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Medical/Legal Consulting for Physicians
Episode 685

Armin Feldman, Owner of MD Business Consultants

Medical/Legal Consulting for Physicians

In this episode, we are privileged to host the outstanding Dr. Armin Feldman, owner of MD Business Consultants. Dr. Feldman opens up an entirely new kind of consulting approach. He talks about evolving in his career and helping doctors especially those suffering from burnout and wanting to do something else. He shares how his work is assisting lawyers who need help in preparing comprehensive reports on ongoing medical problems. He also talks about the annual conference he holds for physicians who want to learn more about the kind of consulting business he does. 

If you are looking for expanding your skills and helping people from a different angle, this interview could be helpful for you. Please tune in to learn more about this new opportunity!

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Medical/Legal Consulting for Physicians

Episode 685

About Armin Feldman

Dr. Feldman is the owner of MD Business Consultants.

He has been consulting attorney on all their medical issues and questions for more than 13 years. 

Dr. Feldman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Medical School and completed his training in psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He practiced psychiatry for over 20 years. He also owned outpatient head injury rehabilitation clinics around the country. 

Medical/Legal Consulting for Physicians with Armin Feldman, owner of MD Business Consultants transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Medical/Legal Consulting for Physicians with Armin Feldman, owner of MD Business Consultants was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2021. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Saul Marquez:
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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket everyone. Saul Marquez here. Today, I have the privilege of hosting Dr. Armin Feldman. He’s a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, completed his training in psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He practiced psychiatry for over 20 years. Dr. Feldman owned outpatient head injury rehabilitation clinics around the country. For over 13 years, Armon has consulted full-time to attorneys on all of their medical issues and questions. He has developed an entirely new kind of consulting approach. Dr. Feldman has trained over six hundred physicians from all over the country during the past 11 years. Over a thousand physicians have been to one of his conferences. All of Dr. Feldman’s consulting and pre-litigation pretrial helps attorneys manage the medical aspects of cases, increase case value, and saves attorneys time. Armin helps attorneys to help their clients to negotiate and settle cases and get the appropriate medical care the client needs. He does not participate in medical malpractice cases and does no expert witness work. So he’s got a conference coming up. That’s really interesting. But ultimately, I felt he has a lot of very interesting things for us to learn about and understand around the area of medical and legal consulting. So, such a pleasure to have you here with us. Dr. Feldman, thanks for joining us.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
Well, thank you for having me, Saul. It’s a pleasure to be talking with you.

Saul Marquez:
For sure. Now, your work is interesting. You’ve done it all. You’ve been a practicing physician. You’ve been an entrepreneur in the space with the clinics and the centers. And now you’re working in the legal medical field. Talk to us about what inspires your work in health care.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
So I think what inspires me now really is always inspired me is the ability to help people. I grew up in a medical family. My father was a professor of dentistry at Marquette Dental School. He ran the residency training program there for years and about the age of 12. And I started going to grand rounds with him at the hospital where he worked. My mother worked for charities for years and I really grew up in that environment. It’s important to help people and I think that’s really what still inspires me today, particularly with the work that I do now. We will get into it. But for years, maybe centuries, there have been physicians working in the legal arena, but not really until I started doing this work thirteen years ago where there are physicians who specifically worked with the injured person making sure that the injured person gets what they need to recover and lead a full life.

Saul Marquez:
Well, I think it’s really great. You’ve been around it forever and you’ve evolved your career and a lot of different ways. And it sounds like you really enjoy what you do. So so talk to us about how you’re adding value to the health care ecosystem.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
Oh, as you mentioned, I owned outpatient head injury rehabilitation clinics around the country. And after I was fortunate enough to sell those, I was thinking about what I could do next. And I had testified as an expert witness on behalf of my patients who were either really more times than I want to remember, but who are either being cut off of their medical care or offered some pittance of a settlement. And so I thought, well, maybe what I could do is just consult the attorneys on any kind of medical question that they had in the case. And that turned out to be not only a good thing, it fills a niche. And over the years, I’ve developed that into a new subspecialty of forensic medicine. So all of this work is pre-trial pre-litigation, and the work is primarily in workers compensation cases and personal injury cases. And in these areas of the law, probably nine out of every 10 cases settle. And that’s where we come in as medical consultants as opposed to medical experts. So we’re helping the attorneys on those nine out of ten cases that they negotiate and settle. So there have been physicians certainly in this arena working for insurance companies but doing independent medical exams and other things. But there really have not been physicians working on the side of what I call the little guy. And the little guy in personal injury cases is the plaintiff and then the little guy and workers comp cases typically called the claimant.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
And these injured individuals, particularly in these nine out of 10 cases that are negotiating settle, really didn’t have unless the attorney hired a medical expert, which they typically only do if they’re going to go to trial. So the injured person and the attorney really didn’t have a medical person on their team that could help them to negotiate the medical issues in the case, help them to increase the case value, save the attorney time and help the attorney negotiate the medical issues in cases. And it turns out that this there are about 16 different services that I’ve developed over time. And all of these services are in the service of doing what I just mentioned. And so I did that for a couple of years and realized that other physicians could learn to do this as well. Started a training program, my medicolegal consulting coaching program. And now for the past 11 years, I’ve been training physicians to do this through my one year coaching program. And also, as you mentioned, I do an annual conference that will be the eighth one in 2021 And this is a two-day crash course that helps physicians to learn how to do this kind of work. A physician in any specialty can learn to do this. And now their physicians all over the country that are doing this and helping attorneys, but ultimately helping that injured person get back up on their feet.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, I know. That’s great. You know, and there’s an opportunity. Obviously, a lot of physicians are experiencing burnout and, you know, they’re wanting to consider something else. And, you know, I figured it’s important for us to know every single angle.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
Yes, that’s right. I read an interesting study just recently. Two of them actually, one is one in every four physicians is looking to do some non-clinical work part-time basis. Some maybe want to do it full time, others in lieu of retiring. But one out of four physicians and in a different study that I just read about three weeks ago, since the COVID-19 pandemic, it said in this survey that 52 percent of physicians were considering some other kind of work, either in addition to or in place of their what they’re doing clinically, that it’s a big group.

