Dynamic Chiropractic – January 31, 1990, Vol. 08, Issue 03

On Being Popular

By Richard Tyler, DC

Writing editorials is not meant to be an endearing enterprise. There are those who agree with you some of the time and even most of the time -- but never all of the time. This is as it should be. Then there are those who disagree some of the time, most of the time, and all of the time. Sometimes I believe that those who disagree all of the time are not reading everything I write or are just not too bright. Anyway, that's my opinion.

Years ago I served in an editorial capacity on a publication called The Chiropractic Family Physician. One reader seemed obsessed with the desire to have the publication discontinued. Or at least not sent to him. His major objection was apparently me. Once I suggested he do the obvious -- just not read what I wrote. Unable to do this, he persisted with his meandering criticisms and demands that we no longer send him the publication.

At a meeting of the editorial board, it was suggested that his name be dropped from the list of those receiving this free and informative journalistic enterprise. "No," I protested, "as long as this character gets so upset, we know he's reading it and those are usually the people who need to read it the most." So -- until the publication's demise he was "treated" to every issue.

Recently I received one of those "don't send me your publication anymore" letters. This misguided fellow seemed to think that I was being hard on all the technique peddlers. He's right -- to a degree. The "peddlers" have no place in the profession. They should give all the information to the schools and get out of business. Instead, they hold endless seminars and "refreshers" to continually extract money from you and your colleagues. There are, of course, legitimate entrepreneurs who have found that the only way they can present their ideas is in a postgraduate seminar format due to some schools' lack of interest. Naturally, it's for you to decide who these are -- not me.

The letter went on to complain about motion palpation being the only technique allowed. Not so. In the first place motion palpation is a course in locating fixations -- not an adjusting technique. The name should tell you that. The adjustive procedures presented by Dr. Faye are actually a compendium of diverse mobilization moves that have been learned by a master chiropractic practitioner and are now being offered to the profession through seminars and through an extraordinary text. These adjustive procedures are not designed to supplant any technique, only to act as an adjunct to those who wish a more dimensional therapeutic base.

Finally the letter writer requests that we drop him from our mailing list, saying that he has decided not to support us any longer. The question -- how did he support Dynamic Chiropractic in the first place? Maybe he hadn't noticed, but he's been getting DC free of charge for years. The publication has no subscriptions -- it's given to the profession as a service instituted by the recently deceased Dr. Donald M. Petersen, Sr. It's a nonprofit enterprise sustained only by our many fine advertisers.

It must also be stated -- what should be obvious -- that my editorials express only my personal views. I'm not, as the writer states, trying to "dictate" to him. If he doesn't want to get DC for fear that I can dictate how he should think, then he has a real problem. It is therefore my earnest desire that DC will last for many, many years and that the writer will continue to read my editorials.

Not all forms of contrasting opinion come by mail. Some come by phone and I respect those who call a bit more, since they are open to frank discussion.

Recently I received a call from a medical student. The twist was that he was also a DC who graduated from one of our better chiropractic colleges and had also taught at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. One must suppose that he entered medical school to increase his therapeutic approach. Or maybe he was inwardly tired of "laboring" under a DC degree and wanted to be an RD (real doctor).

Whatever his reasons, he expressed the concern that I was constantly presenting a negative view of medicine which his fellow students couldn't understand. My, my. Does this mean that medicine has a positive opinion about chiropractic? Does this mean that organized medicine really wants to understand the chiropractic approach to health and wants all the healing arts to work together? Does this mean that the AMA has been kidding all this time and hasn't any influence on any members of the medical profession? Does this mean that the pharmaceutical houses are no longer interested in influencing medical students and wish to give equal time to a drugless healing discipline?

The caller informed me that a chiropractor was invited to speak before a class and made a fool out of himself because he had no research to back up his therapeutic ideas. One is then inclined to ask about all the research that went into Thalidamide or into all the drugs that presently flood the market with their infamous side effects and abreactions.

The fact of the matter is, organized medicine blindly hates chiropractic and just about any form of practice or practitioner who doesn't have "MD" tacked after his name.

The caller claimed that many of the students read DC. This is fine, for it exposes them to divergent opinions not only from chiropractors but from the likes of Mendelsohn, Susser, and Lendon Smith in their profession.

Now -- if the caller feels that an honest dialogue can be established between medicine and chiropractic -- on an equal footing and with mutual respect -- and if he feels that he can arrange a substantive series of meetings, then do it. Until then we'll just have to address the problem of organized medicine realistically -- with philosophical fists.

It matters not how long I write -- I will displease someone and I pray that this will continue, for it shows that we all have opinions we are willing to fight for. It's just that I'm right -- how about you?


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