Episode 215 - Dr. Thomas Lotus, part 1: Something Missing

Thomas Lotus DC, Cert MDT

Thomas Lotus DC, Cert MDT

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In episode 215 I’m joined by Dr. Thomas Lotus of Chicago, Illinois USA.  He shares his professional journey and those who influenced his path to improved patient care, his search for what he sensed was missing in his education, a memorable patient experience and more.  This week on MCF!

Show Notes


Dr. Tom Lotus is based out of Chicago, Illinois and is a chiropractor by profession who is also MDT trained and certified. 


Professional Journey

Up on graduation from undergrad school and uncertain of the direction he wanted to take his professional career, Tom visited and later enrolled at a local chiropractor school, now known as National University of Health sciences, in Lombard, IL. Since he was always inclined towards Orthopedics and biomechanics, while attending classes he read about Robin McKenzie and the McKenzie institute. 

Post graduation he immediately enrolled in Chiropractic Diploma Program in Orthopedics and also Rehab Diploma. During that course of time, he travelled to Prague where he studied the Janda technique and DNS approach under his mentors Karel Lewit and Prof. Pavel Kolar at Prague school of Medicine. 


Introduction to MDT

While attending a RIC symposium; through a mutual friend Dr. Lotus was introduced to professionals who were influential in his initiation into the McKenzie world. After the initial introduction and the interest it generated, Dr. Lotus was able to learn more when one of his school deans was able to persuade the McKenzie Institute to bring courses to the Lombard school for the post graduate chiropractors. This was about 9 years ago and since then Dr. Lotus has been implementing MDT into his clinical practice. 


The Missing Link

While in chiropractic school learning palpation, he and his fellow students weren't convinced about the dependability of that particular method of assessment. His professor encouraged him to keep practicing to perfect it. Even then, understanding the limited reliability of palpation, he realized it to be a weak link in the assessment process. His clinical experience since then has changed after understanding the value of MDT assessment and the ability to classify using the method. 


Initial Years and the Learning Curve

Dr. Lotus worked in private practice for 11 years and later got affiliated with RIC. Working with a team of Physiatrists, and Orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Lotus realized that the surgeons did not have a clear understanding of the role chiropractors and physical therapists played. Over a period of time, working in collaboration with these practitioners, he learned the art of determining the appropriateness of patients for care. He also realized the important role he played in the team as an MDT clinician in classifying the patients and referring back those with chemical pain and non responsive mechanical conditions that would be appropriate for the physiatrists and surgeons care. This ability to classify helped in improving patient outcomes. 


A World of Hurt

 Melissa C. Kolski, and Annie O'Connor were the two colleagues that had introduced Dr. Lotus to MDT. He personally has not contributed to the book by these authors “ A World of Hurt”; but commends the efforts of his colleagues and the book that is a product of years of research and clinical observation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He draws the similarity of “learning from your patients” between Robin McKenzie and Melissa’s and Annie’s approach towards understanding central sensitization and chronic pain.  


~ show notes provided by Toshal Thanawala