan)
  9. Your provider has the same recommendations and treatment plan for every patient
  10. Your provider spends little time directly answering your questions
  11. Your provider gets upset when you ask him/her questions
  12. Your provider fails to offer you a referral when you ask for one
  13. Your provider gets upset when you mention you want a second opinion
  14. Your provider or provider group owns the imaging center, surgery center, lab or rehab clinic
  15. You can’t directly get hold of your provider nor anyone on their direct staff when you need to
  16. Your provider has an “exclusive offer” available for a “limited time” only
  17. Your provider or provider group tries to wine and dine you during an “informational” (sales) and “no obligation (high pressure) dinner or luncheon
  18. Your provider has fancy over the top advertising
  19. Your provider or provider group aggressively target markets with the goal of selling you their solution by creating an emotional attachment, doubt, insecurity or fear
  20. Your provider doesn’t directly offer you value
  21. Your provider spends limited quality time interacting with you
  22. Your provider and their staff are scripted in how they interact with patients or answer questions
  23. Your provider offers a prepay option for your care with the price SIGNIFICANTLY different if you prepay than if you pay as you go
  24. Your provider states that if you terminate care early the price of each treatment session would increase from ________to ________
  25. Your provider states that if you terminate care early they will not issue you a refund for the unused visits
  26. Your provider has an outrageous cancellation policy
  27. Your provider pressures you to schedule all your appointments in advance
  28. You provider and their staff are always out in the community marketing/advertising to the public (indicates high turnover)
  29. You are referred to as a “practice member” and not a patient
  30. Your provider has limited and non-convenient appointment times
  31. Your provider asks for a commitment from you for “routine maintenance care”
  32. Your provider believes every medical problem is caused by the mythical term subluxation
  33. Your provider has the same solution or treatment for every problem (ex. adjustment/manipulation)
  34. Your provider mixes medicine and religion in an attempt to sell
  35. Your provider overly relies on personal anecdotes and clinician experience instead of medical evidence or patient preferences when formulating treatment and providing care
  36. Your provider has an ego the size of __________ (you fill in the blank here)
  37. Your gut feeling is that the provider is more hype than substance
  38. Your providers online reviews are overtly negative
  39. Your provider routinely brags about their accolades in an attempt to get your attention or respect
  40. You see a steady stream of business people, management groups, sales people (pharmaceutical, medical device, nutritional reps, etc.) soliciting the provider in their office
  41. Your provider talks at you and not to you
  42. There is no personal connection between you and the provider
  43. Your provider makes you watch a patient video
  44. Your provider requires you attend a spinal care class
  45. Your provider requires you to attend a new patient educational session with your spouse or other loved one
  46. Your provider routinely asks you/solicits you/pesters you for the referral of your family, friends and colleagues
  47. Your provider only talks to you during your appointment about your problem or other medical problems they treat without an attempt to make a personal connection with you
  48. Your provider has TVs, posters or displays in their waiting room that are for the sole purpose to market to you (they bombard you with in office advertising)
  49. You start to feel anxious or nervous during your appointment
  50. Your doctor doesn’t remember your face, your name, your goals or any other important information about you…You are just another number.


If you feel like multiple of these points apply, then there’s an extreme likelihood your doctor or health care provider is a salesman. In that case, “caveat emptor” (buyer beware).

About The Author

Dr. Pappas is a chiropractic physician, certified athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Dr.

Dr. Dino Pappas

               Dr. Dino Pappas

Pappas blends the best treatments in physical medicine to help patients and athletes of all shapes and sizes. He believes in honest communication and open dialogue with patients. He utilizes tools such as chiropractic manipulation, soft tissue work (IASTM, Graston, myofascial release, neural mobilization and joint mobilization), functional movement based assessment, the McKenzie Method, strength training and conditioning, kinesiology taping and more. Dr. Pappas’ clinical focus is sports medicine, conservative orthopedics and rehabilitation. His sports medicine interests are endurance athletes, overhead athletes (pitchers, throwers, volleyball players and tennis players), contact sports athletes (football, rugby, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer and basketball) and Crossfit athletes. He has worked with athletes at all levels from professional to amateur. Dr. Dino is extremely fortunate to have attended chiropractic school with his wife and best friend, Dr. Marie Tholl-Pappas. Dr. Dino utilizes her expertise in nutrition, integrated medicine, conservative internal medicine and functional medicine to further assist patients with their health care needs. He reads and interprets the medical literature daily to stay abreast of cutting edge advances in his field. He is an avid runner and aspiring triathlete having completed 5 marathons, 5 half marathons and numerous 5 and 10k races. The doctor has recently relocated to Austin, TX and is looking forward to integrating into the local endurance (running, biking, swimming, triathlon) and sports medicine communities. He has goals of qualifying and competing in the Boston and New York Marathons, the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii, and climbing Mt. Kiliminjaro in Kenya, Africa. He recently completed the Pikes Peak Ascent , a half marathon to the 14,115 foot summit of Pikes Peak. One day he hopes to serve his country as a team chiropractor for the United States Olympic teams and serve as a team chiropractor for a professional sports team. His mantra is “Why Put Off Feeling Good?” He can be reached by email at or at 708-275-1459 ***

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