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How an initial trip to the Chiropractor revealed similarities between medical care and lab planning

Those of us connected to architecture or the science world tend to be left-brained problem solvers. We were the kids (and adults) who loved to put together puzzles and solve riddles. We enjoy the challenge of identifying what’s wrong and how to fix it. Following a recent accident that resulted in a long series of trips to the Chiropractor, I realized that our fields of expertise–medical care and lab planning–are actually very similar. Although the scale has increased and the stakes are much higher, at the heart of our fields, we are still figuring out puzzles.

Let me share with you some examples of how addressing a misaligned spine and planning labs are quite similar:

Doctor: Why are you here? How do you feel? Where do you hurt? Are you having problems sleeping?
Planner: Why am I here? What created the need for our design services? What keeps you up at night?

Doctor:
Let’s perform an initial examination to assess your condition.
Planner: Let’s have a look at your existing laboratory and surrounding spaces.

Doctor:
I can tell that there is some muscle tightness and that there are some areas that aren’t aligned properly. Let me explain using these posters on the wall, what it is I’m talking about.
Planner: I can tell that you have limitations with your current facility, let me show you what we’ve been doing with modern laboratories.

Doctor: I’d like to take a few x-rays.
Planner: I’d like to perform a detailed evaluation of your operations by observing the staff work.

Doctor: Can I get your insurance information?
Planner: Is your project funded and what is the budget?

Doctor: I’d like to set up an appointment to begin treatment.

Planner: I’d like to schedule a kick off meeting to learn more about your needs and begin space planning.

Following our initial consultation, we take closer looks, explore possible issues and diagnoses, and then communicate our findings back to our patients/clients. The end result may be different, but the process of solving our puzzles is actually quite similar.

Eric Slifer

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