Saul Marquez:
And now the one thing that that I wanted to ask you is, you know, we had a chance to connect on this beforehand where you’re saying is that this kind of medicolegal consulting has nothing to do with expert witness work or medical malpractice. Can you dig into that and explain that? Yes.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
So first of all, what I tell you about that is now in that one out of 10, approximately one out of 10 cases that the attorney can’t negotiate and settle. In other words, that the attorney will do depositions and go to trial. In those cases, the attorney will need medical experts in every area of injury, but for the purpose of negotiating and settling the case, what the attorney needs are well reasoned, well thought out, backed up by evidence from the medical literature, medical opinions, medical reports backed up by evidence from the medical literature, in addition to other kinds of services that are going to help that attorney to better work for their client and settle those cases for an increased case value and help the attorney get the appropriate medical care for their clients.

Saul Marquez:
Got it. Thank you for that. Yeah, it’s interesting. And so what would you say makes what you do different?

Dr. Armin Feldman:
Well, first of all, you know, there haven’t been doctors doing this until I started doing it some 13 years ago. So that certainly makes it different. So, for example, let me give you just a couple of examples. So one example is probably the thing that I am and other doctors around the country are asked to do most often is to prepare comprehensive, what I call medical summary reports with our medical opinions that the attorney can use as part of a settlement demand letter. So in order to settle the case, after all the negotiations are done with the opposing counsel, the attorney needs to prepare a settlement demand letter, and in each state, there’s kind of a format that differs from state to state. And one of the things that have to be described in the settlement demand letters in order to have a personal injury case or a worker’s compensation case. First of all, there has to be negligence. Right. So somebody ran a red light and hit someone or the machinery wasn’t properly tuned or whatever it is. So one of the things that need to be described in this settlement demand letter is what are the damages? And so the part of this medical summary report, the attorney, they certainly have medical records. They may get a report from one or two of the treating doctors. A lot to tell you. That’s kind of rare. But they certainly don’t have a physician who’s taking a comprehensive look at the case, addressing every injury in the case, and then writing a comprehensive report that includes their medical opinion. So, for example, it would include what are the ongoing medical problems and in that section and ongoing medical problems, which would typically show up in a medical note, in a hospital note or an office note our description of what is the causation, what is the mechanism of injury, what are the functional losses as a result, and back up that with evidence in the legal sense and the generic sense, but with evidence from the medical literature.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And, you know, just reflecting on you know, there’s a lot of instances where these cases really they’re legit and people need help. And there is an opportunity for us to help those that end up in unfortunate circumstances. One of the things that I’m curious about. So you have this conference coming up. It’s your eighth annual conference. Tell me more about it. What can people learn when they hear this conference? Sure.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
So this conference is a two-day crash course for physicians to learn how to do this kind of work.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
And one of the very first things that I say at the conference, by the way, this year’s conference coming up April twenty fourth and fifth will be by Livestream only. But I’ll tell you something funny about that in a second. But one of the first things that I say at the conference is when you leave this conference, you will have all of the tools and all of the instruction and all of the medical knowledge. And also, by the way, all of the business knowledge that you need to go home and successfully do this long term. So that conference at the conference, I really talk about two things which I think would be of interest to you and your listeners. First is how do you successfully run a medical consulting business of this kind? So, for example, how do you get your attorney clients is part of it, but also how do you keep those clients long term, as I’m sure you know Saul if you could be the best medico-legal consultant, the best plumber. But if you don’t maintain what marketers call the top of mind consciousness, even your best customers are going to forget about you. Right? So the conference is about the business side and then it’s also about the medicine that you need to know.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, very, very good. Thank you for that. And, you know, one of the things that I’m sure folks are wondering is, OK, cool, so I could learn these things. Are these type of consulting businesses that physicians could run? Are they something that could be done through the pandemic? Guess you have to be somewhere to do it or can it be done virtually.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
Yes. So we’ve had to make adjustments for the pandemic. So, for example, attorneys will not be familiar with hiring medical. They’re certainly familiar with hired medical experts, Right., but they’re not familiar with this concept of hiring medical consultants until we educate attorneys and make it so. The best way to do that is in a face to face, person to person meeting with the attorney. Now, of course, with the pandemic, that’s not really possible. So one of the changes that we’ve made is all of those initial meetings, which I call the 10-minute meeting with the attorney, can be done by a meeting like we’re meeting now. And I have to say somewhat, much to my chagrin, because I’m a little biased about this. I think meeting in person is maybe a little better. But these meetings that I’ve had and other physicians have had around the country by Zoom are turning out to be just as effective in the physicians getting their attorney clients as the face to face meetings we’ve done over the years. The other thing is, for the entire 13 years that I’ve done this, I’ve worked out of a home office. So once you have that initial meeting with your attorney prospect and turn, that attorney prospect into an attorney-client, almost everything there, after almost every one of the certain, not all of them, but almost every one of the services that you can provide, everything thereafter is done by the telephone, email, us mail, and there can be adjustments made for some of the other services that we provide so they can be done digitally instead of face to face.

