Dr. Mike Carberry is a real trendsetter in the healthcare arena. He is a chiropractor, a national speaker, founder, and president of Advanced Medical Integration. Advanced Medical Integration, AMI, is the nation’s leading consulting group for establishing holistic, philosophically-based medical integration. Whether you are new to medical integration or already have an integrated center, AMI will help develop your practice to the new standard in desired holistic medical services.
The changes in today’s healthcare landscape have doctors, healthcare providers, and patients all concerned about the quality of care delivered and the viability of many practices. However, you have created a healthcare model that leverages those changes so that patients get better care, and healthcare practices can thrive. Can you describe what those changes are and how the AMI model leverages them?
Dr. Mike Carberry: Our model that we came upon was developed over the last 20-some years. My wife and I are from different disciplines. I am a chiropractor, and she is a physical therapist, the arch-enemy of chiropractors. We joke when we say that. We do not think that our professions should be at odds with each other. We believe that our professions, like all allied health professionals, should work together and try to come out with the best outcomes for our patients.
Our focus with our patients is to be more drilled into getting the patient well, believe it or not than to make a profit. In the business world, people say, “Well, is that a legitimate way to do things?” Well, if you look at some of the leaders and industry over the last hundred years, just about every one of them said, “If you get into business for making money, you should get back out of business.” In fact, that was a quote by Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s. The idea is if you are a business, you should be good at what you do, and you are trying to satisfy a need and a want for your society in your area and as far as your business can reach.
We have taken on American healthcare, and what we have said is we need to improve healthcare, and chiropractic alone can’t do it, physical therapy alone can’t do it, and medicine alone hasn’t been able to do it. So, our idea was to combine all the professions in trying to address one of the most common health problems that people have. When we work together, it is all minds together coming out with a better, as the adage says, two heads are better than one. That is what we are trying to do.
We got the concept from my wife’s background as a physical therapist. When she first started her career, she specialized as a head injury physical therapist. The cases she faced were challenging because 70% of her clients coming in were in a coma. What they did at that hospital was collaborate. There would be a physiatrist who examined the patient and supervised the team, and the team included a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and a cognitive therapist, all working together for a better outcome for the patient.
That is where the idea initially came from, and we copied that same model trying to put this in with what we are approaching. What we are handling is arthritis and postural problems because arthritis is the number one most common chronic disease that human beings have. Also, the number one reason to be in a hospital is to be born, and the number two reason to be in the hospital is spinal pain. When you look at that, it is a clear majority of the population will suffer from arthritic problems, so that is what we are trying to address.
Your target population is baby boomers which present a lot of different and challenging healthcare issues. What is intriguing to me about your model is that everybody must win for this to work. Chiropractors must win, doctors must win, and patients must win. So, I would like to drill down a bit and try to understand how everyone benefits from your model. Let’s start out with how do the patients benefit from this, your model?
Dr. Mike Carberry: Well if you look at healthcare in the United States and you look at statistics, especially the research done by Dr. Barbara Starfield, who has a master’s degree in public health and is a medical doctor at Johns Hopkins. She wrote an article in July of 2000 that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looking at how healthy our healthcare system was, and when you look at those statistics, they are not very good. Among thirteen countries including Japan, Sweden, France and Canada, the U.S. was ranked 12th, based on the measurement of 16 health indicators such as life expectancy, low-birth-weight averages, and infant mortality. The US, which is 4.4% of the world’s population, is not only the most expensive healthcare in the world, our healthcare is costlier than the entire rest of the world combined. So, there’s something wrong with that.
One scary statistic was that the third biggest cause of death in the US was our healthcare system. So, if you look at those figures, you go, why do we have the most expensive and, apparently, the most ineffective healthcare in the world? Moreover, our trauma care is not ineffective. If you were to get hit by a bus, you would want to do it in the United States, because they can land a helicopter in that intersection, scoop you up, fly you to a trauma center, put you back together. These types of miracles do happen on a regular basis in this country.
However, when it comes to healthcare, I do not believe we take the right approach. The primary method of healthcare in this country is to get people to not feel their symptoms. What we are trying to do is to look at the idea that if you treat a symptom alone, and you do not find the cause of it, the symptom’s just going to keep coming back. Moreover, you are going to have to take stronger and stronger and stronger drugs. That is why there’s an opioid crisis in this country. The volume of opioids prescribed in the United States is staggering.