It's Time to Bring Our
Profession Into the Present
May 16, 1999
Self-introspection is always difficult and arduous. If we hold the mirror too close to ourselves we may see blemishes that we wish to hide from others. The chiropractic profession has major problems. This I know because I live them every day. I don't practice a dogma, because I believe what Abraham Lincoln stated over one hundred years ago is even truer today in the chiropractic profession. "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present." If chiropractic is to survive it must lose its ideology that the "subluxation" is the cause of all disease.
Today is the "stormy present" in chiropractic. Insurance companies are fighting our claims because of rampant fraud. They will grudgingly let us into their manage care programs, but how many chiropractor's actually get primary care medical doctors to refer to them? We see chiropractors on 20/20 telling undercover investigators how to fake Independent Medical Exams. We hear of claims of "Chiropractor Claims to Cure AIDS, cancer, . . . . (fill in the blank)." But even after 104 years, we, as a profession, still lay claim to the subluxation complex. Ask ten chiropractors what is a subluxation and get ten different answers. Why do we continue to tout this tenet when it can't be proven to exist?
It is time to bring the profession in to the present. Research is needed. The chiropractic profession often decries "We can't get the money to do research?" That is an excuse, not a reason. If the profession wanted the research dollars they would find them, but the profession, starting at the college level is more interested in seeing as many patients a day than they are in looking for the truth. The truth is chiropractic is a great modality. Anyone in the profession has seen what it can do. But to continue to propagate and grow there must be introspection and research. Yelling and screaming at the medical profession for our problems can no longer be accepted.
The Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes wrote in Don Quixote "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." No truer words can be said about our profession. If subluxation doctrine were valid, it could be examined in the full light of day and scientifically proven.
Chiropractic is a profession of techniques: Best, Logan Basic, Activator, Diversified. On any weekend there are seminars, for several hundred dollars, on how to perfect your "technique." Are any of them better that the rest, or are they just another sales pitch? Who would Diogenes be searching for today? An honest chiropractor? I am sure that some of chiropractors will consider me a heretic, but I will stand in good company.
Martin Luther said: "I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen." If we don't change our process, then, in the immortal words of Sancho Panza in Don Quixote: "Pray look better, Sir . . . those things yonder are no giants, but windmills" will continue to ring true.
Is the chiropractic profession going to continue to tilt at windmills?