Problem Patients #1

Patients who are first timers to chiropractic care or who have received chiropractic care before but are new to the practice need special attention.

Risk Management

The New Patient

Although first-time patients usually aren't problematic, this article shares why they require special consideration.


Especially with patients who are seeing a chiropractor for the first time, attorney Carol Romano recommends taking a complete history and that using an informed consent process is in the doctor’s best interest. By fully explaining what the chiropractic treatment entails, the precise nature of the treatment being rendered, the expected results and possible risks, you help new patients become more at ease with the care provided.

On a slightly different note, she finds that patients who have been seeing a different chiropractor or multiple chiropractors over many years are more likely to be critical of a D.C. who uses a different technique or approach from what they’re accustomed to.

She said she often hears patients say in depositions that “my other chiropractor didn’t do that,” implying there is something wrong with the new doctor's treatment. Carol suggests explaining to these patients that not all chiropractors are alike and discuss how your approach might be different.

Both with patients who have never seen a chiropractor before and those who have but are new to your practice, Carol says it’s important to take all the necessary steps and to not let your guard down. Your goal should be for your patients to see you as a thorough and caring doctor—a doctor they’ll want to reward with their loyalty.

For more information on potentially problem patients, see "The Doctor-Shopping Patient," "The Questioning Patient" and "The Angry Patient."


The information in the NCMIC Learning Center is offered solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as, nor does it represent, legal or professional advice. Neither does this information constitute a guideline, practice parameter or standard of care. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney familiar with the specific legal requirements of the state(s) in which you practice. If there is a discrepancy between the site and an insurance policy you have with NCMIC, the policy will prevail.