Saul Marquez:
So there’s an opportunity there. Thank you for that. Just something that that I’m sure folks were wondering about. What would you say is one of the biggest setbacks you’ve experienced in this field? What was the key learning about it?

Dr. Armin Feldman:
Yeah, it’s kind of interesting, actually. So when I first started doing this, when I first started training other doctors, the main way that I had to let the doctors know that this kind of a training program was out there was through email marketing. And when I first started that, you know, are you familiar with this idea of how a new scientific idea goes through the scientific community? Like, you know, first it’s worthless nonsense right. Then it’s interesting, but a perverse point of view. And then the next thing is, well, it’s true, but it’s quite unimportant. And then the final thing is, well, yeah, I always knew it was so. So when I started, I got a lot of your snake oil salesmen. You’re just harming doctors. You’re working for them to get doctors sued. I got some nasty gram emails, but through the years in training others and other doctors spreading the word as physicians really understood what this was all about. And it comes back to what you asked me originally. It’s really all about helping people. That was kind of the biggest obstacle to overcome. And it’s gratifying now to know that doctors all over the country are helping these attorneys to help these injured people that really have injured, been injured, no fault of their own. Which reminds me, I wanted to come back and just touch on something that you said earlier about there are a lot of legitimate cases. You know, the majority of these cases are legitimate cases now. You know, every once in a while you get somebody who’s malingering or primarily driven by secondary gain.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
But almost all of the cases are hard-working, everyday people that are injured, no fault of their own. And then they start going through our system, which is kind of crazy. And they are often butting up against their own insurance company that they have been paying pretty faithfully, paying their premiums to over the years. And they get injured. And all of a sudden they find that the insurance companies job is to try to deny them the benefits that they’ve been paying for. So then they wind up hiring an attorney only because they have to. And then that’s where we come in. And in fact, sometimes I’m asked about by physicians about being a, quote, hired gun. And one of the great things about being on this side of the fence that is working with plaintiff claimant attorneys as opposed to defense attorneys, insurance attorneys, is that these attorneys want and value straight-up medical opinions. These attorneys don’t want to be carrying loser cases with their time and with their money. So they’re just when I tell them, look, you don’t have a case here for whatever the reason, there’s a preexisting condition, the person is malingering, whatever. They’re just as happy to hear that is when I tell them, yeah, this is the I understand this case and here are the medical issues in the case. And let me lay out my medical opinions.

Saul Marquez:
I think that’s great. And I appreciate you level setting on that. While it’s certainly important that the listeners, if they’re interested, they know where to go Armin. So talk to us about where they could find your conference and learn more about that.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
So if you are interested in attending this year’s conference, it’s April 24th and 25th 2021 by Livestream. And you can go to Medlegal2021.com, Medlegal2021.com. That will take you to the conference site, If you’re interested in the coaching program medicolegal coaching program that is M.D. as a medical doctor BizCon.com

Saul Marquez:
Outstanding! This has been great, really appreciate the opportunity that you’re presenting folks today. Folks thought you would enjoy a little time with Dr. Feldman and this niche that he’s uncovered to offer something else to physicians looking to just to use their skills and overall different angle to help people. So thank you so much. Really appreciate the time that you’ve spent with us today.

Dr. Armin Feldman:
It was a pleasure to be here. And thanks. I enjoyed talking with you Saul.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, Outcomes Roocket listeners, Saul Marquez here. I get what a phenomenal asset a podcast could be for your business and also how frustrating it is to navigate editing and production, monetization and achieving the ROIC you’re looking for. Technical busywork shouldn’t stop you from getting your genius into the world, though. You should be able to build your brand easily with a professional podcast that gets attention. A patched-up podcast could ruin your business. Let us do the technical busy work behind the scenes while you share your genius on the mic and take the industry stage. Visit smooth podcasting.com to learn more. That’s smoothpoodcasting.com to learn more.

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Things You’ll Learn

There are many ways to evolve in your career. 

If you don’t maintain what marketers call the top of mind consciousness, even your best customers are going to forget about you.

Use your skills and find a different angle to help people,

 

Resource:

https://mdbizcon.com/armin.feldman/home.html

https://medlegconlive.com/

Medlegal2021.com