Chiro cleanup part 1: a little stigma

Seems as though we have a little stigma on our hands.  Nope, it wasn’t your imagination.  We couldn’t possibly sweep all that dirty laundry under the rug, ya know.

In all fairness, it wasn’t entirely our fault.  The conventional allopathic medical profession had is share of imperfection (think pre-Flexner times), and we were achieving some success stories they weren’t.

Maybe our only downfall was that we couldn’t properly explain those successes.  Or maybe it had something to do with our chiropractic grassroots rising up into a homespun, mid-America cult with a little 1895 Jerry Springer to boot.

Solution: Do research!  Chiropractic & Osteopathy is an excellent start, but there needs to be more, especially if we’re going to make some of the claims we make (some of which are genuine and others of which are probably a sham).

Either way, the DC-MD tug-of-war culminated quite publicly when 5 brave DCs took on one Big Bad AMA by the horns.  It took roughly 14 years, but it got settled, by God.  And guess what?  We won.

Guess what else?  It didn’t make much difference.

Why?

There are too many reasons to discuss in one post (that’s what part of this whole blog is for), but one big fat elephant in the room represents the fact that face it – although the AMA levied (and continues to do so) some pretty under-handed shit, we haven’t kept our noses entirely clean, either.

We have little skeletons in the closet (or maybe just their spines) that I’m sure we prefer to keep shut away in said closet.  Little key concepts here and there that I’m sure we’d rather outsiders not hear lest we further degrade our image  (as if a chicken dinner with a side of sales pitch orchestrated by yet one more bald yahoo in a flamboyant shirt-and-tie box set from Kohl’s doesn’t do enough damage to our credibility).

Now, not to be mean, but you’re probably going to fall into one of three camps:

Camp #1: You get it.  You’re with me.  ‘Nuff said.
Camp #2: You don’t get it, but only because you’re new to the game.  Hang around, my little grasshopper.  I’ll pull you out of The Matrix soon enough and you will see the real world with your own eyes, unless you end up in…
Camp #3: You’ve got something to sell DCs and your success depends–to be blunt–on making sure DCs have as few diagnosis and treatment options available to them at any given time, such that they turn to you for help and hope.  This can take on many, many various costumes, such as:

  • a spiffy new 5-to-6-figure chiro-toy that delivers dazzling eye candy but little else, and ZERO science to back it up
  • a “principled” practice management company to whom desperate doctors pay you tens of thousands of dollars every year to feed them old, unsuccessful, rehashed cornball techniques from the 1950s-1980s that everyone else was smart enough to abandon shortly thereafter
  • a seminar (be it motivational, technique, practice management, patient acquisition/education, etc)
  • one of many, many others

So how did all this start?  With the schools, of course.  After all, they teach us how to be doctors and how to conduct ourselves (or not) as such.  I have a Special (ha!) place in my heart for chiropractic schools (in general – a precious few are better than the vast majority of others), so chiropractic education will get its own post.

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