In Response to Your Ignorance
March 2, 1999
While I applaud your efforts to inform the public of deleterious and unethical practices within the health-care delivery system, I resent your claims regarding Chiropractic as quackery. I can only view these articles as a profligate and decidedly public denunciation of a recognized and clinically proven healing art. In fact, if Chiropractic were without therapeutic value or scientific merit, how has it survived despite the aggressive and esuriant efforts of the A.M.A. to eliminate it's practice?
I believe that we have long forgotten some of the commonalities these two leading health-care professions share. Both disciplines share a common beginning in ancient healing practices which would today qualify as "quackery" to professional and patient alike. In fact, the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates ( who's oath you ascribe to even today ) used both apothecary and manipulation of the joints and extremities in his care of patients. Hippocrates even authored a book titled "On Setting Joints By Leverage" and believed this practice to be an effective means by which to alleviate ailments which did not respond to pharmaceutical intervention. In addition, each art has culminated in the use of modern scientific and clinical trials to validate and establish it's efficacy and usefulness. Have you perused any published literature pertaining to Chiropractic and it's relevant benefit to the patient? Moreover, recent J.A.M.A. articles are leaning toward the inclusion of alternative forms of health-care within the medical curriculum and the application of these techniques are already being utilized in the more progressive hospitals in this country. You should be aware that the University of Southern California School of Medicine has been trying to adopt a Doctor of Physical Therapy program and plans to include manipulation in their curriculum. Is this another effort to control the reigns of our profession as you have done with Osteopaths, Podiatrists and Dentists? I remind you that these professions were all the subject of your scrutiny within this century when you were without profit from their efforts. Such are the vicissitudes inherent in the A.M.A.'s quest to control the marketplace and unjustly denigrate all opposition publicly and aggressively.
Now I ask you Dr., why would a profession that so vehemently denied chiropractic in the past be so avaricious in trying to become proficient in it's techniques and practice in the present? I believe that the answer is simple, Chiropractic works and it works so well that the Medical profession wants it for their own. This is in diametric opposition to their stand on the practice of Chiropractic in this century and testimony to the changing attitudes towards patient care within your profession. Medicine continues to vacillate on issues that ultimately produce adverse effects on their waning autonomy over the health-care dollar. In time you will surely lose the most sacred tenant universal to each discipline, that of patient trust.
Addressing the issue of "quackery", I would like to say that the profession of Chiropractic should not be the question here, merely the ethics of the practitioner. There are thousands of competent, caring Doctors of Chiropractic licensed in this country and they represent the second largest health-care provider available to the American public. The ever increasing number of patient visits to Chiropractors offices annually stands as testimony to the satisfaction these patients receive from our care, and their belief in our abilities and professionalism as a whole. Unfortunately, the few who do engage in nefarious practices effect the whole and dilute the public trust. This situation is not universal to Chiropractic and occurs with greater frequency within the Medical profession due to the vastly greater number of licensed practitioners. While I praise Medicine for the ability to treat life-threatening and critical care conditions, medicine is neither a panacea, nor can they claim a proven acumen in treating a vast array of disorders including musculo- skeletal disorders. It is certainly negligence to collude to deny adequate conservative treatment in appropriate cases and you stand convicted of just that by your actions. That is by definition quackery, professing knowledge of that which you have no formal training or educational background in and you have certainly engaged in this practice by posting that diatribe that is your web page.
Quackery is defined as an untrained person pretending to have Medical knowledge. No right minded Doctor of Chiropractic claims to be a Medical doctor, nor to treat with their methods. Our training does closely parallel the education provided Medical Doctor's with many obvious differences. I digress on this point. Certainly there is ample room within the health-care system for free association and referral between M.D.'s and Chiropractors when it is in the best interest of the patient. This would clearly be advantageous to overall patient care rather than your malcontent and didactic ruminations from a decidedly bygone era of ignorance and Medical pedantism. Remember, "First do no harm" is within your Hippocratic oath and stands as challenge to report the truth to the public and to desist from your unfounded assault on the practice of Chiropractic.
February 3, 2004
Hello again sir, you may vaguely remember me as the student at Cleveland Chiropractic College [Los Angeles] who wrote "In Response to Your Ignorance, March 1999. We did have some discourse for a brief period and I appreciate your taking the time to respond personally and for posting my letter. I found you quite affable and respect your personal opinions although I disagree with most of the content of your website.
I have since graduated and have been in private practice for a litle over three years. In that time I have learned some very valuable lessons not the least of which is that the chiropractors that you assail on your website have little in common with my ethics and practice paradigm. As a matter of fact I work closely with several orthopedists, neurologists and staff at the local hospital and all feel comfortable referring their patients to me when they feel my care is the most appropriate. Rather than play the part of Don Quixote, I am silently winning over the "opposition" by instead making believers out of them and in the process making new colleagues, friends and life time patients who appreciate the value of what I can offer them.
For these reasons I would like to ask you to remove my response from your website. After reviewing the content of the responses by my colleagues I would like to formally disown them and move in a more positive direction. I truly love my profession but on the whole I am embarrassed by it's membership and lack of professionalism and courtesy. I honestly hope that the standards for entrance into chiropractic programs will be raised to a much higher level and include the MCAT and a written essay along with the oral interview to assess the character of the applicant being considered for admittance.
I am afraid until then it will be business as usual and rather than focusing on helping patients and conducting proper clinical trials to establish the efficacy of chiropractic, we will continue to see the same chiropractic "philosophy" and practice building zealots churned out at an ever growing rate. I agree on one point you have stated consistently and I have held to this ideal from the onset of our previous contacts: chiropractic has great value and should be recognized on it's own merits. Chiropractic that is sold to asympomatic, healthy people is fraud until my profession can prove otherwise.
I cannot help but feel that my profession is it's own worst enemy and long for the day the profession splits in half so that the public will can choose beneficial treatment when they are in need without the sales pitch.
February 4, 2004
You are correct regarding the unprofessional behavior of many in my profession. As I stated in my response most chiropractors sell the adjustment as a cure all and make bold claims about the efficacy of our treatment. I see this everyday as well as the practitioners who try and sign their patients up for a lifetime of care since day one, regardless of their complaint, I disagree with these tactics.
What really disturbed me was the jeers section of your website and the responses from my "colleagues", many of which are vile and grammatically tragic. I would like my name removed from that article or the article removed please, I just prefer not to be included on your website in that section after reviewing the level of venom displayed there.