Dynamic Chiropractic – September 1, 1991, Vol. 09, Issue 18

Why Now?

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
From around the country, the newspaper headlines proclaim:

"Studies Back Chiropractic Technique"

"Spinal Manipulation Gains Acceptance"

"Hands-On Back Therapy Is Winning Respectability"

"Chiropractors Finally Get Some Respect"

"Research Backs Up Some Chiropractic Care"

"New Study Backs Chiropractic Help"

But it didn't stop there.

In addition, chiropractic was featured nationally on "CBS This Morning" on July 15, 1991 (please see "Chiropractic Manipulation on 'CBS This Morning'" in the August 2, 1991 issue) and on "CBS News Nightwatch" on July 24 1991 (please see "You've Never Been So Proud" on the front page of this issue). Locally, a Los Angeles television station, KCOP, featured Al Adams, D.C. and Paul Shekelle, M.D., M.P.H. (project leader of the RAND Study) on a recent news program. KCOP is a television station that has historically been less than pro-chiropractic.

Finally, Time magazine will be featuring a story with Louis Sportelli, D.C. in one of their next few issues. When combined with national and local newspaper and television coverage, this is the equivalent of the "triple crown" of media exposure.

So what happened? When did the media discover the value of chiropractic? The last time chiropractic received even half this much coverage was after the Wilk et al. trial.

The answer is very simple, but not too simple: RESEARCH! The reason that we have finally begun to receive some notoriety and recognition is because we have finally been able to talk about the subject most important to the public (and the media). The vital question: What can chiropractic care do to help solve the incredible health care crises? All possible answers must be communicated in terms of research.

Not "bait-and-switch" research, not "unscientific" research, not "if-you-don't-believe-in-chiropractic-you'll-never-understand-it" research and not shoddy "why-spend-the-money-if-it-won't-stand- up-to-challenge" research. Only top quality research by the best people available will make an impression in the scientific community and, therefore, the world.

For a relatively small investment in research, the chiropractic profession received millions of dollars in public relations benefits. But that money was invested very wisely. The RAND Corporation was chosen because it is one of the two top health care research organizations in the United States. While fly-by-night chiropractic groups were making all kinds of claims, the Consortium for Chiropractic Research (CCR) and the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) have been methodically setting the pace for what has become a chiropractic PR bonanza.

But where did the money really come from? The answer is not too surprising. The CCR is predominately funded by the California Chiropractic Association (CCA). The funding from the FCER came primarily from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the National Chiropractic Mutual Insurance Company (NCMIC).

Now before you begin to congratulate CCA officers, ACA delegates and governors and NCMIC directors, you may want to ask them where they stood and how they voted on the funding of the RAND Project. You will also want to thank those companies who not only supply the chiropractic profession with quality products and services but also donate large sums of money through the CCR and the FCER to legitimate chiropractic research.

The equation is this:

solid research + renowned researchers = excellent PR

The way of the future is clear. All we have to do is be willing to fund it.

DMP, Jr., BS, HCD(hc)

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