DC2017: 7 Questions for Dr. Shawn Thistle

DC2017: 7 Questions for Dr. Shawn Thistle

Author: Annette Bernat/Wednesday, January 25, 2017/Categories: DC2017

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The upcoming DC2017 conference in Washington, D.C., is packed with great educational content and world-class presenters. Here we pose 7 questions to one of the featured speakers:  


1. What is your name and the name of your presentation?

Shawn Thistle, DC.  My presentation is “Concussion: An Evidence-Informed Clinical Primer for Chiropractors," which is available under the Contemporary Topics track.

2. What makes you an authority on this subject?

Apart from dealing with concussions in my practice, I am founder and CEO of RRS Education (www.rrseducation.com), a company that provides continuing education options for chiropractors and other manual medicine providers around the world.  RRS Education offers weekly research reviews, convenient online courses and informative seminars in an attempt to improve knowledge transfer and research integration into patient care. It is in this capacity that I have summarized the existing evidence and global sports medicine clinical guidelines on concussion assessment and management.

3. Why should doctors of chiropractic be interested in learning more about your topic?

Concussion in sporting environments is common, but this injury can also occur in occupational settings, motor vehicle collisions, falls and so on.  Practicing chiropractors should have a working knowledge of contemporary evaluation and management issues surrounding concussion, as this form of mild traumatic brain injury can result in long-term disability or even death.  On-field and clinical assessment, as well as treatment and management of concussion, is becoming more evidence based as new literature emerges to address best practices and support clinical decision making.  DCs will often consult and treat patients with recent/acute or prior concussion(s) in clinical practice, whether providing care to athletes at sporting events or dealing with a general patient population.  Because athletes are often eager to return to play and potential serious injury may result if they return too early, it is important that concussion be managed following current practice guidelines to ensure best practices are followed.

4. How can the information you share in your presentation directly help chiropractors in practice?

This presentation is meant to be a clinical primer--an introduction to this complex topic. Attendees will raise their comfort level with the state of the evidence on concussion as well as with best-practices for dealing with these patients in practice.

5. What about you or your presentation may surprise people?

I sing half of my presentation!  Just kidding…that would clear the room in a hurry.  I do like to interject humor and real clinical experience to keep the research-y-ness of any topic interesting, meaningful and entertaining for the audience. 

6. What's one thing you learned during your career that you wished you would have known at the beginning?

Not every patient is a great fit for me as a chiropractor--this applies to all of us.  My individual skill set, treatment style and demeanor deserve patients that respond well to care and get along well with me personally.  A successful clinical relationship is a two-way street, and I think we have to be willing to accept that not everyone is a good fit for chiropractic care…or for us as individual clinicians.  Surround yourself with patients that like and appreciate your treatment style and practice will become a much happier endeavor!

7. What book should every chiropractor read, and why?

This is such a personal question depending on what one may be interested it, and to be quite honest I read mostly research papers as part of my role with RRS Education. Since most textbooks are outdated by the time they’re printed (research emerges and evolves quickly!), I would recommend picking your favorite athlete, musician or politician and seek out his or her biography (auto- or otherwise).

To learn more about the wide variety of education programs and speakers featured at DC2017 in March, visit www.DC2017.org

To view Q&As with other DC2017 speakers, click here.


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