Dr. Steve Barnett is an influential chiropractor doing everything he can to promote awareness of chiropractors in the field. The work he does for the community and patients is an essential topic for any professional to explore.
Looking into some of his accomplishments offers valuable insight for anyone interested in the chiropractic field. A representative from Regional Medical Group, Dana Blickensderfer, had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Barnett and pick his brain a bit.
How did a college sports star become a prominent figure in the chiropractic community?
Dr. Barnett was a star athlete, playing basketball for Brooklyn College. A sports injury in his junior year inspired him to switch from pre-med to physical education.
Midway through his junior year, Dr. Barnett experienced a hip injury. After the traditional orthopedic surgeon route led to aggravated problems, he found his solution after seeing a chiropractor (in addition to a physical therapist and athletic trainer). Weirdly enough, seeing a chiropractor for his injuries was something of a “last resort.”
Dr. Barnett is far from the only person who felt the same results from their treatment. Many victims of accident injuries seek out chiropractors following injuries. Someone is coming in with lower back pain or whiplash following an automobile accident, often seen in pain management techniques that don’t involve heavy drugs or disguising symptoms.
Their practices help manage conditions using a holistic approach that a traditional pain clinic can’t always do. Despite the success of chiropractors, many people fail to know a lot about the treatment.
This lack of information was also the case with Dr. Barnett. Before his experience, he didn’t know much about the field until he switched his major. Following his graduation, he taught high school physical education for half a year before attending the Palma College of Chiropractic in Iowa.
What inspired the connection building?
As many of us know, much of Dr. Barnett’s success comes from facilitating collaboration. He stated that “healthcare is relationship-driven” and highlighted the importance of understanding the “R’s of healthcare” – relationships, referrals, and reimbursement.
Historically, many medical care providers faced conflicts providing referrals. Chiropractors especially had to worry that a helpful referral to another clinic meant losing a patient. No one should feel this untrusting during referrals.
Treating patients is a team effort, and comfortable collaboration is essential for treating the patients and keeping clinics afloat. Networking is vital for every field to advance. Interdisciplinary collaboration is a difficult feat that Dr. Barnett mastered.
What does chiropractic medicine relate to neurosurgery?
Chiropractors have to diagnose, treat, and refer patients for a variety of illnesses. A chiropractor’s job does not only cover the back or spine. Dr. Barnett referred to one specific example where a chiropractor needs to handle emergencies.
When a patient comes in complaining of back problems, it could mean many different things. Many back problems are mere reflections of other severe, underlying conditions a patient may face. A notable example is kidney stones and back pain.
A patient with kidney stones needs to seek the proper medical interventions. While treating kidney stones is not a job for a chiropractor, they need to know enough about recognizing it to refer the patients to the specialist they need. This example is just one of many that illustrate the importance of the chiropractic community and why it earns (and deserves) its respect among medical fields.
Dr. Barnett became a dominant figure in the neurosurgery and neuroscience community. He runs a program at the renowned hospital Emery. It’s easy for many chiropractic associations to find out about him. He ultimately received an invitation to be the chemo speaker for a neurosurgical and neuroscience lecture series.
The title of his presentation was “Chiropractic Collaborative for Comprehensive Spine Program.” Dr. Barnett used the opportunity to reach out to other medical care providers and spread awareness about what chiropractors do and what they can offer. There are even many doctors that fail to understand exactly what a chiropractor specializes in.
Using this as a platform for spreading awareness, he did the chiropractic community an honor of representing the field and getting his word out there.
Dr. Barnett went on to say that in a health system of over 30,000 employees, he was the only chiropractor. He takes his “three R’s” to heart and makes sure to let people know about his profession and what it offers to other people.
Is Dr. Steve Barnett’s work ever done?
When you are passionate about your career, you never really retire. Advocates are advocates for life, even when they hand up the white coat. Dr. Steve Barnett, however, couldn’t even do that for a few weeks.
He came out of his three-week retirement when a hospital reached out to him and offered him the first director of chiropractic relations! Dr. Barnett had a long history of fostering relations and speaking up for chiropractors, making him an excellent candidate.
He also hopes to continue giving lectures and keeps up to date with the latest techniques available to him. Dr. Barnett is an essential player in the chiropractic community that made great strides for the field and will continue to do so. His work certainly helped pave the way for many collaborations and changed how the chiropractic community engages with other medical facilities.
For more information on Dr. Steve Barnett, please contact him at (770) 355-2997.
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